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Our School Story:
Falconer’s Hill Infant School

Falconer’s Hill was a traditional school in terms of behavioural management, following a disciplinary-based management system. Each classroom had three faces displayed: a smiley green one, an amber neutral one and a red sad face. Children moved their pegs between the faces depending on the behavioural choices that they had made. Bad behaviour resulted in the loss of ‘golden time’ or break times. These methods were starting to lose their impact. The school was seeing more and more children entering with attachment deprivation disorder and complex special needs, and children were increasingly dysregulated. Something needed to change.


The school looked into ‘Attachment Awareness’ as an approach, first studying ‘Inside I am Hurting’ by Louise Bamber and then ‘When the Adults Change Everything Changes’ by Paul Dix. This book was read by every member of staff. The school could see that the approach that they had been using for children with complex needs needed to be rolled out to all children. They could all benefit.


Smiley and sad faces have become a thing of the past, replaced with recognition boards and ‘over and beyond certificates’ to take home. Every classroom now has a recognised ‘safe space’, a cosy area with a worry eater and a box of calm resources. Children are encouraged to use the resources if they feel ‘bad or sad’. The mantra of ‘if you feel bad or sad, to feel well you must tell’ is embedded with the learners right from EYFS upwards and the calm box is in every classroom. This means that as they move up through the school they have the same resources and safe place to help them when they feel dis-regulated.


Sunshine Circles, a nurture-based session, are offered to all children at the school weekly. Originally this was targeted at those with more complex needs but the school could see that the majority of children would actually benefit so rolled it out school-wide. The creative sessions follow a nurture structure, with a welcome, check-in, games that heighten, games that calm, a feed aspect and a closing activity.


The school have been able to support hundreds of children with their kind, calm and relationship-based approach to behaviour. It really shows. They are a leading school in terms of SEND and inclusion, with many children travelling up to 35 miles to attend!

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