Cox Green School

Phase/Provision: Secondary

Theme: Leadership and Management, Systems and Social Norms

Context for joining Behaviour Hubs

Cox Green School is a community school enrolling students across three different boroughs (RBWM, South Bucks and Slough). On average historically, 50% of students come to Cox Green outside the local community. Cox Green has 1,159 students on roll with 178 in the sixth form.

6.57% of students at Cox Green have EAL and 18.34% of the students in Year 7-11 are pupil premium. The school’s free school meals figure has increased from 5.2% in 2018 to 14.76% in 2022-23.
The current headteacher was appointed in January 2022 and has been part of the senior leadership team since 2018.

Cox Green school was last inspected by Ofsted in 2018 and the following recommendations were made:

  • Ensure that the good teaching that exists in many areas is firmly rooted across the whole school so that all pupils make sustained and substantial progress, particularly in English
  • Further robust action is taken to reduce the level of persistent absence among all disadvantaged pupils.

Joining Behaviour Hubs was a proactive step from school leaders to implement positive behavioural culture change.


Behaviour challenges and goals

The school’s mission statement is to have the highest aspiration for our school and every member of our community, where all feel respected and able to develop to their potential. Our school values are:

  • Be Respectful – Respect for ourselves and those around us.
  • Be Kind – Supporting one another and being considerate of others.
  • Be Determined – Showing a willingness to improve and better ourselves.

Upon joining the programme, we had clearly evaluated that processes which were previously being used at Cox Green weren’t effective. Historically, a focus had been made on high impacting behaviours and the school’s suspension and permanent exclusion rates were rising. The previous headteacher had removed the logging of low-level disruption from lessons and changed the perimeters of the different types of behaviour.

Our goal was to develop a culture at Cox Green such that all students were aware of their expectations whilst at school. We wanted students to be proud of their school and have an awareness that their behaviour not only impacts their learning – but the learning of others. It was also noticeable that the focus on serious behavioural concerns had meant that we had overlooked the huge impact that minor disruption was having on our students and staff. It was key that we became a school where the boundaries were clear, and all understood the values we were trying to implement.

Alongside the classroom environment we wanted to focus on our students’ behaviour around the school and community. It was key that students understood our expectations and we implemented a strong high-profile rewards system where students that consistently behave and engage fully are championed and rewarded.

Whilst implementing change it is critical that all are brought on the journey with you. In some instances, we had staff members reluctant to follow new processes, so it was key to work closely with these staff members, so they were made aware of the long-term benefits of the changes we wished to make. Students were very aware of the inconsistencies within the policy, and this allowed students to feel they were able to behave in a certain manner. It was also clear that some stakeholders were not supporting the processes, and this was again a key element in addressing what we expected at Cox Green School.


“The focus on serious behavioural concerns had meant that we had overlooked the huge impact that minor disruption was having on our students and staff.”


Solutions to behaviour challenges

In the summer of 2022, we began a restructuring of roles within our senior leadership team. Historically the SLT had been split across the year groups with on overall responsibility for behaviour, rewards etc. A deputy headteacher was appointed working alongside two assistant headteachers (KS3 & 4 focus) to allow our pastoral leads a clear pathway for following up of issues within the year groups.

We tried to implement changes to our reward and behaviour policies slowly and tried to develop initiatives throughout the process. These were reviewed regularly through the process, particularly with the regular monitoring visits from our partner school.

Our values at Cox Green were pivotal to developing a structured environment where all felt they and the tools to be successful. This saw the ‘Culture of Success’ being implemented for all year groups and is embedded with the notion that students should be proud of their achievements if they have shown the necessary determination to work at their very best.

Other changes that were implemented over the course of the year on the programme included:

  • Moving from one evening a week of reflections to two evenings
  • Launch of the Cox Green School behaviour tracker – a tool for all staff to identify patterns in behaviours.
  • Appointment of our behaviour manager – the impact of this role to be evaluated through regular reports to SLT on the impact on specific students and trends. Analysis of data and impact on high-needs individuals has been impactful so far.
  • Appointment of our reflection room manager
  • Launch of our values cards and consequence cards
  • Breaktime sanctions to support students unable to access transportation for after school reflections, led by behaviour manager.
  • Implementation of a prefect system in Years 10 and 12, as part of a review of Student leadership/JSL/enrichment.

Although some of these strategies are new and will take time to embed into our school, our student leaders, parents, trustees and staff members have all had an opportunity to have a voice. The support offered by our Lead School, Worthing High, has been incredibly beneficial to us. Having input and support from – as well as an opportunity to visit – a school outside of our locality has helped us to see a fresh perspective. We were able to witness and magpie initiatives that have been used to reduce low level disruption. The mentoring of key staff and access to resources has allowed us to redesign our reflection room and look at the job description for the new Behaviour Support Manager.

Working alongside Worthing High has allowed staff to have bespoke days to focus on strategies that would support Cox Green. Within this, plus the virtual training modules on the Behaviour Hub programme, key staff have had the time and space to focus entirely on behaviour and to review and reflect on our own strategies. Sessions such as the ones focusing on SEN, sanctions and routines have provided great talking points for the staff who attended. Within the leadership team, staff have been allocated to attend sessions based on their areas of responsibility, which has been particularly effective for those new in post.


Impact on behaviour

Many of the strategies that have been embedded are long-term strategies that naturally won’t have an immediate impact. However, we have seen a shift in culture of our students. This is particularly evident in the low number of sanctions set for Year 7 students, who have been most receptive to, and quick to follow, the new culture since they had no experience of the previous behaviour culture.

Comparisons of learning walk call outs show that (as of June 2023) there have been 1,416 learning walk calls for Year 10, 1,036 for Year 9, and only 622 for Year 7. (Learning walk calls include the use of red cards for time out, students missing from lessons, behaviour incidents and other events such as students being unwell). This is also very clear in the total of behaviour points in each year group (which reflects the number of sanctions given overall). Year 10 have a total of 6,341, Year 9 7,039 and Year 7 only 3,747.

The development of our Internal Reflection room has seen our suspension rate drop significantly. In 2018/19 we suspended 166 times in comparison to this academic year of 71 (where 14 students counted for 37 of these suspensions). Our Internal Reflection room is now managed by a member of staff who oversees all work completed on laptops using ‘Teams’ as an access point so students are still completing work followed in their lessons. This area has also been used to eradicate the issues of truancy and missed reflections. Students are placed in the reflection room by our Learning Walk team for truanting lessons for part of the day and then complete a full day of catch-up work to support the missed learning. This culture has seen a dramatic shift in students leaving lessons. On average in 2021-22 we were experiencing 60-80 calls per day and the new structure has seen these reduced by 50% daily.

From May 2023 the consequences card was launched, enabling staff to tackle low level disruption in the corridor, at break times etc. The card has six boxes which, once completed, results in a student being issued a reflection after school. To remain focused on the positive, if a student can complete the three values boxes (placed on the opposite side of the card) it will eradicate the consequences. From launch, Key Stage 3 students have initially shown a clear focus on the positive. We were fortunate to see this initiative in action on the Open Day visit to Worthing High, and used case studies to support the implementation of this project at Cox Green School.

Following engagement in the Behaviour Hub programme, the following impact has been observed:

  • Cox Green school has seen an 80% reduction in permanent exclusions from 2018/19.
  • 21% reduction of after school reflections set by all staff at Cox Green School from 2021/22
  • In 2018/19 there were 166 suspensions in comparison to 71 (currently) in 2022/23.
  • 76% of staff identified that since the start of the academic year behaviour was consistently being managed better than previous academic year.
  • 73% of parents of parents feel the school makes sure its students are well behaved.


Next steps on your behaviour journey

We have set the vision for our behaviour and attitudes as below and this is our three-year target for Cox Green as a community to follow:

  • The school is ambitious for all its students and provides the advice and guidance needed to support every student to find the right pathway for them.
  • All stakeholders have consistently high expectations of pupils’ behaviour and conduct which results in pupils having positive attitudes and commitment to their education.
  • Sanctions are used appropriately and consistently where necessary.
  • Respectful working relationships exist between students, staff, parents, and the wider community.
  • High quality pastoral support, led by the Safe team and Year team leaders, supports students however they need it to overcome barriers to learning and to feel safe and healthy (both physically and mentally).
  • Bullying is not tolerated; any instances, including any incidents of child-on-child abuse and racist and/or discriminatory behaviour, is dealt with effectively and promptly. All members of our school community are treated equally and without prejudice.
  • Alongside this, we would like to continue to develop Cox Green by working to support other schools.