About Us

Behaviour Management Policy


Behaviour management is not a discrete, separate element of school life. All behaviours are communications, all in response to a feeling, experience and or stimulus. Behaviour is also an individual’s personal response to their own perception and or interpretation of a situation and or an event.

Everything we do, all our words, actions, postures, planning, organisation, and also what we do not do, contribute to behaviour management. It is therefore crucial that staff consider their own behaviour at all times. At St Thomas of Canterbury School we understand that this is where behaviour management begins. We endeavour to create an exciting dynamic learning centre for all involved and draw upon a wide range of creative ideas to place social, emotional growth, development and awareness at the centre of all we do. All classes develop ways to support children in becoming increasingly more able to regulate their emotions and manage their feelings safely. Ideas such as worry boxes, emotion fans all support this process.

Shared Values and Beliefs about Behaviour

We value:

  • the right to feel safe and be safe in our body and feelings;
  • the right to learn to the best of our ability;
  • the right to be respected and treated with dignity at all times;
  • the right to an environment of justice and a sense of fairness;
  • the right to reflect, listen and learn together after incidents, sharing feelings in regard to how incidents are managed;
  • reconciliation;
  • equality of opportunity and accessibility for everyone.

We believe that:

  • pupils who feel safe, valued, cared about and successful tend to respond in a more positive and appropriate way and are able to reflect on their choices and behaviours constructively;
  • where pupils are treated consistently, they are able to distinguish between desirable and undesirable behaviour, they feel safe and trust in the dynamic, yet structured environment, enabling them to take risks in their learning;
  • if the ethos of the classroom and the school is positive, there will be an atmosphere of mutual respect and enhancement of self-esteem in which pupils are behaving in an actively positive manner, and teaching and learning is leading to achievement;
  • we can set clear and firm expectations and reinforcements whilst being supportive

We aim:

  • to create a warm, caring, calm, orderly and stimulating atmosphere of belonging in the school that positively promotes learning and a sense of community;
  • to achieve consistency of attitude and response by staff which gives a sense of security and safety;
  • to promote and encourage the continual development of all staff in the understanding and working with children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and review our practice regularly;
  • to promote in all pupils a sense of self-discipline, self-regulation, self-calming and an ability to take responsibility for their actions;
  • to create a climate of mutual respect between all pupils, staff and visitors and a proper concern and respect for the school environment ;
  • to help pupils change their anti-social behaviour that causes them so much unhappiness and to learn ways of solving difficulties which enable them to feel safe in their ability to manage their emotions and feelings and their behaviour and responses;
  • to create an environment that is safe, physically and emotionally, for everyone in the school with a real energy for enjoying learning as part of a mutually supportive social group;
  • to develop a partnership with parents/carers which recognises and respects important factors in the home life and experience of the child, and through dialogue supports parents to take a proactive and confident role in the management of their children’s behaviour and needs.

Our key aims are based on Reconciliation. 

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The school’s Behaviour Management / Anti Bullying Policy deals with all areas of the children’s intrinsic development and should be read and adhered to alongside the school’s Positive Handling Policy, Safeguarding Policy and Complaints Procedures for both children and adults.

Establishing Shared Routines for Teaching and Learning

We recognise that establishing and maintaining simple routines is a powerful way of helping our children to create the right conditions for learning and for changing their negative responses.

Our routines are meant to help the children and be supportive. So we explain their purpose and make sure they make sense to the child that they help to promote learning and reduce friction between child and child and child and adult. We review them regularly. Here are some of the guidelines we follow for classroom practice:

  • An adult is always in class before the pupils to greet them on their arrival in the morning and after other break times.
  • We plan learning thoroughly to be stimulating, coherent and well organised.
  • We make sure that pupils have an IEP and a Behaviour Support Plan/ Risk Assessments that follow the guidelines, covers learning and behaviour and is up-to-date. These targets are agreed and signed by parents/carers and pupils at the beginning of each term and regularly reviewed.
  • All learning activities are well prepared and differentiated according to need.
  • Learning is reviewed at least at the end of each session.
  • We make sure that the room is tidy and resourced thoughtfully and that all materials and equipment are ready for use. Staff continually carry out dynamic risk assessments as to the organisation of the classroom and storage of resources etc.
  • We display the children’s work prominently and attractively and take every opportunity to celebrate small steps of achievement.
  • We model clear communication and positive interactions between each other and between adults and children.
  • We establish and insist on routines for:
    • entering the classroom;
    • putting coats and other belongings away;
    • distributing and using the equipment needed;
    • listening to the instructions of the adults;
    • stopping work and ending sessions;
    • summarising and reviewing the session;
    • going to the toilet;
    • clearing up;
    • leaving the classroom.

We have established a system of rewards for all kinds of achievement and positive behaviour. While we recognise the importance and efficacy of rewards, we do not want the pupils to become overly dependent on rewards. We try to move them from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation.

Rewards and Sanctions

Rewards are linked to the Secrets of Success – pupils will receive specific praise linked to the Secrets. To ensure that every child’s successes are noted, time will be set aside at least each half term to allow pupils to celebrate their successes by reflecting on their Learning Journeys. Learning Journeys will be shared with parents at parents’ evening and in end of year reports. A pupil from each class each week will be rewarded with an achievement certificate to be presented by Mr Truby in a family achievement assembly; this could be to reward a particular breakthrough / achievement, or ongoing achievements over time.

At break time and lunch-time staff can nominate children from their class to play in the Canterbury Suite. Midday supervisors can nominate one pupil per week to be invited to eat at the Golden Table with Mr Truby.

Positive letters or phone calls home are excellent rewards and greatly appreciated by parents and children as are sending children to see specific staff for example the Head teacher. Staff will take the opportunity to reward each child at least once during the year by sending home a personalised postcard.

A variety of strategies will be used effectively to promote positive behaviour (Appendix 5). In the event of low level disruption, clear warnings will be given using the prompts in Appendix 1. It is imperative that as soon as a child behaves appropriately, they are moved back to Green Level. If rules continue to be broken and negative behaviour persists the child will move from Yellow to Red Level & miss 5 minutes of playtime. Reflection sheets will be used following incidents / during missed playtimes (see Appendix 2). In the event of more serious outbursts a 1:1 SEAL session with known CT/TA/ member of SLT immediately following the event will be undertaken.

We appreciate that one of the best rewards for a child is genuine praise. We praise children for their achievements. We try to ensure that in all our interactions with pupils the number of positive comments far outweighs any negative comments.

We are always alert to praise a child at every opportunity ‘catching them doing the right thing’. We try to make our praise authentic and precise.


Positive behaviour and respectful relationships are taught in the curriculum explicitly via SEAL, including small group and individual interventions as appropriate. SEAL posters are displayed around school for reference for all members of the school community.

Central worry boxes will enable pupils to communicate worries on a general or personal level. The contents will be collected and followed up by the learning mentor each day. The learning mentor will be available each day for bubble time at 12:30 each day to follow up difficulties and provide support for children (conflict resolution, problem solving, consequences).


We choose preventative strategies to diffuse, de-escalate potential incidents. The structure and routine of our school day supports this. We try to minimise the occurrences of challenging behaviour by:

  • establishing positive relationships with pupils
  • creating a positive supportive climate in the classroom
  • providing a constant adult presence, not leaving the children unsupervised unless for a deliberate and trusted purpose
  • having well planned, meaningful lessons differentiated to meet the needs of the pupils  making connections with previous learning
  • ensuring equipment or materials needed are available and in working order
  • having well-established routines for behaviour
  • teaching the children strategies to deal with anger and frustration, e.g. via SEAL
  • using Circle and Bubble Time to enable children to develop the language and social skills to talk about feelings , behaviours and experiences
  • using a reflective approach following incidents to enable children to recognise appropriate behaviour, possible triggers and identify next steps (linked to reconciliation)
  • using appropriate humour and relationships to ensure all children feel a sense of belonging in their school community.
  • We also maintain the importance of confronting anti-social, aggressive behaviours that disrupt both the individuals learning and that of their peers. This will support children to find more effective ways of problem solving. 


We have a clear set of Rules & Responsibilities and Code of Conduct agreed by pupils, staff, governors and parents/carers. They are stated positively to promote positive responses and we often quote the rule when it has been breached. As well as school rules, teachers may draw up a contract with the class in line with the school rules. 

Record Keeping

All staff will log behavioural incidents using SIMs (click to tag a pupil involved in an incident (including ‘victims’). Parents will be informed of incidents at the end of the school day by letter (Appendix 4). A paper log will be kept centrally in the staff work room. It is essential that logs are filed into the central folder to ensure that all staff can follow up incidents if required Each Key Stage will maintain a log of pupils who will need to miss some playtime; one member of staff will supervise pupils in the Hall daily. An Achievement Log will be maintained.


Each area (classrooms, hall, entrance, outdoors) will have a consistent display, to promote positive behaviour. Photographs / comments / observations from staff and pupils of children demonstrating positive behaviour will be displayed in a wall of pride. Sanctions will be clearly displayed in all areas. (See Appendix 1) The same rewards & sanctions system will be used consistently throughout school.

Information Sharing

The Headteacher will inform the Governing Body of general behaviour and any serious incidents; racist and bullying incidents will be reported on a termly basis in the Headteacher’s report to Governors. The Pupils and Curriculum committee will review the behaviour policy on a regular basis.

Bullying Definition 

Bullying is not acceptable behaviour in our school and will not be tolerated. All the members of the school community, adults and children, have rights and responsibilities towards each other. The school Rules and Code of Conduct give clear guidelines on how to treat others. There are clear complaints procedures set out for both pupils and adults.

Equal Opportunities

We believe in equality of opportunity for all pupils, including those who behave appropriately and we make every effort to ensure this is reflected throughout practice at all times. (See Single Equalities Scheme)

Parental Involvement

The school endeavours to foster good relationships with parents and carers. The school see the parents/carers as essential partners in the task of education and managing behaviour and attempts to positively involve parents/carers in all aspects of their child’s learning and behaviour. IEP targets and Behaviour Support Plans are discussed and reviewed with parents.

Positive Handling

See Positive Handling Policy and Safeguarding Policy Bullying is not acceptable


Appendix 1: Sanctions

Appendix 2: Reflection sheet (SEAL)

Appendix 3: Letter to Parents – achievement assembly invitation

Appendix 4: Letter to Parents – sanction

Appendix 5: Strategies to Promote Positive Behaviour

Verbal advice & Support  Reward (Target chart –home feedback, small rewards for appropriate behaviour, e.g. computer) Reassurance (e.g. when tackling challenging activities) Planned ignoring (e.g. for low-level attention seeking) Contingent touch (e.g. to direct attention)
Calm, assertive speech (any appropriate time) Time out – offered (e.g. at trigger points / when in danger of becoming frustrated) Time out – directed (e.g. as sanction for bad behaviour) Negotiation (e.g. when tackling challenging activities – ‘dangle a carrot’) Choices (whenever feasible and particularly when refuses to do something – this or time out)
Consequences (Golden rules, possible sanction/problem solving)  Success reminder (e.g. when beginning tasks / sessions – refer to Target Chart)       

Appendix 6: Behaviour incident record form

Appendix 7: Racist Incident record form

Appendix 8: Bullying Incident record form

Appendix 9: Incident Record Form

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From St Marie’s – is this clearer than our current home-school agreement?

Behavioural Strategies to support pupils with ADHD (to supplement behaviour policy)

Wherever possible one member of staff at a time will respond to positive and negative behaviour, unless support is requested. A positive, proactive approach is effective most of the time.

Proactive Measures

  • Set short, achievable curricular and play-based tasks, e.g. how quickly can you run around the playground?
  • Provide appropriate challenge and praise whenever possible
  • Ensure all behavioural expectations are stated positively related to golden rules, e.g. ‘I’m looking for…’
  • Ignore low-level negative behaviour – decide on this as a team
  • Ensure that all children understand that low-level behaviour may be ignored and explain why, if appropriate  Distract the pupil if behaviour begins to deteriorate/ attention begins to wander
  • Encourage the pupil to be active as much as possible, e.g. when sitting, give jobs such as getting pencils.
  • Use a kinesthetic learning style, e.g. how many jumps can you do in one minute? Form large letters in the air etc. Mix up sedentary and active activities over the course of a session.
  • Avoid ‘trigger’ situations, e.g. a busy cloakroom.
  • Give responsibilities to physically occupy him and raise self esteem, e.g. to carry in playground equipment
  • Use ‘carrots’ to reward good behaviour, particularly after less enjoyable tasks  Ensure that the pupil understands the potential outcomes of compliance versus rebellion, i.e. if we do this, then we can do that…
  • Be consistent – the pupil must know that we all mean what we say and that we all say the same things
  • Offer appropriate choices to give the pupil some control, e.g. which task to start first

What is expected of pupils?

Pupils will learn to understand the importance of learning and the part good behaviour plays in this.

  • They will be prepared to tell an adult if something concerns or worries them.
  • They will try to maintain a very high standard of respect and good behaviour.
  • Children will support each other when things go wrong.
  • Children must expect to receive a form of ‘punishment’ if they do something which is wrong.

What is expected of parents?

  • Parents should support the school in its professional attempts to promote positive behaviour.
  • Parents will expect to be involved if there are serious matters to discuss. They will support at home, wherever possible, the moral development and teaching of the school.
  • Parents should recognise that the truth is often complex and that, at St Thomas’, we seek only to establish the truth arising from any incident.
  • They will try to set a good example for their children.
  • Parents will not encourage physical violence in or around school at any time. 

What is expected of us all?

  • We will all work to preserve the good name of St Marie’s School.
  • We will all be prepared to apologise and make amends if a mistake is made.
  • We will stay calm if there is a dispute and discuss the matter in order to resolve it in the best interests of the child and the whole school.
  • We will work together to raise the standards of behaviour in the school and ultimately to raise the standard of pupil’s achievements.


There are a range of strategies we use in dealing with behaviours that challenge.

  • We treat children with respect even when they are exhibiting behaviours that challenge.
  • We ignore inappropriate behaviour when noticing it would cause more disruption or as part of a planned approach. However, this is always followed up at a more appropriate time.
  • We avoid talking above background noise
  • We focus on those who are behaving and working well and praise and encourage them.
  • We use eye contact, facial gesture and or signals to express approval and disapproval initially.
  • We have a quiet word with the pupil who is exhibiting behaviours that challenge, telling them that the behaviour is not acceptable and should stop.
  • We describe the effects of the behaviour not the behaviour itself (“when you are making a noise or messing about, the others can’t hear or learn”).
  • We use the Team Teach help script in full or in part if appropriate to support a child in crisis.
  • If necessary we send for help in good time.
  • We sometimes ask that a pupil be withdrawn or given Time out. These strategies are planned for and recorded on the Behaviour Support Plan/Risk Assessment.
  • We are prepared to find the best adult and best conditions to resolve the issue, and prepared to change adults where necessary in order to support both the child and adults.
  • We allow pupils time to make amends or take time to follow up an instruction.
  • We follow up inappropriate behaviour with a pupil on their own where possible.
  • We discuss problems and difficulties privately as far as possible.
  • We follow the guidelines if restrictive intervention is needed, and only after use of deescalation techniques.
  • We accept that sometimes it is appropriate to show controlled anger. We can thus model appropriate anger to the pupils. We do so in a controlled way and avoid blaming. We give an “I” message e.g. “I feel very angry that you have spoken so unkindly to Scott”.
  • We only raise our voices in exceptional circumstances and always in a controlled manner.
  • We give opportunities for reparation and restitution when all those involve are ready and without increasing delays.
  • We model reconciliation and support these processes as appropriate.

Stages of escalation 1–3 is possible positive handling/ restraint stage:

1. Anxiety, need for support 
2. Defensive / increasing aggression,  need for clear limits, boundaries and choices.
3. Loss of control/ violence,  need for physical intervention to reduce risk.
4. Recovery,  need for a co-ordinated “letting go” process.
5. Learning,  need for a structured therapeutic review and forward planning.

Limit Setting

Limit setting is the first intervention when rules or routines are breached. We use it for all low level misbehaviour e.g. interfering with others, cussing, refusal to work, noncompliance, work avoidance strategies etc.

Stage 1 - We remind the child by signal, facial expression or word that they have broken a boundary and re-direct them back to the task. We stop what we are doing, turn to the pupil and let them know what we want “Lee, could you get on with your work, thank you!” We use presupposition – we expect the child to do the right thing. We remain calm, we don’t raise our voices, we make eye contact with the pupil and let them know by our facial expression that we mean business. If necessary, we move physically close and repeat our request showing firmness, not anger. If the pupil gets back to work we thank and praise them, stay a little while and then move on. We constantly catch those children doing the right thing and praise accordingly.

Stage 2 - Answering back: we know from experience that all back chat is the same. The aim will be to excuse, evade responsibility, to pretend helplessness, deny, avoid, accuse of not helping. These are all diversionary tactics:

  • We never respond to answering back, by doing so we potentially feed the escalation of an incident.. We stay calm and insist on our previous instruction. Sometimes the pupil will say “You wont help me.” This is to cover themselves. We don’t get involved in a discussion. We stay calm and insist firmly on the child getting back on task. When they do we thank them for getting back on task, stay a little while and move on.
  • Limit setting does not always work but it is the best starting point for dealing with disruption.
  • When we have tried stages 1 and 2 and see it is not working we move quickly to a new strategy.

Stage 3 – We give a warning “I have given you the chance to put things right. I am now telling you that if these choices continue there will be consequences.” Allow take up time for child to internalise and respond to instruction.

We have a variety of consequences. We try to make them appropriate to the misbehaviour e.g. “Well I see you are refusing to do your work. Okay, since the others are working and you are having free time it’s only fair that you should do yours during playtime when they are having their free time.”

Sanctions and Consequences

Our system of rewards is balanced by sanctions and consequences that are accepted as fair and reasonable for the whole community and which are consistently and sensitively put into practice.

Sanctions and consequences which are accepted as fair and reasonable for the whole community and which are consistently and sensitively put into practice.

Sanctions and consequences are sometimes needed to deal with serious and repeated misbehaviour. In applying them we also give the opportunity to make reparation and to set targets for desirable behaviour. They are used after other strategies have been tried and found to be ineffective. We make every effort to ensure that the imposition of sanctions and consequences is done in a manner that is ‘antiseptic’ e.g. uncontaminated by our own feelings of hurt and inadequacy or by negative feelings towards the child, and avoid shaming the child, and focuses on behaviour. (See dealing with Behaviours that challenge.)

Sanctions and consequences include:

  • Not earning ‘goals’ in our Reward System.
  • Time-Out – Change position of pupil in the classroom.
  • Out of the classroom – this may sometimes be necessary to safeguard the learning of others but we use it sparingly recognising that Time Out is more effective when it is for short periods.
  • Both Time-out and Withdrawing children is a planned strategy and recorded in the behaviour support plan/risk assessment.
  • Thinking Time – our version of Time-Out. It takes place at break-time or dinnertime, sometimes with work not completed or appropriate to the misbehaviour. Working through a problem verbally or recording by drawing and or writing supports children in finding resolutions to their problem. A member of staff supports this. Thinking time is given in increments of 1 minute – an upper limit of 10 minutes for younger children – any longer is counterproductive. We recognise that children need to play and give them every opportunity to do so, keeping thinking time to a minimum. Children are automatically given 10 minutes for swearing, violence, walking out of class and spitting. Children cannot be given more than 20 minutes thinking time at once. Thinking time can be ‘earned off’, unless given for serious offences (see above), by showing with subsequent choices and responses that reflective thinking has already begun.
  • All parents/carers are made aware of our Behaviour Management / anti Bullying Policy.
  • Internal exclusions of up to 1 full week can be given. Where a pupil persistently refuses to do Thinking Time or to observe the rules the parent or carer will be contacted and reminded that further refusal will lead to possible exclusion.
  • Loss of privileges – it is up to each teacher to establish privileges in the classroom e.g. chosen activities, free time, particular responsibilities, or in some circumstances exclusion from an outing etc. 

We also use the following on some occasions: 

  1. Parent Consultation
    Discussion with the parent/carer can result in agreements about sanctions the parent can impose if the school sanctions are not working. A phone call or meeting can sometimes be very effective. So can a letter home.
  2. Making Restitution
    Children are given the chances to make reparation e.g. cleaning marks off walls. This can sometimes mean apologising by note or card, making up for work not done in playtime, spending time with the victim of their insults or aggression.
  3. Referral to Head or Senior Teacher
    A record of such referrals will be kept in the Incident Book and a Serious Incident Form is completed and kept as a record on file in the staffroom. A record is also kept electronically.
  4. Exclusion for a fixed period (see the Exclusions Policy)
    We use this extremely rarely. We anticipate difficulties where possible and make out a Pastoral Support Programme if a child is excluded twice for fixed terms or is likely to be permanently excluded.
  5. Permanent Exclusion (see the Exclusions Policy)
    We only invoke this when it is clear that we cannot meet the child’s needs and he/she has become a danger to him/herself and to others in the school.

Management of Serious Disruptive Behaviour and Aggression

We use many strategies and options to manage these situations. The selection of specific management techniques depends in part on the personality and character of the individual staff member and his/her relationship with the pupil. No strategy or set of strategies guarantees success. However, the following principles inform and govern our management decisions.

  • We remain objective and calm in both speech and actions. We recognise that firmness does not require shouting or threats.
  • We constantly strive to improve our understanding of the pupils and their behaviour. We know they are often externalising inner conflicts. They do interpersonally what mature people do intrapersonally. They demand the control that they can no longer provide for themselves. We aim to pre-empt physical intervention i.e. restrictive intervention by ensuring the creation of an emotionally containing environment.
  • We attempt to see through the behaviour presented by the child to the possible meaning or message being expressed. So we ask ourselves what the behaviour means to help us think and respond appropriately.
  • We listen pro-actively and respond quietly to the pupil. We do not overwhelm the child with loud and insistent directives.
  • We avoid looking for an immediate solution unless the situation is dangerous when we adopt a reactive strategy. If appropriate we tell the pupil that we will deal with the issues later and we re-direct them back to work. While making this decision we will be making an ongoing dynamic risk assessment of the behaviour and the situation, and considering how best to pre-empt the escalation of an incident and minimise risk.
  • At all times, on responding to behaviour, we aim to analyse, not personalise. This way we stay flexible for as long as possible and avoid escalating the confrontation, we use help script for colleagues and clear communication to support each other in this.
  • We try to maintain positive attitudes that are constructive. We remind the child of previous good behaviour or similar situations that they dealt with well, progress they have made and how they made it.
  • We always remind the pupil of options and consequences. We do not issue directives or threats that are unachievable.
  • We are very aware that often the natural biological response to acts of violence is to get angry at the aggressor. However, we recognise that it is not the rational or most effective response. We school ourselves to resist the biological response.
  • We use a range of diversionary strategies. The more unusual are likely to be the most effective. Humour is a powerful tool when used sensitively, to pre-empt a crisis.
  • Involving other people in a non-threatening way can divert the confrontation and reduce the aggression and is a strategy we often use.
  • It is sometimes necessary to remove the child from the situation. We try to do this in a neutral way, that is uncontaminated by negative or hostile feelings. Our message is ‘we care about you enough to not let you be out of control or hurt anybody.
  • We always promote physical safety and do everything possible to prevent physical injury to everyone.

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