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Our School Story:
The Wales School

The Wales School had been managing behaviour in a traditional and rigid way. The approach was inconsistent and had too much focus on negative behaviour. The reward system was not effective, and students were not feeling respected, listened to or valued. Teachers were calling out for clarity and support in dealing with behaviour. As the new head teacher put it when she joined in August 2023 “I am not feeling the love”. It was time to try and new tactic.

 

The Wales School wanted to improve its culture and make school a more positive and happier place for students and teachers. Student wellbeing, engagement and behaviour needed to improve, and staff-student relationships needed to be strengthened.

 

An integral step on the Wales School’s journey was introducing its weekly book club. Staff focussed on ‘When the Adults Change…’ and ‘After the Adults Change…’. Drawing inspiration from the books, the school re-wrote its Behaviour for Learning Policy. Using the books as their inspiration they were able to incorporate strategies and techniques to promote positive behavioural changes. Teachers now meet and greet their students at the door each morning and assemblies and staff training sessions have incorporated elements from the book, ensuring that the whole school community is aligned in creating a positive and nurturing environment for its students. Positive Noticing Day has been a great success, celebrating students’ and teachers’ positive behaviours and efforts. Recognition boards are in place and help to foster a sense of pride and motivation among students, by acknowledging those who demonstrate positive behaviour consistently. There is now a culture of positivity and growth at the school, amongst both the staff and students!

 

Changing a school culture that was quite deep-rooted in traditional disciplinary approaches was a challenge, however, the book group really helped to drive things forward by shifting mindsets and overcoming resistance. The Wales School is now firmly rooted in Paul Dix’s ideas, and his concepts have become integral to the school’s culture.

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