Promoting the Positive
A week or so ago, I worked with a secondary colleague from within our Multi-Academy Trust. He is an Assistant Head who has responsibility for behaviour (like me) in his school. We were tasked with creating a behaviour audit that could be used to audit a school in order to pinpoint where they may need extra support. As it stands, once it was finished, we realised that this document could be used as a self-assessment tool for schools to audit themselves too. It basically has several areas, with questions within each area. The key areas are:
- How was the school behaviour policy developed?
- Understanding behaviour
- Whole school approach
- Setting and implementing standards of behaviour
- Promoting positive behaviour
- Responding to negative behaviour
- Classroom behaviour
- Behaviour around the school
- Paperwork and guidance
- Analysis of behaviour
We found a copy of an audit from somewhere and used the headings from it, and added some of our own to structure the document. We then added the questions etc. within the key areas. One of the questions got me thinking – Is there a plan for promoting positive behaviour in the school? This is different to a behaviour policy which outlines the crux of the rewards systems etc. We have that. A good one in fact as it played a big part of our school going from special measures to outstanding in less than two years. But… we certainly don’t have a plan that is specifically aimed at promoting the postive in our school.
As a behaviour lead for our school, a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) and the cluster lead for behaviour in our part of the trust (about 7 schools), I spend a lot of time doing staff training and supporting staff in schools (as well as teaching!) and I have often spoken about the very things in previous posts from this blog. But the question in that audit about having a specific plan for promoting positive behaviour stumped me. We… just do not. And we need to.
We are a large primary school of nearly 600 children and 18 classes in KS1 and 2 as well as a few separate classes for FS1 and FS2. I have approached our year group leaders and they have agreed to form a working party that I will initially head, and then simply hand over to them. This working party will meet once per half term and simply discuss things that they think that they can all reasonably do, as middle leaders, to promote the positive in our school, not only for themselves, but the staff in their year groups (teachers and TAs). I don’t know how this will go yet but I can envisage basic things like:
- This 1/2 term, I’m going to make sure that me and my staff greet the children at the door every single day.
- This 1/2 term, I’m going to make sure that we send at least one positive text out each week to a child in our classes.
- This 1/2 term, I’m going to make sure that we speak to at least one parent, even briefly, at the door each day.
They will meet 1/2 termly and feedback on what has worked and what has not, set new things to work on etc etc. All my role will be eventually is to feedback in our SLT meetings.
Like I said, I have no idea how effective this will be yet but it will be driven not from a senior leader level, but from a middle leader level and I’ve got to say, I’m excited by this. I will definitely post regular updates about this from September onwards. I think that the middle leaders in our school are fantastic and this will really help them to have that required impact on other members of staff which in turn, will benefit the children in our school. If this works, my plan will be to try and replicate this in some of our other trust schools to help more children. Fingers crossed!
*If anyone wants me to share a copy of the behaviour audit, get in touch with my via email or connect with me on Twitter at @pruman21*