BEHAVIOUR (page under construction)
Behaviour is an important part of the overall curriculum at Fir Ends - by actively treating behaviour as a part of the learning we deliver by modelling, teaching and promoting good behaviour we create a purposeful and calm environment for learning in which children understand our expectations - and the consequences of not meeting them.
Over the autumn and spring of 2022-23 we took part in the DfE’s Behaviour Hubs programme. Drawing upon opportunities to travel to schools in Wigan, Everton and Northumberland to observe how they managed behaviour in their settings, we were able to develop our own approach based on good practice. This led to a number of changes in our management of behaviour, with a focus on positive reinforcement.
We introduced a simple five-point code of conduct that can cover every eventuality and fits under the umbrella of our aim for all pupils to be the BEST they can BE.
FIR ENDS PUPILS should be... respectful - ready - focused - sensible & safe - caring
We now use a system called Trackit Lights, which is a digital record of all behaviour - good and bad - to promote these values throughout the school day.
Coming soon: summary of behaviour policy 2023.
Rewarding good behaviour
Every positive thing our children do that meets the expectations of our code of conduct can earn them green trackits, which are converted to housepoints – and housepoints can in turn be traded for prizes from the reward shop.
Our four houses, Ramson, Campion, Speedwell and Archangel compete throughout the year to earn the most points overall, and this feeds into many areas of the school year and the weekly praise assembly.
Children also earn certificates and awards at key thresholds with a target of 1000 or more points in a year being the current top accolade.
As trackits create an individualised record, we can further praise pupils in assemblies and through awards for the things we want to promote. We can add specific categories of praise - like good lunchtime behaviour or sportsmanship to support staff in different roles across the school.
Typically, more than 96% of our trackits will be awarded for positive actions.
This is backed up by a clear system of escalating sanctions for the moments when behaviour doesn’t meet our expectations.
Monitoring and moderating unwanted behaviour
Where a pupil's behaviour is below expectations, at every step the aim is to offer them an opportunity to moderate and correct low-level misbehaviour and avoid further sanctions. In doing so, we also have opportunities to discuss and reinforce the expected behaviours. Where appropriate staff will use restorative practice to resolve issues.
For most misbehaviour, the first input will be a gentle reminder of what is expected and an opportunity to improve. This will not be formally recorded and is effectively the pupil's 'first strike'.
Failure to do so runs through the amber-yellow-red trackit lights system, which record a behavioural chronology for every child and incident. Once any of these flags is raised, a permanent record of the behaviour is created, allowing for patterns to be identified and challenged.
- Amber can be considered as a formal step up from a stern look, or 'strike two' - it is a clear statement that inappropriate behaviour has been noted and has to stop, but also an opportunity for the pupil to avoid further sanctions. If the pupil corrects their behaviour, amber trackits will be quickly stepped down to recognise this.
- Yellow is triggered when an amber warning has been ignored, or behaviour is a repeat of something that the pupil has previously been sanctioned for. Behaviour may go straight to yellow if the initial behaviour is considered more serious; for example unthinking rudeness, lashing out in frustration but without intent, or accidental damage that could have been avoided. Misconduct that is flagged as yellow will typically involve sanctions that offer opportunities for the pupil(s) to consider their behaviour, make amends or be personally inconvenienced. This can include report cards, 'community service' or a period of isolation. Yellow trackits in some categories will send automated alerts to key staff.
- Red is reserved for serious misconduct or repeated low-level misconduct. This includes repeated and deliberate disregard of instructions/reminders of expectations and anything that poses a danger to self or others, bullying or involves damage to property. Most serious incidents will be moved straight to red - e.g bullying. At this point, more serious sanctions are inevitable and parents will be contacted in the majority of incidents, after they have been investigated. All Red trackits send alerts to key staff to assist with this process. Sanctions for red incidents may include extended periods on report, loss of free-time, isolation from peers, disqualification from events and, in the most serious cases, parental contracts and/or exclusion.
More serious incidents are fast-tracked to the most relevant colour of trackit.
Staff in each class will apply their professional judgement when awarding trackits and sanctions. Ultimately, they are a tool to track and manage behaviour, rather than a fixed penalty system. As children grow older they can be expected to take more responsibility for their behaviour, and when they do not they can anticipate that sanctions will be applied more quickly than they may be for the youngest pupils.
Where pupils have specific challenges that may affect their ability to moderate their own behaviour, the approaches used by staff will reflect this, whilst ensuring that there is no doubt that inappropriate behaviour is inappropriate and will attract sanctions.
In the first year of using trackits, we have found that less than 4% of behaviour in a typical day/week will fall into these categories, and only a fraction of those will progress from the initial amber warning to one of the higher tiers.