Behaviour and Discipline

We positively encourage good behaviour and manners at Holme Court School. When a pupil disregards the school rules the teacher will follow up each incident according to the needs of the individual pupils and appropriate action will be taken. Often a reprimand and discussion will set pupils on the right track.

a) Arrangements for Discipline and Exclusions

The school is in agreement with the principle that “good behaviour is a necessary condition for effective teaching to take place” and seeks to create an environment which encourages and reinforces good behaviour. Furthermore, it acknowledges that society expects good behaviour as an important outcome of education.

b) Rewards and Sanctions

Our emphasis on rewards is to reinforce good behaviour, rather than on failures. We believe that rewards such as merit points rewarded in assembly have a motivational role, helping children to see that good behaviour is valued. Rates of praise for behaviour should be as high as for work.

Although rewards are central to the encouragement of good behaviour, realistically there is a need for sanctions to register the disapproval of unacceptable behaviour and to protect the security and stability of the school community. In an environment where respect is central, loss of respect, or disapproval, is a powerful punishment.

The use of punishment should be characterised by certain features: It must be clear why the sanction is being applied. It must be made clear what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future punishment. Group punishment should be avoided as this can breed resentment. There should be a clear distinction between minor and major offences. It should be the behaviour rather than the person that is punished.

Sanctions range from expressions of disapproval (being told off), through withdrawal of privileges (time outs, losing part of playtime), to referral to the Head Teacher, letters to parents and ultimately in the last resort, exclusion. Most instances of poor behaviour are relatively minor and can be adequately dealt with through minor sanctions. It is important that the sanction is not out of proportion to the offence.

If the situation arose that a pupil displayed anti-social, disruptive or aggressive behaviour frequently, sanctions alone would be ineffective. In such cases there would need to be a careful evaluation of the curriculum on offer, classroom organisation and management, and whole school procedures in order to eliminate any contributory factors. Additional specialist help and advice from an educational psychologist or child guidance service may be necessary. This possibility should be discussed with the Senior Management Team.

c) Exclusion

A serious offence, for example involving violence, could by itself justify a pupil’s exclusion. Otherwise exclusion would be applicable only when alternative strategies have been tried and have failed e.g. at least two individual plans reviewed over half a term. Exclusions may be fixed (suspension) or permanent (expulsion) or may be for the duration of lunchtime break. Only the Head Teacher has the power to exclude a pupil from school. This power may not be delegated. The Head Teacher may exclude a pupil permanently. In all cases the Head Teacher will promptly inform the pupil’s parents of the period of the exclusion, or that the exclusion is permanent, and give the reasons for the exclusion.

d) Educational and welfare provision for pupils with statements or for whom English is a foreign language

All our pupils are included in all aspects of school life and their day to day care and progress can be met within the classroom in line with our stated whole school policies.

Pupils with statements are welcomed at Holme Court School if their educational needs fit in with our school provision. Their educational programme and academic progress is reviewed annually in a Statutory Review Meeting, involving all appropriate professionals. The school endeavours to meet the objectives outlined in each pupil’s statement.

Children with English as an additional language are welcomed as pupils of Holme Court and alongside general class teaching can be offered one to one tuition with a specialist tutor. This will carry an additional charge.