As was mentioned at the start of term, we have been looking at our behaviour management systems and making changes which help us support our pupils so they can flourish.
The vast majority of our pupils behave well at school. However, there are times when they make poor decisions and behave in a way which does not match the high expectations we have of them. At those times we want to ensure they know what they’ve done wrong and are helped to make the right choices in the future.
Specifically, we have focused on helping our pupils with the following:
Showing respect and kindness to others, be that peers or members of staff
Behaving in lessons in a way which enables them and their classmates to learn
Being organised and taking ownership of their organisation
Recognising the importance of punctuality and presentation
Respecting their uniform, our school and resources
The biggest change has been the introduction of 25-minute Level 1 detentions at lunchtime. (We also have detentions after school during the week and on Saturdays.) These usually follow a Verbal Warning which gives pupils the chance to alter their behaviour in the moment.
Level 1 detentions are far and away the most common detention awarded. They are designed to help pupils see that their choices lead to consequences and to give them a chance to reflect and look to act differently in future. Pupils will usually either complete or redo work, or they will write a letter of apology based on a set proforma. This helps them reflect on their actions but also gives pupils the chance to ask for help if they think they need it.
It has been pleasing to see the positive impact this measure has already had on pupils. Staff have reported that pupils are definitely more organised, punctual and better behaved in class. The number of pupils failing to meet prep deadlines has dropped significantly and behaviour out of the classroom has also improved.
Some of you may think back to your own school days and associate detentions with only the worst behaviours. It may seem draconian that pupils receive a sanction for seemingly small things such as not having the right equipment. However, we want our pupils to be organised and to realise that forgetting their PE kit can have an adverse effect on their learning. We want them to care about the little things as these can add up to make a big difference. Level 1 detentions are not designed to be a cruel punishment but a quick intervention to support pupils. The vast majority of pupils who have received a Level 1 detention have improved their organisation or behaviour. The system has also helped flag up those pupils who struggle with particular areas of school life and means we can give them more support.
We are certainly not trying to make our pupils feel worried or to ‘rule by fear’. That would not be aligned to our values. We also recognise that some individuals will need more support than others. After half term we will be meeting with a diverse group of pupils to hear directly from them about the new system and see what could be improved.
At the same time, a working party of teachers is looking at various online behaviour management systems and reflecting on the best way of rewarding pupils when they go beyond our expectations, consistently make the right choices and behave in a way which enriches our school community. We continue to reflect on how to focus on the positive while aiming for pupils to behave appropriately because it is the right thing to do, rather than because of an extrinsic reward.
Like everything we do, we do not see this behaviour management system as the finished article. We are always keen to reflect on how things can be improved. We have had useful conversations with colleagues, pupils and parents and made changes as a result. For example, we have been reminded of the importance of being consistent and understanding in the way we deal with inappropriate behaviour. Please do contact a member of the Senior Leadership Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any comments on the system.
1-to-1 Scheme for pupils currently in Year 4
Cheltenham Science Festival
Year 8 Yearbook
Live Streamed Concerts
We will be holding 2 short live streamed concerts on the first 2 Fridays of next half of term.
FRIDAY 11th JUNE 5.15pm: Year 7 & 8 live streamed concert
This will involve: Year 7 ensemble, Year 7 choir, Year 8 ensemble and Year 8 Choir as well as the Lydian Penguins.
FRIDAY 18th JUNE 5.15pm Year 3-5 live streamed concert
This will involve: Year 3&4 Ensemble, Year 3&4 Choir, Year 5&6 Ensemble, Year 5&6 Choir, Year 5&6 Flute Ensemble and Year 5&6 String Quartet.
For each of these events, performers will remain in school at the end of the day. They will perform in uniform. Pick up will be between 5.45-6.15pm for performers, so that parents are able to watch the live streams before picking up if they would like to.
Links to the concerts will be sent out in the week of the concert to parents. It will be possible to watch the live streams later, if you are not able to watch at the time, by following the same link.
MAGICAL MUSIC LUNCHTIMES Week beginning 21st June
Starting an instrument:
In the week of 21st June we hope to hold an exciting week of lunchtimes listening to music, outside in the wonderful British summer, and a chance for pupils to investigate instruments with a view to starting in September. Further information will come on this, but if your son or daughter is interested in some new musical learning, please follow this link to our instrument sign up form, where you can find more information.
In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as protecting the health of our children who are often seated nearby, parents are asked to consider switching off their car engines whilst waiting to collect their children.
Covid Track & Trace Testing
As is the case in all holidays we need to remind parents of schools’ ongoing responsibilities to the track and trace programme during the Half Term holiday. The guidance from the Department for Education is as follows:
Where a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
For the first 6 days after teaching ends, if a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, the school may be asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school.
School staff are not asked to remain on-call or conduct any contact tracing more than 6 days after the final day of teaching.
If you have a notifiable positive case where symptoms first developed within 48 hours of being in school, e.g. up to and including Sunday 30th May, then you should email the school on email@example.com
The school will use the information available to us and from the affected pupil to notify close contacts who will need to self-isolate in line with Government guidance. If symptoms appear after Sunday 30th May, you do not need to contact the school.
Should you require further information on this or any of the most recent guidance, you can view it by clicking here.
As always, if you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact the school.
Testing for pupils in Year 7 & 8
The government is insistent on the importance of testing and reporting of Lateral Flow Tests in schools and has asked that schools reiterate and reinforce this message to pupils and parents.
Please find below a message the government have asked all schools to share with parents:
The importance of testing and reporting in schools and colleges. Testing continues to play a crucial role, in and out of classrooms, in our fight against COVID-19. We want to thank you for your continued support in testing. Over 40 million tests with staff and students have now been conducted as part of the education testing programme.
Reporting test results can be done simply and quickly, from mobiles, online or by phone, and should be completed straightaway. Reporting not only supports contact tracing in the event of a positive case but also assists our understanding of community rates of infection.
To help in communicating the importance of testing and reporting, we have produced a blog on why reporting your test result is as important as taking a test, featuring further guidance and common questions.