Unit 304 Promote children and young people’s positive behaviour The role of a school is multi-faceted. It exists not only to educate, but to guide children’s development into well-adjusted, independent, and successful adults. In order to offer support and time to a class in its entirety, pupil behaviour needs to be managed effectively. Boundaries and rules need to be set for children and a consistent approach applied by all staff. Documented policies and procedures enable all to have a clear understanding of expectations and common goals. There are, however, behavioural or discipline problems that need to be referred to others and all need to be aware of when the situation needs additional assistance and where to obtain this. All staff, from teaching to support staff and lunchtime supervisors, within my setting have sight of the behaviour policy and are expected to adhere to the principles and strategies contained within it. This ensures that all know what is expected from them and children can respond positively.
I believe that children respond well to having clear, consistent, boundaries and guidelines. When met with unclear, or differing rules, they will attempt to test or push the boundaries as they do not have the security of knowing where they stand. This is likely to be most evident with older students. When all staff follow the correct procedures and fairly apply boundaries, the children know what is acceptable and what is not. If children are aware of the scale of rewards and sanctions and the order in which they are applied, it should not matter, who is speaking to them about their behaviour. As a volunteer within the school, I have the same status and authority as contracted teaching staff with regard to behaviour management. I am fortunate to have the full support of the class teacher and this reinforces my confidence in dealing with inappropriate behaviour.
The children can see that there is a “team” approach to behaviour management and that they will be treated in the same manner, regardless of who is with them at the time. . The school works collaboratively with parents by supplying each with a copy of the school promises at the start of the academic year. These are signed by the teacher and the children. The aim of the school is to reward good behaviour in order to develop an ethos of kindness and co-operation. This is certainly true within the class in which I volunteer; however, I am aware that some days can be a battle against poor behaviour and it is a challenge to find positive behaviour to praise, but absolutely essential. A child may become accustomed to only getting attention for bad behaviour, which may serve only to reinforce his actions; especially if it is the only attention that they receive.
The guidelines for the area of school in which I volunteer indicate that a child sit in the “thinking chair,” when they have behaved inappropriately, followed by moving their name if the behaviour continues. Further occurrences would mean the class teacher speaking to the parents. I recently told a child not to swing his p.e bag from his neck and discussed with him the potential dangers of doing so. He continued to display the actions that I had asked him not to and so I used the thinking chair. Further occurrences would have involved moving Julie Gibson10/11/2013
his name and continuing with the set behaviour procedure. Before returning to join the rest of the class, we discussed why he had been on the chair and the potential injuries he could have sustained. In this instance the class teacher also spoke to his parents because of the dangerous nature of his actions and spoke to the whole class about the incident, to reinforce the dangers. The following week, I observed the child warn another, not to put their cord around their neck as “it could hurt.” I praised the child for his actions and explained how much I valued his support. I knew that this particular child liked to be praised in front of his peers and so at a convenient moment, I stopped the class and explained to them that I was awarding him a team point for sensible behaviour in class.
The pride and boost to his self-esteem was clear to see. Applying the same rules and boundaries helps children feel equal, valued and respected. Fairly applied boundaries can also help children become more independent and co-operative. It is important for all pupils to be recognised and rewarded for positive behaviour. As previously stated, children who are more often given attention for poor behaviour, require positive behaviour to be recognised and rewarded when positive behaviour is displayed. When children attempt to gain attention through undesirable behaviour, it is often better to ignore it if possible and give attention to those behaving well. Research and studies developed by B.F Skinner in the 1940’s, suggest that behaviour that gives them recognition or praise is more likely to be repeated. In order to maintain a balance, children need six positive responses for every negative.
If possible, negative behaviour should be ignored and diversion techniques used, to prevent the undesirable behaviour. Boundaries help children feel safe and avoid confusion. By rewarding good behaviour, children experience a boost to their self-esteem, which, ideally creates a self-perpetuating response of good behaviour. Good behaviour creates a positive environment for learning and should maximise performance in the classroom. There is no value in consistently applying rewards and sanctions, if I do not role model the actions that I am actively promoting. Children will take their lead from me and if I am not behaving responsibly or appropriately, they will not take me seriously. I ensure that interactions that I may have with other adults, or children are respectful and give a clear indication of the correct way to behave.
If I make a mistake, I ensure that I apologise and show my actions to rectify as I am aware that negative actions observed will have a resulting, negative influence upon the actions of the children within my class. When giving instructions and guidelines on required behaviour to the class, I use a positive tone and discuss the benefits with the class e.g “why is it better to walk in class.?” Children are likely to give responses regarding tripping and hurting themselves. By using this tactic, the children are setting boundaries collaboratively. When they do not act in the way agreed, they are breaking their own rules, not
Julie Gibson10/11/2013 simply ones enforced by me. When they do behave appropriately, I can highlight this and give praise and recognition. These may be by way of stickers and team points or recommending for a superstar certificate, to be awarded at the end of the week. Whilst all staff should feel confident in dealing fairly and consistently with inappropriate behaviour, there will always be occasions when others need to be involved. If it becomes clear that a situation is getting out of hand and there is possible danger to the staff member, or pupil, assistance should be requested from another staff member. A pupil may begin to behave in an unpredictable way that makes the staff member uncomfortable.
Referral to the SENCO may be required if a child with additional needs has a behavioural problem requiring specialist assistance and additional strategies for use within the classroom. If staff have a problem with a particular child that is proving increasingly difficult to resolve, assistance from senior staff, or the head teacher can be sought. They can assist in referrals to the local authority behaviour unit and educational psychologists, who will make assessments and offer advice, help and support. Clearly when situations concerning behaviour reach a point where external agencies become involved, parents should be fully aware of difficulties and their cooperation sought to enable a combined approach from all sides.
Consistency is key when dealing with behavioural issues. If all staff support each other to deal in a fair manner, applying rules and boundaries equally, children feel safe in the knowledge that rewards and sanctions with be the same, regardless of who is dealing with their behaviour. By actively promoting positive aspects of behaviour and role modelling requirements, children are more likely to repeat appropriate behaviour. When poor behaviour creates a situation where staff or pupils may be endangered, help from others should be sought. Behaviour can be managed when all collaborate to support children to work within boundaries and help them to feel confident in their surroundings. .