I recently asked Paul Dix http://www.pivotaleducation.com/ to do a review of our behaviour policy (he has kindly undertaken this free of charge) Paul is a highly regarded lead trainer who has worked for the SSAT and ASCL. See below. I think this is really useful.
You kindly sent us your behaviour policy to have a look through and feedback to you on.
Our lead trainer, Paul Dix, has done a video message for you and your SLT with his response to the policy.We think this is probably a better way to receive the information than in a written report, but I’d value your opinion on this as it is a new idea! I’ve uploaded to youtube – but the video is unlisted – so nobody will be able to find it unless they have the direct URL link.
The link is:
The Harrow Way Checklist 1st draft!
During the spring term at SLT/Middle Leaders meetings we have discussed checklists. This came about following an event I read about at King Solomon Academy in Paddington. A group of headteachers from outstanding schools, who succeed with some of the most deprived pupils in England were asked to outline what they felt were the key principles that they had followed for improving behaviour in their schools. What soon became clear was how much similarity there was between the approaches that the headteachers had followed. Many of them emphasised the simplicity of their approach, but they agreed that most important of all is consistency.
Where there is inconsistency in schools, children are more likely to push the boundaries. If a pupil thinks there is a chance that the school will forget about the detention he has been given, then he is unlikely to bother to turn up. If he gets away with it, the threat of detention will be no deterrent in the future.
Often it is doing the simple things that can make a difference with behaviour. For example, the teacher who takes the time to meet and greet pupils at the door will find they come in happier and ready to learn.
The ‘Checklist Manifesto’ by Atul Gawande, a surgeon who was concerned that so many patients seemed to suffer serious complications in the days after their operation. He realised that many of these problems were caused by operating staff failing to follow basic procedures. For example, a surgeon failing to wash his hands could cause an infection, or failing to account for all the swabs used in the process could lead to one being left in the patient’s body.
Gawande developed a checklist to be read out before each operation to ensure that all of the simple, but essential procedures were followed. The outcome was a marked decrease in the number of patients becoming seriously ill or dying after surgery.
The schools mentioned above have devised their own checklists and adapted it to help schools to improve behaviour. In meetings we have decided on these priorities for improving behaviour and we have created a bespoke checklist to promote good behaviour. The plan is that teachers run through the checklist first thing in the morning and again after lunch to ensure the correct preparations are in place. It serves as a reminder of what needs to be done and ensures consistency across the school.
Research has shown that teachers who follow these guidelines find there is more consistency of approach to managing behaviour, both in the classroom and around the school. When children know that teachers will stick to the behaviour policy and class routines, they feel safer and happy, and behaviour improves.
The checklist may seem too simple, but managing a school or a class is a complex operation and because of this complexity it is easy to fail to get the simple, but essential, things right. After all, who could have believed patients die in hospitals because staff fail to wash their hands properly?
Nicola is currently looking at rewards and making sure we have greater consistency. Want to improve students behaviour for the long term? Paul Dix, from Pivotal Education, explains why sending positive notes home gives students four levels of reward.