It should be made clear at the start of this policy that many pupils who attend The Yellow House come here as a result of behaviours in previous schools which have been totally unacceptable and unmanageable, resulting often in exclusion and always in an awareness that the child is unable to cope in a large mainstream environment.
We accept pupils knowing that their behaviours and attitudes have been unacceptable in other settings and therefore a large percentage of the work done at the Yellow House is focussed on addressing behaviour patterns and providing an environment which will support each child through a time of change and readjustment.
Regardless of previous problems, all pupils at The Yellow House are expected to behave in a responsible manner to themselves, to other pupils and to adults, showing care, consideration, courtesy and respect for other people at all times.
Everyone is entitled to be happy and feel secure at The Yellow House.
To encourage pupils to become responsible and caring members of the community by developing and making clear boundaries of acceptable behaviour.
To encourage increasing independence and self discipline so that each pupil is taught to accept responsibility for their own behaviour.
To make boundaries of acceptable behaviour clear and to ensure safety.
To set a good example at adult level and raise awareness about appropriate behaviour.
To have a consistent approach to behaviour with parental co-operation and involvement.
To help pupils, staff and parents have a sense of direction and a feeling of common purpose.
To ensure that everyone connected with the well being of The Yellow House is familiar with this policy (i.e. pupils, staff, and parents. L.E.A.) and therefore prevent unacceptable behaviour.
To develop trusting relationships at every level throughout the school, encouraging a calm, purposeful and happy atmosphere.
To develop and encourage mutual respect and foster positive caring attitudes towards everyone where achievements at all levels are acknowledged and valued.
All of the activities occurring within The Yellow House contribute to achieving positive attitudes towards behaviour i.e.
- Pupil involvement in the learning process
- Opportunities for taking initiative
- Opportunities for accepting responsibility
- Praise for achievements
- Intellectual challenge
- High pupil expectation
- A well considered and appropriate curriculum
- Experienced staff with high pupil management skills
Pupils, staff and parents all have responsibilities to ensure positive behaviour during school time and during school activities which may take place away from the school premises.
Pupils Responsibilities are as follows:
To work to the best of their abilities and allow others to do the same.
To treat others with respect
To listen to and respond positively to the staff.
To take care of property and the environment in and out of school.
To co-operate with other children and adults.
To work towards independence and self discipline.
To be aware of and abide by school rules and expectations.
Staff Responsibilities are:
To treat all pupils fairly and with respect.
To raise children’s self esteem
To provide a challenging and interesting
To create a safe and pleasant environment, physically and emotionally.
To use rules and sanctions clearly and consistently.
To be a good role model.
To be aware of each pupils individual needs
To form a good relationship with parents so that all pupils can see that the key adults share a common aim.
To offer a framework for social education.
To make pupils aware of appropriate behaviour in all situations.
To encourage independence and self-discipline.
The Parents Responsibilities are;
To make their child aware of appropriate behaviour in all situations.
To encourage independence and self-discipline.
To show an interest in all that their child does in school.
To foster good relationships with the school.
To support the school in the implementation of this policy.
To be aware of the school rules and expectations.
To offer a framework for social education.
Pupils attending The Yellow House may be due to the result of a history of what is usually termed “Unacceptable Behaviour”
This tends to fall into two categories -
- Anti-social behaviour, shown in the classroom, and more often during the unstructured times at break and lunch.
- Lack of motivation and achievement in the classroom situation.
Sometimes these categories overlap and can be a result of external social factors, emotional and cognitive developmental factors or specific diagnosed conditions. E.g. ADHD, autistic spectrum disorders etc.
When pupils come to The Yellow House every effort is made to reduce the stresses and trigger points which may have previously caused the pupil to react badly at previous schools.
The individual programmes set up for each pupil take into account their learning styles, fears, phobias and obsessions, group size and peer relationships and many other factors specific only to the individual.
By providing an educational and social learning environment which is void of these triggers, each pupil has an environment in which to make positive progress at whatever pace they are able.
Of course at The Yellow House we still have high expectations of the behaviour of our pupils and stress that should they not be able to cope with the way we expect them to behave, and then The Yellow House is not the right learning environment for them.
Pupils attend The Yellow House on their wish only. They are free to leave at any time, and great emphasis is placed on each individual taking responsibility for this decision.
This in turn means that they must take full responsibility for their own attitude and behaviour and recognise that negative behaviour is not an option at The Yellow House.
It is important that pupils, parents and staff are aware of what constitutes poor behaviour, as behaviour patterns cannot be changed unless they are recognised. Often a pupil needs to be told specifically what they are doing and the effect that it is having on others. For some pupils this is a very difficult concept, particularly when a pupil falls into a particular category e.g. Autistic spectrum.
It should be noted that many conditions may make a pupils behaviour appear irrational, anti-social and negative. This should be taken into account when assessing and analysing incidents which may occur. Pupils should also be aware of the specific ways and needs of their peers.
Staff at The Yellow House are very experienced in working with pupils with specific emotional and behavioural difficulties and employ numerous strategies to maintain a calm and productive environment.
Low Level Interruptions
These may take the form of:-
- Persistent chattering
- Strange sounds / noises
- Moving around the room
- Persistent lack of attention
- Continually dropping things / fidgeting with things
High Level Interruptions
These may take the form of:-
· Mental and physical abuse to another child or adult
- Extreme foul language to another child or adult
- Outbursts of physical aggression towards people or property
- Dangerous acts, putting themselves and others at risk of harm
Behaviour classed as low level interruptions are likely to be displayed by pupils in The Yellow House more as a consequence of their particular diagnosed condition rather than pure “bad behaviour”. These behaviours become the focus for individual targets for each pupil and are monitored continuously.
Strategies to reduce the displayed behaviours are discussed between staff and pupils as part of The Yellow House program.
Success in managing to reduce behaviour (and language) difficulties is rewarded by additional hours spent at The Yellow House, and greater access to activities taking place off site e.g. swimming, fishing, and bowling.
All behaviours, attitudes and ability to work are logged in each pupils file giving an on going account of their progress and behaviour at The Yellow House.
A behaviour checklist is completed for each pupil at the end of every term. This is part of the pupil’s termly progress report. Copies of this are kept in the pupils file and a copy will be sent to appropriate professionals. Pupils and parents are most welcome to meet with staff who will go through the checklist and clarify its content.
Staff will investigate all incidents of anti–social behaviour thoroughly and act appropriately.
Name calling of whatever nature is taken seriously, especially if it is repetitive, as this constitutes mental abuse.
If a pupil is unhappy or has been involved in an anti–social behavioural incident, they must be encouraged to inform a member of staff who will assess the situation and assist in the problem solving.
Rewards and Sanctions
Acceptable conduct and behaviours are discussed between staff and pupils as an ongoing process in The Yellow House and constant reference is made to pupil progress in these areas on a daily basis.
Pupils who achieve highly are rewarded with additional hours at The Yellow House and access to off site activities which form a broader curriculum.
Pupils who are able to manage their behaviour independently and show greatest responsibility for themselves and others are ultimately those rewarded by trips further afield. E.g.London,Colchesterzoo, etc.
The degree of anti-social behaviour will dictate the response and action taken by staff.
Awareness by staff of pupil’s circumstances and medication is essential.
- A first measure is to allow a pupil space to calm down and gain some self control. This may be done by moving to an empty room or going for a walk down the road.
- When the pupil is calm the incident should be discussed with a member of staff. This should take place as soon as possible and the choice of staff should be left to the pupil to decide who they can talk to best at that particular time.
- Pupils need to be aware of the consequences of their actions on others and to take responsibility for their behaviour.
- An apology to those affected is seen as a positive step.
- A log is made of all behaviours in pupils files.
- Should the behaviour affect others or be directed towards others or be severe for the individual, parents will be contacted as soon as possible to inform them of the incident and possible outcomes. Information should be gathered from parents as to possible root causes of the behaviour which may stem from social or medical disturbances.
- Should the negative behaviour be repeated at any time a plan of action will be discussed between pupil, parents and staff. This will then be included in the individuals Yellow House programme.
- Physical aggression, fighting, intentional damaging of property (and damage through lack of self control), will result in an immediate fixed term exclusion.
- Repeated lack of self control and lack of awareness of the effect of anti-social behaviours may indicate that the pupil is too emotionally and cognitively immature to benefit from the programmes in place at The Yellow House. This will result in one of two actions:
a) Time at The Yellow House will be reduced in an attempt to alleviate some of the pressures and allow for a slower integration.
b) The placement at The Yellow House will be terminated.
Bullying, an emotive term, can and does occur in varying degrees in all walks of life.
Incidents of this kind are always taken seriously and addressed immediately.
Bullying can be defined as the strong attacking the weak. It does not refer to physical strength. It can be physical or verbal.
Many of our pupils have been involved in incidents of bullying in the past, either as a victim or a perpetrator or sometimes both.
All the staff are very watchful of this kind of behaviour. Strategies are put in place to prevent bullying much as possible.
In any bullying incident parents will be contacted and made aware of the situation. Every step will be taken to stop any form of bullying and parental support is important in alleviating the problem.
Pupils at The Yellow House have often experienced exclusion from previous schools.
We do not follow the same criteria for exclusion as mainstream schools and hence each individual is working towards controlling bad behaviour and negative attitudes. Reasons for exclusion have to be extremely severe and will only be used if a pupil does not respond to any of the strategies used, persistently displays negative attitudes without reflection or remorse, and affects the well being of other pupils.
On rare occasions a pupil may get sent home for the remainder of the day, if their behaviour has spiralled out of their control and strategies put in place by staff have not helped enough.
Ongoing extreme behaviour can often be the result of missing medication.
Parents/carers are always contacted prior to their child being sent home and an in depth discussion will take place as to the behaviour and reasons behind the behaviour.
It is expected, given the nature of the pupils placed at The Yellow House that parents will be available to respond by phone at any time during the school day, and are able to make arrangements to receive their child back home should the situation arise.