Teaching and learning
We acknowledge that teaching and learning are inextricably linked to the promotion of positive behaviour. Whilst our policy provides external motivation for children in the shape of tangible rewards, we believe that it is essential to encourage intrinsic motivation in terms of their desire to learn and to achieve.
We support this by:
- making learning real and relevant with links to what children already know and clarifying the purpose of the learning: ‘We need to know about this because …’;
- Sharing and/or agreeing success criteria (for both learning and learning behaviour) with the children and involving them actively in deciding whether they have been successful in meeting these;
- providing challenge and expecting the most from children whilst making sure that all children can experience success;
- helping children self-assess and comment on each other’s work;
We need to provide an environment in the classroom where children feel that their ideas will be valued, that they can take risks in their learning, that they will not be belittled or hurt by others in the classroom and that they know what will be asked of them and when.
We do this by:
- listening to children’s ideas and showing that we take them seriously
- creating a classroom climate where children expect to work together and help each other,
- creating a climate in which all children feel able to make mistakes and take risks, for example: emphasising our own responsibility if children haven’t understood: ‘I need to explain that better/in a different way’
- providing feedback on learning which helps everyone in the class to understand that wrong answers are just as important as correct ones, because learning begins with the ability to make mistakes and say ‘I do not know’;
- establishing clear routines and timetables so that children know exactly what to expect each day.
Our expectations of children’s behaviour need to be continually reinforced. We communicate our expectations through:
- continual discussion of expected behaviours for learning (for example, agreeing shared success criteria for behaviour in a group speaking and listening task);
- visual displays about the behaviour expected (posters, photographs of children in the class demonstrating the desired behaviours);
- modelling and role-play;
- “catching children being good,” noticing when they are showing the expected behaviours and making sure that they understand why we are pleased;
- cues and prompts to keep children continually aware of what is expected of them throughout different activities within a lesson;
- Regular (termly) formal sessions to explore and consider good behaviour for learning.
Roles and responsibilities
Every member of the school community (pupils, parents and staff) has a role in developing effective behaviour for learning. Roles are clearly reflected throughout this policy.
The policy will be monitored through discussions with pupils, feedback from staff, learning walks and lesson observations conducted by the leadership team.
It is impossible in a list of “rules” to capture every example of positive behaviour that we wish to encourage. Our central principle is respect and the concept of learning together. It is essential that we develop in children a desire to respect themselves and others. By focusing on the principle of respect rather than specific behaviours, we help and support children to apply the principle to any context, both in school and beyond.
The Western Learning Code
- We show respect for ourselves and for others, including children, staff and visitors
- We work hard and support each other to learn together
- We show respect for our school property and equipment
At the beginning of the year, each class teacher will discuss and agree with pupils the observable behaviours which reflect the Learning Code in their classroom (see appendix A). This ensures that the code is age-appropriate. Each classroom will have a prominent display area at the front of the class devoted to exemplifying the agreed behaviours. At the beginning of each year, children and the class teacher(s) will sign the Western Learning Code and this will be displayed in the classroom. A copy of the code, signed by every child in the class, will be sent home to parents.
Teachers will return to and reinforce the agreed behaviours on a regular basis, both informally in everyday classroom practice, but also formally at the beginning of each half-term.
We have agreed a routine for movement round school at the beginning and end of the day and at playtimes and lunchtime.
Class teachers have a responsibility to ensure that routines in classrooms give a structure to activities, are clear to children and that they are consistently applied.
Class teachers should ensure they have a clearly established routine for:
- distributing and collecting resources
- children moving around the room
- understanding the levels of noise expected for different activities
- moving from one activity to another
- what to do when they are stuck, before asking an adult for help
- showing they need help from an adult
- getting an adult’s attention
- getting work marked
- what to do if they have finished an activity and have time to spare
- asking to leave the classroom
- clearing up
We aim to be clear and explicit as to why we are rewarding children. Effective praise helps the child appreciate how their achievement is helped by their own behaviour. It acknowledges the child’s choice, focuses attention on appropriate behaviour and fosters intrinsic motivation.
We recognise the need to be consistent when rewarding children, to avoid giving them confused messages.
We have a hierarchy of rewards which operate within our “Good to be Green” system:
- A smile or thumbs up signal
- A quiet word of praise
- Praise in front of others
- A Good to be Green marble in the jar
- A “caught in the act” GTBG sticker
- A Good to be Green postcard from the teacher
- A visit to the headteacher
- Nomination in the Good to be Green book and a GTBG certificate in assembly
A full week of green on the class behaviour chart results in a raffle ticket for the weekly whole school raffle. The winning ticket gives the ticketholder the chance to choose a reward for all children in the class who have stayed “on green” for the week. The rewards include:
- Exclusive use of the MUGA for one week at morning playtime;
The chance to go first for lunch every day for one week.
In addition, the children who have remained on green for the whole half term will receive a Good to be Green“Champion” certificate.
When a class fills their marble jar, they may choose from a range of rewards. These include things like:
- Extra 5 minutes playtime in the afternoon for one week;
- Non-uniform for a day.
Alternatively, the class may negotiate their own reasonable reward in conjunction with their class teacher. Each week, the child who has collected the most marbles wins a "Marble Master" certificate.
We choose to use the term “consequences” rather than sanctions. Consequences are linked to the language of choice and signal that the child is making an inappropriate choice about his/her behaviour.
As with rewards, we recognise the need to be consistent when rewarding children to avoid giving them mixed messages. We also believe that when consequences are used fairly, consistently and dispassionately, positive relationships between adults and children are maintained.
There is a clear hierarchy of negative consequences.
- A warning look
- A quiet, private reminder about behaviour
- A reminder of positive behaviour in front of the class
- Warning card displayed on behaviour chart
- Loss of 15 minutes of Western University time
- Class teacher speaks to parents at the end of the day
- Red consequences card displayed on behaviour chart
- Visit to key stage leader to remind about positive behaviour
- Visit to headteacher
- Headteacher invites parents into school to discuss behaviour and puts an individual behaviour plan in place.
The consequences are clearly linked to the “Good to be Green” behaviour chart which is used in every classroom. Children start every day on “green,” indicating that every day is a fresh start. If a child moves to an amber warning card on their chart, they can remedy this by displaying positive behaviour and return to the green card. If a child moves to a red consequence card, they remain on red for the remainder of the day.
The class teacher records all incidences of amber or red cards and monitors this on a fortnightly basis. Any child receiving more than 5 red cards in this period is referred by the class teacher to the headteacher. This can result in an individual behaviour chart to monitor behaviour on an hourly basis and this is reported on a daily basis to parents.
The ultimate consequence of inappropriate behaviour is exclusion. In exceptional circumstances, internal exclusion may be considered where the child is educated in school, but separated from other children. Where this approach is applied, parents will be notified.
Formal exclusion is the last resort and is applied in line with DFE guidelines. Where a child is excluded on a fixed term basis, parents are contacted to discuss the reasons for exclusion and a return to school interview is conducted by the headteacher with parents and the pupil.
Lunchtimes and playtimes
We expect the children to follow our agreed school rules at all times, including lunch times.
The behaviour for learning policy is shared with all playground supervisors. Playground supervisors, along with school buddies, should encourage children to behave appropriately, in line with the Western learning Code. Where children choose to behave inappropriately at lunchtime or playtime, the following course of action is applied:
- Adult reminds the child of the appropriate behaviour/code of respect
- Adult warns the child that the next step is a time out
- Adult implements a 5 minute time out
- If child fails to respond and modify behaviour, adult notifies the class teacher at the end of lunch
- Adult contacts a senior member of staff to speak to the child
- Senior member of staff contacts the headteacher to speak to the child
At all times, a calm, dispassionate approach should be maintained.
The class teacher may make a choice about whether the behaviour warrants a consequence on the Good to be Green behaviour chart.
Support for pupils
It may be necessary to negotiate additional support where children consistently display inappropriate behaviour. This will be done in collaboration with the SENCO, headteacher and class teacher. This may lead to referral to the Education Psychologist and the involvement of other agencies such as BASS or CAMHS.
Support for staff
Where a member of staff requires support to implement the behaviour for learning policy, or to address particularly challenging behaviour, an initial discussion will take place with the headteacher to determine the most appropriate support. This may involve support from a senior member of staff in school or may involve support from external agencies such as the Local Authority PSHCE team or the behaviour support team. A summary of the behaviour for learning policy is provided in the guidance pack for visiting teachers.
Support for parents
Where parents request support to deal with inappropriate behaviour at home, school may suggest specific strategies, may refer parents to a specific support programme (for example PPP) and in some cases, may feel it is appropriate to complete the Early Help Assessment with parents to access additional support services.
Each class teacher is provided with the “Good to be Green” resources required to implement the policy, including:
- Wall chart
- Record sheet
- Warning log
- Good to be Green stamper for use with individual behaviour
- Marbles and a marble jar
Additional Good to be Green materials can be provided on request.
The SEALS materials are used in school and provide structured opportunities for children to reflect on their behaviour choices.
Sharing the Behaviour for Learning Policy with children
- Share the Western Learning Code with the children. Ask the class to remind each other of the rights and responsibilities children and adults have in the classroom.
- Invite the class to describe the behaviour you/they want to see for each element of the code. For example: ‘How would I know if you were showing respect towards others?; What would I see/hear?’ Stress the aspect of behaviour for learning.
- Invite suggestions from the class on how they might learn this behaviour (role plays, discussions in circle time etc)
- Talk the children through the “Good to be Green” behaviour chart/cards/display.
- Explain the positive consequences if the children make positive behaviour choices, highlighting the range of rewards for the individual and for the class as a whole. Discuss ideas for the Friday raffle – what possible reward would be a good incentive?
- Explain the negative consequences if the children do not make the correct behaviour for learning choices.
- Ask the whole class to sign up to the Western Learning Code.
- Discuss how the Code of Respect applies to lunchtimes and playtimes. Invite the class to describe the behaviour you/they want to see for each element of the code at lunchtimes.
- Explain the “warning slips” and the role of the Lunchtime supervisor and link lunchtime behaviour to the classroom based consequences.
- Pass the signed code to the office who will provide a letter about behaviour and a copy of the signed Learning Code for each child to take home. The office will laminate your original copy and pass it back to you.
- Add the laminated signed Learning Code to the class Good to be Green display.
This process should be undertaken by the class teacher on the first day of each academic year and reinforced at the beginning of each half term.
The class teacher may wish to enhance the class display with photographs to visually display the observable behaviours which will reflect the Learning Code.