Context for joining Behaviour Hubs
Coppice Primary and Nursery School is a 239-pupil establishment, with a one form entry. The 26 place nursery is open in the mornings. The school is part of Derbyshire County Council.
Coppice Primary is situated in the former mining town of Heanor. The context of the school means that children come from diverse backgrounds but there is a high level of deprivation. Pupil premium is 44% and the current SEND register is at 51%. The Headteacher and the SLT have been in post for the last nine years.
Behaviour challenges and goals
Our main focus was on developing the core values in school so that it has an impact particularly on lunchtime behaviours. We needed to address the needs of the small percentage of students with the most challenging behaviours. Our goals were:
- Develop the role of the midday supervisor so that they were part of the positive school culture of praise for the new core school values.
- Changing the mindset that pupils have around the midday staff.
- Provide opportunities for pupils to engage in supervised play at lunchtime so that they can learn how to self-regulate.
“We knew that our whole school behaviour was generally good but that we had pockets of issues.”
Solutions to behaviour challenges
When we started the Behaviour Hubs programme we knew that our whole school behaviour was generally good but that we had pockets of issues – and this was predominantly at lunchtime. After studying with the lead practitioners during the training courses, it became evident that we needed to move towards a whole school culture change.
The visit to our Lead School, Witham St. Hughs Academy, encouraged us to think about changing our whole school values. This included the way that we praise children both during the school day and how we could encourage parents and carers to support this praise. We designed twelve new core values and had professional signage made. We thought about how to standardise our classroom doors with our values and to include photos of staff. We considered how all staff could be part of the praise of pupils, and to this end designed gold core values cards to be shared by all.
We held whole school training to launch our new approach and governors were informed of these changes at a meeting. We changed our assemblies protocol and began holding them at the beginning of the day so that the values could be introduced at the top of the week, and then reinforced daily.
Impact on behaviour
We quickly found that our pupils adapted very well to the changes. They listened to the modelled ‘scripts’ and were soon asking staff if they had had a nice lunch, saying “thank you” for doors being held open, saying “good morning” etc. They were keen to win gold cards for their core values passport. The school began to feel calmer both in the corridors and on the playground.
Upon monitoring the lunch time detention folder, we observed that the number of playground incidents were dramatically reducing. Children with extremely specific needs were given the opportunity to support play in a supervised area.
Parents were emailing us with examples of how the new core values were also having a positive impact on behaviours at home.
Ofsted Visit – 13th/14th March 2023
Ofsted was very complimentary about our ‘Behaviour and Attitudes’ during our most recent inspection, being described as “a strong picture.” Pupils were able to “talk about the new behaviour values” and Ofsted noted that there were “high expectations and a strong understanding of pupils’ needs”. Other quotes from the report include:
- “Pupils are polite.”
- “They understand how they contribute to the whole school ethos.”
- “Children have a caring ethos… they are polite and courteous. There is no low-level disruption.”
Following this visit, Ofsted decided to move us from a judgement of ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’ for ‘Behaviour and Attitudes’, with a ‘Good’ rating overall.
Next steps on your behaviour journey
We continue to visit other schools to support our ongoing behaviour journey. Following a visit to another Behaviour Hubs Lead School, Beaumont Primary Academy, we decided to focus on lunchtime reflection and have since developed a ‘THINK’ reflection sheet. We continue to embed our core values and the praise particularly by the midday supervisors.
Though we have graduated from the Behaviour Hubs programme, we will still be focusing on ‘scripts’ particularly for midday supervisors, in addition to the awards collected by pupils and how to make this more manageable by ensuring that all new staff have behaviour training built into their transition to school.