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Our School Story:

Our Lady & St. Gerard's R.C. Primary School

Before embracing relational practice, sanctions were inconsistent and ineffective. Detentions were having little impact and the same children were in detention time after time for the same thing, sitting in silence ‘reflecting’ on their actions. Behaviour logs were on paper and were not well recorded or analysed.

 

The new Leadership Team at the school wanted to do things differently. After reading ‘When The Adults Change…’ they were inspired and were determined to make it happen for the children at Our Lady and St Gerards. They accessed some trauma-informed training to help support some post-looked-after children. This helped them to think about a new approach.

 

A new behaviour policy was introduced in September 2021, the first full year of school for children after Covid disruption. The policy and rationale were presented to staff, and SLT stepped up and modelled the new approaches each day. Whilst it wasn’t an instant transformation, the tenacity of SLT and the buy-in of the majority of staff once they could see the positive impacts, meant that the relational approach was able to be embedded into the school. 

 

A new reward system was introduced, with weekly rewards linked to Classdojo so that positive behaviour could be shared with adults at home. Scripts were introduced and used to improve consistency in approach and staff learnt to model calm responses to difficult behaviours. Staff are trauma-informed and aware of theories behind behaviour and the restorative approaches to use to help their learners to recognise their own emotions and triggers and to regulate. Positive praise is used in abundance and reminders are issued in a consistent way. Whilst this is time-consuming, it is working!

 

There is still some room to go to get all staff fully on board. However, the school is really getting there. During recruitment of new staff the approach is stated clearly so that potential candidates can see if the school is right for them. Patterns in behaviour are analysed and Charter Support Plans are used when behaviour is a concern. The approach is linked to and led by the school’s strong Catholic values, making it unique and appropriate to the setting.

 

At the last Ofsted inspection pupils were proud to tell inspectors about the school’s behaviour charter, which they recited with confidence.

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