• AC2.1 Describe the benefits of encouraging and rewarding positive behaviour
It is important that the adult influences of the classroom recognise and praise the positive behaviour of individual pupils – especially those who struggle to maintain good behaviour and tend to be told off more than others. It is also essential to praise constant good behaviour (from pupils who never misbehave) to avoid the development inappropriate behaviour. Children respond to all kinds of positive praise. In my setting, the class teacher and LSA’s often add positive words like ‘fantastic’, ‘brilliant’ or ‘well done’ when acknowledging their input towards the class. We also use house tokens to reward good behaviour. Giving the pupils a physical reward makes them feel that the efforts they make in their positive behaviour is very appreciated. The more we praise good behaviour of individuals, the more likely the pupil is to continue the good behaviour and maintain a positive attitude towards school and learning.
• AC1.1 Describe what each policy/procedure says, and what its purpose is
The primary school in which I work has many policies and procedures in place to ensure that all school rules are adhered to, at all times, by all staff and pupils. It is the duty of the schools staff (teachers, LSA’s etc.) to ensure that the pupils follow the school rules, and that we ourselves are always knowledgeable about existing and new policies and procedures, and enforce them where necessary. A hard copy of the schools policies and procedures must be available for all staff members and visitors to the organisation to read. The school’s behaviour policy is very important and must be understood by all teachers and LSA’s, to ensure that the pupils are given fair, consistent guidelines on behaviour.
Policies and procedures are enforced to ensure that the pupils understand what is expected of them and the boundaries and restrictions to help them manage their behaviour. Enforcing such policies and procedures from an early age will help the children develop and understanding of how to behave, not just at school, but throughout day-to day life. If the schools behaviour policy is understood and practiced by adults on a daily basis, the children will follow their example by displaying good behaviour, and should carry the skills of respect and good behaviour through to adulthood.
In the contents of the behaviour policy of the school I attend, it states the sanctions to be followed where the school rules are broken. On the first and second occasion the pupil is given a warning. On the third occasion the pupil is given a yellow card. On the fourth occasion the pupil has to miss part of the next available playtime (5 minutes in which to reflect on their behaviour and how they can make it better – should the pupils behaviour improve after the third warning, the yellow card is to be disregarded). If poor behaviour persists the pupil’s parents are informed, and an appropriate strategy is to be agreed between the parents and teacher – whilst keeping the head teacher informed. Should the pupil continue to show bad or inappropriate behaviour, the pupil will be sent to the head teacher, who will then discuss the agreed strategy with parents and the pupil concerned.
The behaviour policy also states that praise and rewards should be regular and consistent. We must offer positive verbal praise when possible. Class rewards will be used in each class to encourage peer reinforcement of appropriate behaviour. The behaviour policy also contains details of the school rules, the ‘VIP awards’, and the ‘star of the week award’. Children with examples of excellent behaviour or exceptional work will be sent to the head teacher for praise.
• AC1.2 Describe the importance of all staff being consistent and fair when applying each policy/procedure.
In my setting, all staff members have read the schools policies and procedures, and are kept up-to-date of any amendments or changes. Staff members are expected to practice these policies and procedures at all times whilst monitoring the behaviour of pupils in all activities. We must report any inappropriate behaviour to the class teacher and take action where appropriate. We must be fair and consistent when applying the school procedures to ensure that the pupils are treated equally. If pupils who behave badly are treated differently, or in their eyes unfairly, they will become confused of their boundaries and unsure of what is expected of them. Treating misbehaving children differently will have a negative impact on future behaviour.
Recently, I witnessed a pupil at my setting using inappropriate language during a music lesson, where the class teacher was not present. I took the pupil to one side and bent to their level. I informed the pupil that the language they had used was both inappropriate and unacceptable. I told the pupil that I would be informing the class teacher of the incident and that should it happen again, I would be sending them straight to the head teacher’s office. Another child had overheard the inappropriate language and copied it. I took the same action with the second child, and then separated them, moving one child to the other side of the classroom. After the music lesson, I informed the class teacher of both incidents, who thanked me for my input and said that the pupils would need to be closely monitored for the rest of the day.
• AC3.2 Describe occasions when behaviour problems have been referred to others. Describe why the behaviour was referred to someone else, and explain why it was referred to that person.
In a recent maths lesson, I was sat with a SENCO pupil offering lesson support. During the lesson the pupil started stabbing a school text book with a pencil. I told the pupil to stop, and informed them that they had caused deliberate damage to school property. I told the pupil that I was giving them their first warning and told them that I hoped it was their last warning.
About 5 minutes later, while the pupil thought I wasn’t looking, they began stabbing the book again. I immediately removed the book from their desk and referred the situation to the class teacher. I informed her that the pupil had already received one warning, and had continued to cause damage. The class teacher was concerned that the pupil had continued to damage the text book even after having a warning. She decided to refer the pupil to the head teacher’s office, to help them understand the consequences of their actions and the repercussions of damaging school property.
During a morning break, I noticed that a child who was normally very sociable was sat on their own. I approached the child and sat next to them. I asked them if they were ok and whether they wanted to join in with the other pupils who were playing, to which they replied no, they wanted to sit alone. I asked if they wanted to sit me with me for a while and then maybe join in with the other children if they felt like it, to which they said yes. I asked them if they were feeling ok, or needed a drink perhaps, but they said no. The pupil sat with me, very quietly, for the whole break. I was concerned as this was a sudden change in behaviour.
After break I approached the class teacher and asked to talk in private. I informed the class teacher that I was concerned about the pupil as they were normally very sociable but today they were very quiet and seemed troubled. The teacher thanked me for my input and informed me that the pupil was experiencing a difficult time at home. The teacher asked me to keep a close eye on the pupil and continue to offer support. The teacher also said that she would discuss the pupil’s change in behaviour with their parents, as the home life was having an effect on their school life.
I referred the above mentioned incidents to the class teacher, as the class teacher has a greater knowledge of the individual pupils and their background. I felt that as a volunteer Learning support assistant I had offered all possible contributions towards the situation. I thought that the situations need to be taken further than my jurisdiction, so referred them to the class teacher. In both cases, the class teacher made a decision to refer the situations even further, to the parents or head teacher. I did not feel that it was appropriate for myself to make such a decision, so referred the situation to my immediate supervisor.