Behaviour Management Policy (incorporating Policy on Bullying)
In a school which caters for children and young adults with severe and complex learning difficulties there will be those who will display behaviours that challenge. It is, therefore, important that those pupils are recognised and embraced within the ethos and philosophy of the school. Our behaviour policy seeks to create and sustain positive behaviours in a supportive, secure and caring environment, stressing the need for mutual respect, tolerance and understanding of every member of our school community whilst focusing on each child’s and young adult’s emotional well-being and personal development.
The aim of our Behaviour Management Policy is to:
● foster an environment where everyone will be treated with courtesy and consideration
● to develop an understanding of children’s and young adults’ responsibility for their own actions
● enable everyone to be able to behave in the most conducive way to help them to learn.
● promote the values of honesty, fairness and the giving and receiving of respect
● enhance children’s and young adults’ self-esteem
● develop children’s and young adults’ self discipline and self control
The school policy for Behaviour Management reflects the consensus of opinion of the staff and has the full backing of the Governing Body.
Staff have agreed on common management practices at class room level and take active responsibility for the care and control of the children and young adults in their charge.
In order to promote and maintain high expectations and standards of good behaviour and effective relationships throughout the school; we ensure that the expectations we place upon ourselves and upon the children and young adults are fulfilled in practice. To this end we have established a set of school rules based on rights and responsibilities.
We believe that everyone has the right to:
● be safe and cared for appropriately
● be heard
● be treated fairly and with dignity
It is the responsibility of all members of the school community to:
● be courteous and polite at all times
● pay attention to all the rules of safety and care of equipment
● be co-operative and respectful to all in school and to visitors
Rules and rewards
In most circumstances children and young people appreciate the need to follow certain behaviour patterns in order for the school environment to be a safe and happy place for everyone. For some of our children and young people diagnosed with certain syndromes or conditions, this link between positive behaviour and positive outcomes is not so clearly understood. For these young people there will be a need for specific individualised Behaviour Plans (see annexe 4). Many other children, however, will benefit from an appropriate rules and rewards system to encourage positive behaviour.
For the rules to be effective the following points need to be considered:
● Staff should be aware of all opportunities to highlight examples of effective interpersonal behaviour. We should try to notice, and whenever possible remark upon, positive behaviour patterns from any child and young person we meet around the school.
● We need to remind children and young people about behaviours that are to be encouraged. We each have a responsibility towards all children and young people not just those in our class or group.
Rules are more relevant and effective when they have been discussed, negotiated and agreed with everyone concerned.
Although bullying is seen by many as a specific behaviour, at Pioneer School we see it as encompassing a range of behaviours, all of which we would address through our Behaviour Management Policy. Nonetheless, the nature of bullying is such that it is necessary to be clear about the issues relating to it and to establish a clear approach to addressing these issues.
What is bullying?
There are many definitions of bullying, but most have three things in common:
● it is deliberately hurtful behaviour
● it is repeated often over a period of time
● it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves
Bullying can take many forms but the three main types are:
● physical - e.g. hitting, kicking, taking belongings
● verbal - e.g. name calling, insulting, racist remarks
● indirect - e.g. spreading nasty stories about someone, excluding someone from a social group
We aim to tackle bullying by promoting the school’s values and the aims of the Behaviour Management Policy, which reject bullying behaviour and promote co-operative behaviour. This is supported through the curriculum where issues related to bullying are discussed.
At Pioneer School we provide an environment in which:
- Victims of bullying are encouraged to speak out.
- Children and young people who feel threatened or unhappy are able to report their fears in the knowledge that the bully will be dealt with.
- Children and young people are encouraged to notify a member of staff at once if they are witness to any form of bullying.
- Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact the school if they think their child is being bullied.
- The school grounds and buildings are supervised by staff on duty to reduce the opportunity for bullying to take place.
- All staff watch for early signs of distress in children and young people - deterioration of work, spurious illness, isolation or the desire to remain with adults, which may be the outward signs of bullying.
- Above all, bullying is not allowed to go unchallenged.
For one-off incidents of bullying which do not result in actual physical harm. A reprimand may be sufficient to deter a child or young person from name calling or mild teasing and a discussion about problem-solving approaches may be useful to prevent further such incidents.
For persistent or severe bullying a stronger response should be considered. Parents should be involved and the family of the bullied child or young person may wish to involve the police in charging the bullying child or young person with assault. This is their right.
Whatever sanctions are imposed for bullying they should be in keeping with the general principles outlined in the school’s Behaviour Management Policy.
Achieving our expectations.
1. Good communication is essential to achieve meaningful relationships and self discipline. It is by talking and listening to each other that we can understand how each feels and help us to understand some behaviours. Adults should take the initiative in establishing a relationship with every child or young person:
● make appropriate eye contact
● greet and be greeted
● start the dialogue
● set high standards of speech and manner
● show an interest in their activities and concerns
● model appropriate relationships with other adults in school
2. Well-prepared, stimulating lessons and activities generate good behaviour and earn respect.
● make sure the lesson plans are differentiated and, where appropriate, directly related to the areas of knowledge and skills contained within the Individual Education Plans
● know before the start of the lesson what needs to be ready and available
● vary the activities within a lesson. Be inter-active, informative, animated and amusing. See the lesson from the child or young person’s point of view and reflect on your performance
● check basic classroom equipment, and see it is kept in good condition, clearly labelled if appropriate, with a designated ‘home’ within the class room
● give thought to the arrangement of the class room, creating a layout which provides the environment in which pleasurable and meaningful learning may take place
● teachers and LSAs should have regular discussions to ensure consistency of approach, to share aims and objectives from lesson plans and to feedback other information
3. Show that you value children and young peoples’ efforts and have high expectations:
● develop a system for the neat and tidy storage of children and young peoples’ work and class room equipment
● encourage by example in the class room, set and maintain a high standard of presentation and care of surroundings, e.g. show off children and young people’s work with care and keep wall displays attractive, relevant and up to date
● give frequent encouragement e.g. meaningful praise, opportunities to show work to others, ‘good work’ boards, comments in link books, etc.
● assess children and young peoples’ work regularly and constructively. Where possible assess with the children and give feedback
● keep careful records of children and young peoples performance and progress, using agreed systems, and share the process with the child or young person
4. Expect to:
● Diffuse situations with your own positive phrasing and behaviour.
● Distract in order to be able to diffuse a challenging situation and reduce anxiety and stop escalation into a crisis.
● negotiate and agree classroom rules at the start of the school year
● remind children and young people of class room rules at least termly
● be in the classroom or activity base before the children or young adults come in
● extend and motivate all children and young adults
● notice and praise positive behaviour patterns
● negotiate and agree rewards on a regular basis
● set and maintain a high standard of order and organisation
● ensure the children and young adults know your expectations of them and maintain them
● mean what you say
● say sorry when it is appropriate
● give responsibility whenever possible
● ask for and be ready to give support- a problem shared is a problem halved
● teach the children and young adults clear routines for:
- when and how to listen to instructions
- entering and leaving the class room
- hanging up coats and putting lunch boxes away
- being fully equipped for work
- learning new games and other skills
- regular activities e.g. for snack time, washing-up, register, class pets etc.
- movement around class and school
- conflict resolution strategies
- independence skills e.g. locating and using equipment and resources, asking for help, clearing up the desk and putting work away etc.
5. Do all you can to:
● use humour - it builds bridges
● keep calm - it reduces tension, try to use the least intrusive style of intervention
● listen - it earns respect
● be positive and build relationships by avoiding unnecessary confrontations
● be consistent
● balance the language of discipline with the language of encouragement
● know the pupils and young people as individuals
● carry out any actions you have to make emphasising that behaviour is a ‘choice’ and that everyone ‘owns’ their behaviour
● follow-up problems to their conclusion
● be firm and fair and establish consequences that are related to the behaviour and to the outcome
6. Do all you can to avoid:
● over-reacting - the problem will grow
● ‘blanket’ sanctions
The school uses ‘Essex Steps’ strategies which is a therapeutic approach to behaviour management.
‘Essex Steps’ encourages the process of taking necessary steps to ensure that every young person is given an equality of opportunity to develop socially, to learn and to enjoy community life.
The ‘Steps’ objectives are:-
● Shared values and beliefs.
● Shared principles of communication and de-escalation.
● Shared risk management.
● Shared reparation, reflection and restoration.
Good working practices and real efforts to create meaningful relationships will be the most potent techniques to ensure a well behaved school.
This policy is based on the following considerations:
● rewards will be differentiated, using students’ individual motivators.
● presentation to be strongly visual and/or tactile
● rewards should be short term enough to be tangible but not so frequent that they eat into curriculum time
● rewards should be graduated to age/sophistication of pupils
● approaches to be non-materialistic
● Good practice demands that a culture of positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviour is maintained and strengthened. All good behaviour should be rewarded not just when it is presented by those children or young people who have difficulty in behaving well.
● Rewards that can be used as a matter of good classroom practice and are independent of any formal structure include:
display of work good work board
verbal praise showing work in assembly
encouragement comments made in the contact book
choice of activity special privileges
‘golden tickets of opportunity’
● Many of our children and young people require immediate rewards with praise, stickers, stamps, etc. Every class should have an up to date list of rewards negotiated by the teacher and the child or young person to be able to provide the sort of encouragement that is directly relevant to them.
● When children and young people do or achieve something worthy of special note this should be acknowledged and notified to parents/carers. This is achieved in a variety of ways dependent on the age of the child – see below.