The Independent Grammar School: Durham

BEHAVIOUR POLICY

Good behaviour is crucial to the effective operation of a school and IGS: Durham will always aim to encourage the highest standards in every pupil and member of staff.  The school’s values (CREATE) are rooted in being respectful and courteous to others and every child striving to do his or her best at all times. 

It should be noted that IGS: Durham will only have young children in its first few years, so this policy reflects that.  As the school grows, this policy will be expanded appropriately.

Background

Good behaviour will help ensure that every child gets the most out of school life.  It involves:

·         Being respectful to others, especially those who are different from you

·         Being polite and courteous

·         Being kind

·         Respecting teachers and doing what they ask you to do

·         Never bullying others

·         Getting on with your work and not distracting others

·         Doing your very best

·         Playing sensibly

·         Moving about school calmly and never running

Schools are obliged to have a Behaviour Policy and publish it on their website.  The School Board is fully committed to implementing this policy and will review it, along with all policies, on a regular basis, monitoring its effectiveness by talking to pupils, staff and parents and by scrutinising the school’s records of rewards and sanctions. 

In developing this policy, the school has taken account of Department for Education guidance “Behaviour and Discipline in Schools” (updated January 2016).  It is important to clarify the powers teachers have in the area of behaviour management.  The guidance explains the following:

·         Teachers have statutory authority to discipline pupils whose behaviour is unacceptable, who break the school rules or who fail to follow a reasonable instruction (Section 90 and 91 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006).

·         The power also applies to all paid staff (unless the Head Teacher says otherwise) with responsibility for pupils, such as teaching assistants.

·         Teachers can discipline pupils at any time the pupil is in school or elsewhere under the charge of a teacher, including on school visits.

·         Teachers can also discipline pupils in certain circumstances when a pupil’s misbehaviour occurs outside of school.

·         Teachers have a power to impose detention outside school hours. (Note: IGS: Durham will not use detention outside school hours for younger children)

·         Teachers can confiscate pupils’ property.

·         Head Teachers, proprietors and governing bodies must ensure they have a strong behaviour policy to support staff in managing behaviour, including the use of rewards and sanctions.

Encouraging Good Behaviour

A behaviour policy is by no means just about dealing with poor behaviour.  It is at least as important to clarify, model and reward good behaviour so that children may see what is expected of them and that if they behave well, that will be recognised.  Staff at IGS: Durham will regularly explain the school’s values and what good behaviour looks like.  Where possible, teachers will highlight examples of good behaviour more frequently than they will point out poor behaviour.  A system of merits will be used and children’s progress will lead to rewards.  

·         50 merits will gain a Bronze Award,

·         100 merits a Silver Award,

·         150 merits a Gold Award and

·         200 merits a Principal’s Award. 

These awards will be made in school assemblies, and parents will be informed. 

Merits will be given for:

·         very good work, taking into account the child’s ability and previous attainment

·         acts of kindness to other children

·         examples of courtesy and politeness

·         other behaviour which reflects the school’s ethos and values 

Staff will encourage positive behaviour through play and learning activities (circle time/stories/role-play/puppets).

Assemblies will regularly focus on highlighting and promoting good behaviour.  PSHE lessons likewise will seek to clarify the good and respectful behaviours which emanate from British Values.

Where possible, assembly topics will be colour coded to enable parents and others to see where key issues, including British Values, are being addressed.

Classroom management is key to encouraging good behaviour.  Teachers at IGS: Durham take responsibility for the tidiness and cleanliness of their own rooms (aided, where appropriate, by cleaning staff) and for lively wall displays; this will encourage a welcoming, positive learning environment in which poor behaviour is less likely.

The number one priority for the school is the quality of teaching.  Where lessons are well planned and excellently delivered, children are more likely to be wholly engaged in enjoyable and challenging learning and less likely to be distracted or to misbehave.  The school’s policy is to actively help teachers to regularly improve their teaching (including behaviour management) through training and sharing good practice, both within and outside school. 

Dealing with Poor Behaviour

From time to time, some children will not behave as well as they might.  A system of sanctions will be used and applied consistently and fairly. 

Firm handling of poor behaviour by the teacher will in most cases resolve the situation, and it is usually his or her judgement which will determine how that might best be done in the circumstances.  Clear and understood consequences, however, are important and the following will be applied:

·         Most poor behaviour (e.g. distracting others in class) will be dealt with by the teacher at the time

·         Persistent poor behaviour will result in the child missing part of a playtime

·         If that fails to improve behaviour, the child will be kept in for a longer period, usually at lunchtime, and supervised.  (In such circumstances the child must be given the opportunity to eat and drink and visit the toilet etc.)

·         If further action is needed, it might be appropriate to deprive the child of some other privilege (e.g. a games lesson)

·         The next course of action will be to refer the matter to the Head of School (or if appropriate the Executive Principal) who will admonish the child appropriately.

·         If that fails to bring about an improvement the child’s parents or carers will be invited in to school to speak to the teacher

·         If at any time staff believe there are grounds to believe there are concerns about the child’s welfare, this should be reported to the Designated Person for Safeguarding.  In particular, staff must be vigilant and aware of signs of abuse (see Safeguarding Policy).  They should also consider whether continuing disruptive behaviour might be the result of unmet educational or other needs. At this point, the school should consider whether a multi-agency assessment is necessary.

·         At all times, allowances will be made for a child who has special needs and the sanctions adapted accordingly

·         In extreme cases fixed-term exclusion may be considered.  Permanent exclusion is a final resort but the school will seek to work with parents to avoid this if at all possible.  Exclusion of any kind is covered in the school’s Exclusion Policy.

Although teachers are authorised to use reasonable physical force in certain limited circumstances, staff will seek to avoid any kind of physical contact which might be construed as inappropriate.

Behaviours meriting both rewards and sanctions will be displayed in the classroom and teachers will regularly remind children of them.  It is vital that both rewards and sanctions are applied with absolute consistency, so that children understand that good behaviour will always be recognised and poor behaviour will always be punished.

Note: the school's Use of Reasonable Force Policy sets out our approach to using force which, although rare, may occasionally be necessary.

A Useful Checklist

The Department for Education recommend the checklist produced by Charlie Taylor, a government adviser on behaviour management.  This is helpful, supports our stance on behaviour, and staff, especially Heads of School, will be trained in its use.  (Note: Given the ages of pupils at IGSD in its first few years and its premises, some of these are not feasible, or not relevant, at the moment but will come into play in later years.)

Key principles for Heads to help improve school behaviour

Policy

·         Ensure absolute clarity about the expected standard of pupils’ behaviour.

·         Ensure that behaviour policy is clearly understood by all staff, parents and pupils.

·         Display school rules clearly in classes and around the building. Staff and pupils should know what they are.

·         Display the tariff of sanctions and rewards in each class.

·         Have a system in place for ensuring that children never miss out on sanctions or rewards.

Leadership

 ·         Model the behaviour you want to see from your staff.

Building

·         Visit the lunch hall and playground, and be around at the beginning and the end of the school day.

·         Ensure that other Senior Leadership Team members are a visible presence around the school.

·         Check that pupils come in from the playground and move around the school in an orderly manner.

·         Check up on behaviour outside the school.

·         Check the building is clean and well-maintained.

Staff

·         Know the names of all staff.

·         Praise the good performance of staff.

·         Take action to deal with poor teaching or staff who fail to follow the behaviour policy.

Children

·         Praise good behaviour.

·         Celebrate successes.

Teaching

·         Monitor the amount of praise, rewards and punishments given by individual staff.

·         Ensure that staff praise good behaviour and work.

·         Ensure that staff understand special needs of pupils.

Individual pupils

·         Have clear plans for pupils likely to misbehave and ensure staff are aware of them.

·         Put in place suitable support for pupils with behavioural difficulties.

Parents

·         Build positive relationships with the parents of pupils with behaviour difficulties.

 

 

This policy should be read in conjunction with the school’s Safeguarding Policy,  Anti-Bullying Policy and Use of Reasonable Force Policy.  The school recognises its duties under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments for children with disabilities.

This policy was developed in January 2017 and will be reviewed annually.