The ethos of Riddlesden St. Mary’s is firmly rooted in the Christian faith.
Our core Christian values of peace, friendship, forgiveness, trust, courage and respect underpin everything that we do and all that we are.
The school’s behaviour policy is designed to support our aim that we are a caring church school that nurtures and supports every child; that values everyone’s unique worth and contribution; that empowers every member to achieve their fullest potential and that opens up a world of opportunities. Riddlesden St. Mary’s is a place of safety; where boundaries guide and support; where high expectations lead to lifelong learning; where care and respect build self-esteem and self-belief.
At Riddlesden St. Mary’s, all children have the right to:
- Aim high and achieve their goals;
- Learn in an environment free from disruption;
- Be encouraged and praised for good work and positive behaviour;
- Be supported when needed by adults in school;
- Feel safe, happy and respected.
All teachers have the right to:
- Teach in an environment without disruption;
- Take action to not let one child’s disruption affect the progress or safety of another child;
- Set clear expectations of behaviour throughout school;
- Be supported when needed by parents/carers, colleagues and senior leaders;
- Feel safe, happy and respected.
We aim to achieve this through:
- Establishing clear expectations of behaviour;
- Encouraging pupils to conduct themselves in a responsible, reflective and self-disciplined manner;
- Providing opportunities to develop empathy and care about the needs and rights of others;
- All pupils and staff being treated with respect;
- Preventing all forms of bullying;
- Working together with parents/carers to create a partnership between home and school.
- Encouraging all members of the school to take responsibility for their actions and develop an understanding of the impact their behaviour may have on others;
- Ensuring parents/guardians have a clear understanding of the expectations of behaviour in our school.
We believe in positive reinforcement of good behaviour and apply the following strategies to encourage it:
- Leading by example and teaching good behaviour;
- Highlighting and rewarding examples of good behaviour;
- Praise and rewards, including the use of house points, stickers, stamps, prizes, etc.;
- Recognition of good work in celebration assembly;
- Using the ‘Good to be Green’ reward system in class;
- Sharing achievements with parents;
- Giving privileges and responsibilities.
All individuals in school are members of a ‘house’. The houses are linked to our core values; we have Team Friendship, Team Courage, Team Respect, Team Peace, Team Forgiveness and Team Trust.
House points are awarded when individuals are seen working together, helping each other, demonstrating resilience, working hard or helping themselves to improve. On a weekly basis, the winning house is announced, with an overall winner at the end of a half term earning the house trophy and a non-uniform day. This strategy is aimed at positively reinforcing the behaviours we expect to see throughout school.
At Riddlesden St. Mary’s, we have high expectations of our pupils and always encourage individuals to make the right choices.
However, we accept that sometimes individuals can struggle to make the right decision and conflict which causes harm can occur. On such occasions, we use restorative approaches to help pupils understand the impact of their actions and think about how to put it right. It is about working with individuals involved in an incident, offering support, nurture and encouragement alongside setting clear boundaries and expectations of behaviour.
Restorative approaches enable those who have been affected by an incident or conflict to convey the impact of the actions to those responsible, and for those responsible to acknowledge this impact and take steps to put it right. Restorative approaches refer to a range of methods and strategies which can be used to prevent relationship damaging incidents from happening and to resolve them if they do happen. It avoids laying blame or deciding who was at fault or who is telling the truth; instead focusing attention on how an incident has made people feel and what can be done to put things right – restoring relationships.
Forming strong relationships is a key foundation of working restoratively. In order for individuals to empathise with how words or actions have made another person feel, individuals need to have formed a relationship based on mutual respect. This is done through regular class circles where each member of the class shares their thoughts and feelings. These are done regularly throughout the week as a ‘check in’ and are also held as and when they are needed to address any issues arising.
Should any incidents of conflict occur where harm has been caused, either verbal or physical, it will be dealt with restoratively. When all individuals affected by the incident are ready to talk about what has happened, a restorative circle is held. All individuals are asked the same restorative questions. The language used is very fair, calm and respectful.
The questions are:
- What happened?
- What were you thinking about when it happened?
- What thoughts have you had since it happened?
- Who do you think has been affected by what happened?
- How have they been affected?
All individuals in the restorative circle have their opportunity to answer the questions and they must all listen to the responses the others give.
Once all individuals in the circle have had their say about what happened, the following question is asked:
What do you think needs to happen to put things right?
This question encourages people to think about what needs to happen to resolve the situation and move forwards.
It is here where individuals may suggest that a consequence should be put in place to ensure that the person who has caused harm is given time to reflect on their actions. It may be that individuals decide that an apology for their actions is required. It may be that the person who has caused harm has shown remorse for their actions throughout the duration of the restorative circle and individuals feel happy that no further action is needed. It is the responsibility of those individuals involved in the circle to make those decisions. The key principle is to ensure that relationships are restored in a fair, peaceful and respectful way.
Parents will always be notified of any incidents which have occurred and informed of relevant details from the restorative conference held, as well as any actions taken to support the restoration of relationships. Where appropriate, parents may be invited to participate in the circle. Relevant staff members will also be informed of any restorative circles held, in particular the learning mentor if it is felt to be appropriate to refer individuals for any further mentoring.