Rushen Primary School

Learning and Growing

Rushen Primary School

Behaviour for Learning Policy

September 2021

Introduction

At Rushen Primary School (RPS) we aim to create an environment where everyone is safe, valued and included. At RPS we use a restorative approach to managing children’s behaviour. This Behaviour for Learning Policy outlines the school’s vision of how we create an effective learning environment in which pupils can achieve. This policy is supported by the DESC’s 6R Learning Dispositions and the RPS Learning Muscles and applies to all stakeholders (pupils, staff, governors, parents, visitors, volunteers, students and the wider community).

The restorative approach incorporates principles which focus on prevention through relationship building by drawing on the collective strengths of the community to help individuals in trouble regain their footing in a nurturing environment with consistent classroom practices and high expectations. Most of all, restorative practices draw their strength from communication tools: adults use language that builds agency and identity and facilitate class discussions in a way that encourages affiliation and resolves problems. Restorative practices represent a positive step forward in helping all students learn to resolve disagreements, take ownership of their behaviour, and engage in acts of empathy and forgiveness.

(Smith, et al, 2015).

Promoting good behaviour amongst pupils is a shared responsibility and all those who work with the school have a vital role to play. All stakeholders should aim endeavour to build positive relationships and respect each other. Positive relationships are central to our philosophy and we teach pupils interpersonal skills to add to their toolkit, supporting them with managing themselves and their relationships. High quality teaching with relevant and interesting lessons, motivates pupils to become learners who achieve, which is our core purpose.

Everybody is accountable for their own actions and words. Pupils take an active role in talking through issues to find solutions, reflect on their behaviour, learn from their mistakes and rebuild relationships. This approach ensures we are providing a supportive environment which encourages children to be honest about their part in any conflict or incident and helps them to develop the skills to become empathetic, considerate people who can resolve issues independently and become citizens that contribute positively to their community and the wider world.

Staff, children and parents/carers who work restoratively, report that it leads to:

  • A more respectful climate
  • A shift away from sanction-based responses that aim to ‘manage’ behaviour, towards a more relational approach
  • Better relationships amongst children and staff
  • People being more honest and willing to accept responsibility
  • People feeling more supported when things go wrong
  • A calmer, quieter and more productive learning environment.

Encouraging children to consider the links between thoughts, feelings and actions encourages them to become more self-reflective and to process thoughts before acting. It also teaches children to become more self-regulating through recognising trigger feelings and thoughts.

Our Values and Beliefs about Behaviour

  • Good behaviour doesn’t just happen. It requires a joint effort by all those involved with Rushen Primary School.
  • Through shared expectations and a consistent approach, good behaviour can be achieved.
  • We show a deep level of care for every child. Even at the toughest moment, we treat children and each other with dignity and respect.
  • Parents are our partners and the first educators of their children and as such, they share the responsibility for their child’s continued growth and development.
  • We never describe pupils or their behaviour as ‘naughty’ and pupils are never punished. Instead, we teach pupils that there are consequences for their actions, for example, hurting others (physically/emotionally), damaging relationships, etc.
  • Behaviour is a communication of feelings. Feelings of anger, frustration and upset are normal emotions but the importance is in the way we control and react to these feelings.

Our Aims

  • To develop positive relationships, which supports all stakeholders in promoting good behaviour.
  • To have high expectations of ourselves, our pupils and their families.
  • To create an environment which supports learning in all areas, including behaviour.
  • To celebrate success.
  • As pupils learn things can go wrong, and mistakes may be made. We aim to help our pupils learn from mistakes by modelling and teaching strategies to deal with these issues/incidents. We seek to find solutions, to repair relationships and to right wrongs, not to secure revenge or to get our “pound of flesh”. We forgive and offer fresh starts.
  • To monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of our Relationships and Behaviour for Learning Policy and procedures.

Provision

What we do around here

Research has shown that rewards and consequences used as bribes and threats don’t work. Both are attempts to control pupils’ behaviour rather than teach them how to engage in productive learning and relationships. At RPS we aim to support our learners to become intrinsically motivated in order to achieve, rather than for a reward which can limit their progress/success. We teach our pupils’ strategies to help manage their reactions and repair relationships, for example, restricted playing time and area (20:20:20), access to a reflective/recharge space, conferences, etc.

Routines are in place and consistent across the school to ensure behaviour expectation is met throughout the day, including times which are predictably challenging, for example, transition from one space to another, before/after break times, at the start/end of the school day, etc.

Adults in school use a range of strategies to support our pupils when managing their behaviour.

Successful strategies include:

  • Tactically ignoring the behaviour
  • Positioning
  • Looking at the child/gesturing
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Quiet words
  • Reminders of the expectations (what we do around here)
  • Describing the behaviour
  • Partial agreement and re-directing “Maybe he did but what are you meant to be doing?”
  • Asking where, not why “where should you be?”

Unsuccessful strategies include:

  • Asking why, “Why are you talking?”
  • Shouting
  • Sarcasm
  • Humiliation
  • Threats of punishments (E.g. missing playtime, being sent to the Headteacher, etc.)

Positive relationships

Adults in school spend a significant amount of time building positive relationships with pupils. We are genuinely interested in, and care about all of the pupils in our school. We use their first names and take the time to talk to them and find out ‘what makes them tick’. We never humiliate or disrespect children. When we say hello or ask about their interests, we are setting the tone and encouraging emotional development and growth and showing we care. This is also an opportunity for adults in school to demonstrate through modelling, positive interactions and communication with others within our school, which we hope the children will continue to use as citizens of the wider community as they grown and learn. We encourage our pupils to develop positive relationships too and share the following aims with them:

  • We welcome new children and adults to our school
  • We treat each other with care and respect
  • We collaborate
  • We are inclusive
  • We are interested in each other; we are polite and engage in conversations
  • Everybody has the right to feel safe

Conferencing

When we talk it through, we are doing this to:

  • Repair the damage that has been done
  • Restore damaged relationships
  • Plan to do better next time
  • Have a consistent approach across the school
  • Foster high expectations

Inclusion

When supporting pupils in managing their behaviour and relationships with others, we take into account the abilities and needs of all. It is our aim that all pupils feel safe and know that their contributions are valued and that the pupils appreciate and value the differences they see in others and take responsibility for their own actions. We use materials that reflect a range of social and cultural backgrounds without stereotyping and expect all pupils to fully participate in the restorative process, regardless of their individual needs.

Individual Behaviour Support Programmes and Behaviour Plans

Any child who requires additional structure and further support with managing their behaviour on a longer- term or more intensive basis, will be provided with an Individual Behaviour Plan (IBP). These are written by the class teacher who will consult with the SENCo and who may seek support from colleagues in school and/or advice from professionals of other external agencies (E.g., Educational Support Centre (ESC), Early Help and Support (EHAS) Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Educational Psychologists, etc). If there is a need for a referral to any external agency, the parents will be notified and will be invited to work with the school and participate in this process. This may include a reduced learning timetable, an alternative provision/modified timetable, an informal agreed period or session when the child remains at home (E.g. lunchtimes, late arrival/early collection), morning/afternoon etc.

Serious Incidents

When a child has been involved in a serious incident the class teacher (or other staff) will contact the parents at the earliest opportunity with brief details and to inform the parents that the incident is being investigated. The school will then require the time to carry out a thorough investigation, taking into account the factors which may extend the investigation period and could include, for example, absence (child and/or staff). It is important that the pupils are ready to talk about what has happened as the immediate aftermath of an incident can be an emotional time. The best time to sort out and investigate an issue is when everyone is calm. The Headteacher will inform the school’s Chair of Governors of the incident and proposals for any action will be agreed for the most effective outcome. Parents will be contacted regarding the outcome of the investigation and to share the next steps. The school’s decision will be final.

Parents as Partners

Parents, carers and families are the most important influence on children’s attitudes, behaviour and achievement and effective parental involvement will support learning within school. Working together we can make a difference and achieve the best possible outcomes:

  • Successful learners
  • Confident individuals
  • Positive relationships
  • Responsible citizens
  • Effective contributors

Parents are regularly invited to meet the class teachers and are always welcome to make an appointment with them to discuss their child’s progress, attitude to learning and behaviour at school. Parents will also receive information through a number of different channels and mechanisms such as:

  • newsletters
  • school handbook
  • school website
  • telephone communication
  • email/text messages
  • letters/correspondence

Parents/carers must inform their child’s school about changes to their family circumstances including emergency contact points. When communicating with the staff of the school, parents must be polite, non- threatening and this must take place in an environment that is non-confrontational and respects the rights of all concerned.

Serious incidents regarding children’s behaviour are recorded and shared with parents periodically and throughout the school year.

Approved by: Full Governing Body

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