Our school’s approach to supporting and encouraging positive behaviour is values based, not rules based. We are a Church of England School and our values and vision are rooted in Christian values and the values of other world religions. Our school values are: hope, friendship, courage, justice and forgiveness. Each one of these guides how we approach our relationships with each other. We teach children how to behave and respond to others through discussion and understanding of these values, and explanation of when these values have not been demonstrated.
In the same way that we support children if they have made mistakes in maths, or English, we support children who make mistakes in their behaviour. If behaviour has not been positive, we explain to a child why, and support them in understanding a better way to approach issues.
We follow the Cambridgeshire STEPS therapeutic approach to understanding and managing behaviour and ensuring therapeutically healthy practice. We understand that difficult behaviour steps from a child dealing with difficult feelings, so we aim to teach children how to manage their difficult feelings and support them in developing pro-social feelings, which will ultimately result in a change of behaviour to more pro-social behaviour. We recognise that often, this can be a lengthy process.
How to Live Our Values
Our values underpin everything we do. The children worked together to identify what is means to them to show each of the values. We distilled this down into 3 statements for each value that guide the children to behave in ways that will help them lead happy and successful lives.
All adults refer to these values in order that there is a consistent approach to guiding behaviour.
We regularly talk to children, both as a class group, or individually as needed, about the kind of behaviour they should show in lessons, around school and towards others. We explain the impact of negative behaviour on others and ask children to imagine themselves on the receiving end of such behaviour.
Adults in school believe that any child demonstrating negative behaviour can and will change this behaviour with time and support. No child is labelled negatively.
The Restorative Approach
Bourn School follows Restorative practice, which is a set of principles and practice that encourages children to take responsibility for their behaviour by thinking through the causes and consequences, and what they can do to make it better. It does not excuse poor behaviour choices, but aims to stop repeated issues. Consequences of negative behaviour are always accompanied by a discussion with the child about the reason for this.
Where children fall out with each other, we spend time with them individually, and together wherever possible, to listen to what has happened and to help the children find a way forward with each other. Through these discussions, children recognise when they have done the wrong thing, and will willingly apologise to the other child. In these situations, our approach is not to encourage children to 'stay away from each other', but to facilitate the children spending time with each other (initially with an adult) to re-build their relationship.
As a result, we rarely have issues of bullying, because difficulties are identified and addressed at an early stage. We teach children how to recognise bullying behaviour by using the 5Ps.
If the behaviour is Pre-meditated; Personal; Painful (physically or emotionally): involves a Power imbalance; and Persistent, then it can be defined as bullying behaviour.
However, sometimes children do make poor choices and can be unkind to each other. We aim to support children making poor choices in identifying what they have done and the impact of it on others, and steps the must take to change their behaviour. It is when this pattern continues that it is described as bullying. The school's Anti Bullying Policy outlines the approach we take. to changing the behaviour, supporting the victims and investigating behaviour that could be bullying.