We have implemented over the past two years, thanks to great efforts by our pastoral team, a positive behaviour system. The proviso behind this was that most time and attention from the pastoral team (both tutors and leaders) is given to students who need the most support (and often particularly naughty!) and students who have earned public acclaim (often those who are academically successful).

This leaves an average majority that do not receive acknowledgement.

Such acknowledgement does not need to be major and external. Often the polite and aspirational majority (as in society) are so for their own reasons. They are socialised well, and keen to do well by others.

I am reminded now of a principle said to me by an outstanding behaviour AST in York: Praise for meeting expectations, rather than saving it for when they are exceeded. A caveat was, of course, to just make sure you have high expectations when doing so!

With this in mind, teachers are required to allocate behaviour points to students on a lesson by lesson basis. Often this is done at the beginning or end of lessons. To do so uses our SERCO system, which allows the simple adding of points via a click-menu available by the register. Of course, some teachers struggle with this, as this system is the only time they are required to see this interface. However, basic application skills are more than sufficient to do so.

At the end of each week (or usually on a Wednesday to ensure administration can be completed) a behaviour report is printed off.  This indicates behaviour on a week by week basis which can be measured against fellow form members. Interestingly, this has always been positively (!) received. Students behave, or not, often for their own reasons. People, especially young people, like to attribute their actions to reasons that put them in control. Therefore, to be ranked low in behaviour is often greeted with appropriate responses: something I would consider to not be default in every class in every school.

This report, however, has had flaws. There is no tracking of week-by-week behaviour. The reports collate on my board, but they don’t give the students a chance to have an overview of their behaviour patterns (unless, of course, they spend some time at the board flicking through reports. Therefore, and with the functionality realised from my markbook, I create a new spreadsheet.

BP example

As you can see, the report is split into two parts: positive points (including extras for school service) and negative points, for repimands.

Instructions for teacher: 

1) Make pupils aware of their year rank and their school rank. Different years are given different behaviour points, but a rank by year is a fairly accurate assessment of how socially apt the student is being.

2)  Replace this report each week with the next one. Scores are accumulative, and so students can track good and not-so-good weeks.

3) Note that there may be, due to the transition of making the report and its printing, some discrepancies between the weekly total and the actual total. These will be corrected for the purposes of the behaviour point assembly.

4) While students should aim for a full quota of behaviour points, they should also aim for being better than average in terms of the points gained for their year, as teacher allocation of behaviour points seems to tail off for the higher key stages.

5) It is possible to create arrows that colour code according to how good a student’s week has been in relation to behaviour points. These can make immediate reading difficult. Please see me for preferences on this.

What is the outcome of this behaviour point use?

With the behaviour points, we aim to hold an assembly on a termly-basis that celebrates the hidden middle, as well as those who have excelled. This assemblies celebrates the following prizes:

Top form in each Year.
Top House in the whole school.
Who has reach a given minimum target (usually 240 each term).
Who has achieved no negatives.

Each of these results in a certificate, made in publisher and printed via a mail-merge from a spreadsheet. The certificate itself contains:

1) Student’s full name (forename and surname).
2) Student’s house and form.
3) Signature of Learning Support Director (i.e. either upper-school or lower-school.)
4) Date (Month and Year).
5) Different colour paper for both upper school and lower school.
6) Different colour paper for no negatives, upper and lower school.
7) School logo.

There should also be a separate list of no-negative names that can be used to organise the certificates into appropriate piles.