Supporting Behaviour: Positive Reinforcement
I love this school and this school makes me make the right choices.
(Pupil Questionnaire Feedback 2022-2023)
At St. Mary's we create a positive and motivational learning environment.
As our School Vision states, we aim to nurture personal development and wellbeing through our ethos of Christian Values, alongside our curriculum teaching.
We are a Values School, supporting children to understand appropriate and effective behaviours and actions through the teaching of twenty two carefully chosen Values over a two year cycle. For more information about Values Education, please click here.
We also teach and reinforced the importance of having a Growth Mindset throughout the year by introducing and learning about our Growth Mindset Learning Power Superheroes. For more information about our Growth Mindset Learning Power Superheros, please click here.
At the beginning of each academic year, each class sets their own Class Expectations and as a school we set our overall School Expectations too. Expectations are based on demonstrating our Values and Growth Mindset characteristics to others. Class Expectations are displayed in all classrooms and our School Expectations can be found on display in our hall, in all classrooms and in our Relationships and Behaviour Expectations Policy which can be found in the Policies section of the website. A picture of our Behaviour Expectations poster is also shown below:
Pupils are praised for living our Values and displaying Growth Mindset characteristics, following our expectations and therefore displaying appropriate behaviours and actions, through our weekly Commendations worship assembly and through Class Dojos.
At St. Mary's, we use Class Dojo as an electronic reward system within school. Each class has their own Class Dojo environment which is created at the beginning of the year with their class teacher.
Here is a sample class:
At the beginning of the year, each child is assigned a unique Dojo avatar to represent them (they can also create their own!). When children are recognised for displaying appropriate behaviours and actions e.g. getting on with their work without being distracted, being a caring friend, helping a teacher to tidy up, persevering on a difficult task, they can be rewarded with Dojo points. The Dojo class window is opened often on the classroom whiteboards so children can easily check to see how many Dojo points they have. Each individuals Dojo points also feed into the overal Whole Class points total.
Each class will agree on Dojo point rewards. For example, one class may decide that if they reach 200 Dojo points as a class they can enjoy an art afternoon, another may choose to have a non-uniform day if they reach 300 Dojo points etc.
Dojo points are never removed. Once they are rewarded they remain with the pupil. Therefore this class-based reward system reinforces positive behaviour only and therefore encourages all children to display appropriate behaviours and actions as they work towards a common goal.
Our special worship time on a Friday is where we reflect back on our week. It is an opportunity for us to also praise children, in a whole school gathering, for living our Values or displaying Growth Mindset characteristics. In this way, we again reinforce positive behaviours and actions.
Children are presented with a Commendations certificate in their house colour. This certificate can be rewarded by any member of staff in the school, other children and also parents and members of our local community. If you would like to reward a child in school with a Commendation, please contact the School Office.
(sample Commendation certificate for Blue Team)
Our Values Ambassadors also present a special Purple Commendation to peers that they have noticed displaying our Values. For more information on Values Ambassadors, please click here.
During Commendations, staff also have the opportunity to present the following awards to members of the class:
Presentation Award: For displaying and/or trying to produce excellent handwriting in class work all week. This is awarded alongside a Headteacher's Award pencil for the child to use to continue to produce excellent handwriting!
In Oak class (Year 4) children can also progress to achieving their Pen Licence where they are presented with a handwriting pen to use in written work (not number work). If handwriting is exceptional, Oak class children can also progress to being awarded a fountain pen after they have received their Pen Licence.
Marvellous Manners Award: For consistently demonstrating great manners, e.g. saying 'please', 'thank you' and also 'batting it back' e.g. Teacher: 'Have you had a good day?", Child: "Yes I have thankyou, have you?"
Eco Warrior Award: For demonstrating actions that will help to look after and protect our planet and the things living on our planet, including our school environment, e.g. supporting with school eco-projects, collecting litter outside of school, keeping the classroom tidy.
During Commendations, we also take the opportunity to present a certificate to the class with the best attendance during the week. We then report this in our fortnightly newsletters. Attendance certificates are recorded and the class with the best attendance all half term gets to choose a special class reward e.g. non-uniform day.
When we hold other special events, e.g. sporting events, these are also celebrated and recognised during Commendations.
Behaviour Reflection Sheets:
There are occasions when children do not respond to our methods of positive reinforcement and need additional support to consider any behaviours and actions that do not model our expectations.
When these occasions arise, we may work through a Behaviour Reflection Sheet with the child. A blank version of this can be found in our Relationships and Behaviour Expectations Policy, which can be found on the Policies page of the website. It is also shown below:
This form is then shared and discussed with parents, as well as stored by our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Mrs. Bingley, who will monitor patterns and trends within Reflection sheets so that we can implement any additional support required.
For more information, please see our Relationships and Behaviour Expectations Policy, on the Policies page of the website.