The key principle attitude in promoting good behaviour is for praise to come before reprimand. All establishments of education should aim to create a culture of praise, where positive behaviour benefits all. This is however to be underpinned by clear consequences that should be used consistently should inappropriate behaviour persist.
“A good school behaviour policy, agreed and communicated to all staff, governors, pupils, parents and carers, consistently applied, is the basis of an effective approach to managing behaviour.” (School Governor Update April 2011)
Behaviour, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) is a term for children who demonstrate withdrawn or isolated, nervous, anxious or depressed behaviour as well as those who act out their anger and frustration with very poor social conduct. Support for children and young people experiencing such problems is available through a range of channels.
Schools are equipped with a number of strategies to deal with the pupils who demonstrate challenging behaviour some of which have been funded by WAG using the RAISE grant such as SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning), or funded by the LA in the instance of SAP (Student Assistance Programme).
SAP is an early intervention programme, implemented in secondary and primary schools, which aims to improve attendance, inclusion, behaviour and academic performance, by developing emotional resilience through weekly hour-long confidential support groups.
It works on a support group model, but it is not therapy or treatment, therefore you have the right to remain silent. These are private conversations, unless child abuse or rape issues become evident. The objectives of the sessions are to listen, validate, support and to build an atmosphere of trust.
This is being used by all of the secondary schools and by an increasing number of primary schools across the borough with positive results being reported. A greater number of school based staff, EWS staff and other members of the Schools Department are also being trained in the facilitation of SAP to ensure it continuation.
The Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) aims to support children aged from 3-16 years to develop the personal and social skills of:
• managing their feelings
• social skills.
These interpersonal and intrapersonal skills have been shown to improve learning and promote emotional health and wellbeing, alongside a range of other benefits to pupils, families and schools. SEAL aims to provide an entitlement curriculum to develop social and emotional skills within a structured and progressive framework, offering class-based quality first-teaching to all children from 3-16yrs.
In addition to providing curriculum resources for class-based work, schools have access to sets of materials designed to be used within a small group context, for children who may have additional needs in one or more area of the social and emotional aspects of learning.
During the academic year of 2009-2010 the Pen-Y-Dre cluster of schools took part in the RAISE Program using the SEAL resources to focus on the improvement of emotional wellbeing. By the end of the project all of the schools had firmly embedded the SEAL resources into their curriculum and realised the importance of a whole school approach to maximize its effect on all of the pupils in the school.
Upon valuing the impact of SEAL on behaviour management in the class room a course has been designed by the Inclusion Team to share the good practice and findings from the RAISE project. This is entitled Teaching of the Emotional and Social Aspects of Learning? Why and How? Primary and secondary and will be held at the Orbit Centre on February 29th 2012 for the primary schools and March 28th 2012 for the secondary schools. In light of the minister’s recent speech for the need for more emphasis on behaviour management training for newly qualified teachers we have addressed this by focusing the invitation for this course to them in particular.
This is a system which enables the offender to redress the harm that has been done to a “victim”, and enables all parties with a stake in the outcome to participate fully in the process. This has been used successfully to resolve situations that could otherwise have resulted in exclusion. All of the professionals need to be thoroughly involved in the process and this can only work with the consent of all parties.
What is Mediation?
When you have an argument or fall out with someone there are lots of people who can help you sort it out. It might be a teacher, mum or dad, brother, sister or friends. Sometimes people can sort out arguments by themselves but it can be good to have someone else there to help you.
Mediation is where you get a peer mediator to help. A peer mediator is someone who is your age who has been taught to help people sort out arguments. The mediator helps each person who has fallen out to tell their side of the story and to help get an agreement on how to sort out the problem.
A peer mediator does not take sides, they don’t go and tell everyone else what has been said, in other words they keep what is said private. They don’t tell people what they have to agree to, that’s down to each person.
A peer mediator needs to be:
• A good listener
• Patient with others
• Good at co-operating
• Able to keep things private
• Caring to others
• Sensitive to other’s feelings
When a school has exhausted all of these avenues then it has the opportunity to refer the pupil to the Behaviour Support Team and the Educational Psychologists who are able to work closely with teachers and parents to help children who are having difficulties with learning and general development, emotions and behaviour and making good relationships with other children and with adults. Working together they can produce a pupil friendly IBP(Individual Behaviour Plan) in order to work more closely at improving the particular problem of the individual in question.