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Our School Story:
LaceyField Louth School

When Emma Beveridge arrived at LaceyField (the home of Eastfield Infants’ and Nursery Academy and Lacy Gardens Junior Academy) as Executive Principal, the school had the highest rates of fixed-term exclusion of any school within the trust. The school is located in Louth, a relatively isolated market town, and serves a deprived community with a high level of pupil premium children. The sanction-led approach to managing behaviour was not serving the children, the staff or the community.

 

Emma and the LaceyField team flipped the school from reliance on fixed-term exclusion and lesson removal to trauma-informed, relational practice and calm, consistent adults. The school’s emphasis on a team approach meant that she was able to take all of her colleagues with her.

 

At LaceyField, the children’s excellent conduct is recognised using the Bees. The mission, created by the staff, is to be busy being brilliant. The children are recognised for using their bee-haviours for learning: be brave, be kind, be in charge of me, be grateful, be curious, be on the team. They have Bees for learning, Bees for being brave and Bees for being brilliant. Recognition boards are buzzing with Bees! And there are hives of recognition all over the school. Adults use positive postcards and phone calls home and ‘Bee of the week’ assemblies, complete with hot chocolate, to drive a culture that is dripping with recognition for those children going over and above.

 

Relationships are at the heart of all they do. The school starts each day with a nurture breakfast and the children work in ‘Kingdoms’ which are made up of three classes. The family team of learning means that the children feel safe, supported and connected. Children know that when they make a mistake with their behaviour, they will be supported to understand the mistake, make it right and learn from it through restorative conversation. Children and able to apply and interview to become ‘Happiness Ambassadors’ each year. If successful they wear a golden jumper to enable others to know their role and are trained in how to use the academy’s ‘happy hi-five’, a restorative conversation for children to empower them to solve their own disagreements or problems.

 

The ethos of LaceyField is one of ‘done with’ rather than ‘done to’. They have worked with restorative legend Mark Finnis to shape their restorative practice. The leadership team believe in a ripple effect: if they are well in themselves and act with kindness and love, that will ripple out to the children and their families. It is what they truly believe and why their restorative ethos is so strong.

 

They work on the ‘name it to tame it’ approach to emotional intelligence so that conversations about emotions are explicit. Children are supported to recognise and control their emotions. Self-regulation is taught deliberately and not left to chance. They also use sensory circuits where children engage in physical regulation activities – for example, using a yoga ball to apply pressure to a child’s back (like a massage). They call it ‘Squash’!

 

Emma refers to LaceyField as ‘brick mother’: ‘The culture is the foundation, and curriculum and pedagogy are the bricks and mortar. At LaceyField, we have a positive approach to behaviour relationships and life. We focus on the class as a family team and quality first teaching so that lessons are worth behaving for’.

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