Appropriate behaviour for learning is a vital ingredient for academic and personal success. Attending school with the correct attitude will contribute more to an individual’s progress than any other factor. At Seaham we have a highly successful Student Services Team who look after the Pastoral welfare of our students overseeing student attendance and behaviour for learning. We believe that teachers are here to teach and students to learn and ought to respect each other. Consequently our focus is on allowing that learning to take place- we have a Red Card system where students are Red Carded if they are disrupting learning or challenging the authority of our staff. Most incidents of Red Cards are for quite minor actions but we feel that if we act firmly on minor disruption more serious incidences of misbehaviour are rare. As with other schools our behaviour sanctions involve detention (both during and after school), isolation, fixed term exclusion and ultimately permanent exclusion. This is not an exhaustive list but outlines some of the more serious sanctions.
Schools tend to be very good at discipline. One area where schools can be a little weaker is in recognising the good work, effort and attainment of students. Seaham School in recent years has been highly proactive in rewarding students. For example;
- We pay for the Year 11 Prom and Leavers Assembly
- 12 students in Year 9, who meet application criteria go on a Tall Ship for a week
- We have our Annual Awards Evening Dinner
- Each half term we have In it to win It prize draws. We have changed the way we reward students.
- We have an annual Activities Week, which is intended to recognise the whole school’s efforts and hard work by suspending the normal timetable to deliver some fun, team building type activities.
- We have a VIP system allowing those students who collect the most points to get into lunch first
Whilst all of these are successful we are always looking to improve further. The School Council has been working with the Leadership Team to evaluate our rewards system. Beginning January 2014 we have drastically altered our system of rewards. We believe any system needs re-launching every few years. We trialled a new system between January and July 2014, which we have adopted more permanently. Our aims are to;
- Introduce a Family competition
- Recognise and Reward students for positive behaviour, attendance, achievement and participation
- Focus on positive rather than negative
Our new system is based around each student collecting R.A.P.P. Points. Each student is allocated to a Form Group and a Family.
Each student will be given a R.A.P.P. Rating according to how many points they have collected over the year. They will then be graded according to how much Respect they have demonstrated, how they have attended, progressed/achieved and how they have participated in school and community life
Their grading will be one of;
- Requires improvement
This grading will then appear on Reports.
In September 2012 we introduced a new initiative to further develop appropriate Behaviour for Learning at SeahamSchool.
This was the culmination of a review of Behaviour for Learning following the introduction of our new curriculum in September 2011.
Our aims were;
- To establish a better learning environment throughout the whole school.
- Change poor behaviour and encourage good.
- Allow staff time and space to teach, taking disruption out of the classroom.
- Simplify and clarify the behaviour system for staff and students.
- Attempt to eradicate anti-social behaviour, in and out of the classroom.
- Introduce immediate red cards for rudeness, answering back and a direct refusal to complete tasks.
- Reduce the tracking system to one input for minor behaviour concerns followed by the issue of a red card.
It is hoped this new system will change behaviour, not just accommodate or manage it, just as it has in KS3. The new Behaviour Code for September will be based around this initiative and is designed to support staff and promote a positive learning environment where all students have the chance to succeed. It will give teachers more time to teach and let Pupil Services deal with those disrupting learning.
We do not expect staff to issue several warnings, stand children outside of classrooms, relocate and then red card. Red cards will be referred immediately to Pupil Services.
Those students red carded will be subject to the following sanctions;
- Removal from class.
- Parents/carers informed immediately and invited in to school.
- Time in PIPS. (This time will reflect the seriousness of the incident, but a return to lessons will be encouraged only if there is a promise of a marked change of attitude and agreement of that teacher).
- One hour detention (to complete work missed in that lesson).
- ISP (Individual Support Plan), the yellow daily report, to Family Behaviour Manager.
- Relocation is an option to PIPS, but firm rules apply; Only after a red card has been referred to Pupil Services and agreement between the Head of Pupil Services and the Head of Faculty will that student be relocated.
Other sanctions may be applied depending on the nature of the incident.
Red cards will be given for;
- Answering back.
- Refusing to carry out set work.
- Anti- social behaviour, including swearing, poor attitude, preventing others from learning.
- Refusing to hand over personal electronic devices at the first request.
- Classroom disruption.
- Intentional and repeated lateness.
Our basic rules are as follows;
- Be on time to lessons with all of your equipment.
- Enter the room quietly and find your seat.
- Only water allowed in class – no soft drinks.
- Mobile phones and headphones will be confiscated if seen.
- Listen carefully to the teacher in silence and do not answer back.
- Work hard on the tasks given by the teacher.
- Do not disturb other students who are working.
- Do not shout across the classroom and stay in your seat.
- Wear the correct uniform.
- Learn to enjoy your lessons.
Please remember that these are the school rules not an individual member of staff’s.