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Priory Woods School & Arts College

Priory Woods School & Arts College A Special Place to Learn

Behaviour Policy

Reviewed February 2019


At Priory Woods we aim to:

  • Create an environment that is warm, free from inhibiting pressures yet has the capability to be challenging, thus providing the best conditions for learning and development
  • Provide conditions that ensure dignity, promote self reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community ( United Nations 1989 )

Behaviour management is addressed by all staff through a variety of forums. These include;

  • All teaching staff, teaching assistants and 1:1 staff complete 12hour Basic Team Teach training which is then maintained throughout the year through refresher training termly.
  • All teaching staff, teaching assistants and 1:1 staff have attended Restorative practice training.
  • There are at present 3 fully trained Thrive members of staff. This team is delivering basic training to more staff members as well as parents programmes. The trainers have a programme for delivering 1:1 support to individual students.

This document is intended to provide guidance for staff and inform parents and visitors about the processes, attitudes, organisational structures and strategies that contribute to the development of an ethos that encourages good, appropriate behaviour.

This policy should be read in conjunction with;

  • Priory Woods School and Arts College Use of Thinking Rooms policy
  • Priory Woods School and Arts College Safe Touch Policy
  • Priory Woods School and Arts College Physical Intervention Policy

Behaviour management at Priory Woods should be addressed proactively not reactively. It is essential that staff are familiar with the students and support them to self-regulate and be aware that changes may take some length of time. Discussions about difficult behaviour should, where possible, focus on questions such as ‘how can we ensure it does not arise?’ and ‘can we understand what is causing this child to behave in this way?’ rather than rushing to discover ‘what we can do when this behaviour occurs?’


The role of the SMT

  1. It is vital that the SMT understand that any decisions taken relating to organisation and curriculum may affect the school ethos.
  2. The SMT need to be responsive to the concerns and ideas of staff to facilitate two way communication.  Regular meetings are therefore important, these take the forms of informal discussions, response to CPOMS, team behaviour meetings.
  3. Staff should feel free to raise issues without fear of being judged, coerced or intimidated.
  4. The SMT should provide advice and support in specific situations relating to children’s’ behaviour

It is part of the role of senior and experienced members of staff that they set an example in their attitude and behaviour towards children and other staff (respect and support being the key) and that they communicate the school’s philosophy sensitively and effectively to other members of staff

The role of the whole organisation

  1. Creating a consistent and calm approach will help prevent the need for reactive measures to be taken
  2. Creating a safe environment promoting security through consistent routines and clear boundaries
  3. Pupils with SLD and PMLD need at all times to have their own individual special needs borne in mind – be flexible
  4. Recognition of pupil’s unique identity and individual consideration of their needs.
  5. For pupils to be treated with dignity and respect and feel a valued member of the learning community.
  6. Support pupils to learn how to self-regulate.
  7. Support for pupils to learn how to be restorative
  8. Give the child time to greet people when coming into school each day
  9. Lunchtimes should be pleasurable and free from pressure to eat quickly; respect dietary needs and likes / dislikes
  10. Opportunities for free play in appropriate environment; chance to let off steam
  11. Organisation at the end of day to prevent boredom and frustration

The role of parents

  1. A shared understanding and dialogue between school and home about behaviour, safety and other issues is extremely important.  Parents are involved in discussions regarding behaviour and consulted when a Positive Handling Plan is written and implemented.
  2. Opportunities for parents to discuss problems and successes with staff exist at annual reviews, coffee mornings, workshops, social events, fund raising events etc.
  3. Home /school diaries should be used consistently and fairly.

The role of the environment

  • The environment should be pleasant, well decorated with abundant evidence of the valuing of pupils’ work and art
  • There should be adequate facilities that provide the children with opportunities for enjoyment, success and unstructured play times.
  • Areas should be available throughout school that allow pupils space to reflect and calm down. There should also be areas that allow staff to use physical intervention techniques safely. (See Use of Thinking Rooms policy).

The role of the curriculum

At Priory Woods we therefore aim to provide a curriculum that is stimulating and challenging but also enables every child to succeed.

  1. Issues such as self-esteem, caring for others, right and wrong, self-control, respect for ourselves and others need to be explicitly dealt with and not assigned to the ‘ hidden curriculum ‘.  To this end we have dedicated Thrive sessions also a PSE, Citizenship and RE curriculum that ensures that the development of a positive ethos is covered consistently throughout school.
  2. A child is less likely to display difficult behaviours if his / her self-esteem is high and if their achievements (behavioural, academic or other) are recognised and celebrated.

The role of rules

  1. It is important that we provide clear behavioural boundaries and guidelines within which our pupils operate.
  2. However it is equally important to remember that when working with children with severe learning difficulties to remain flexible.  Over rigid application of a ‘rule’ to some children may create more difficult behaviours than it was designed to avoid. Rules are more effective when they are positively framed from adults with positive relationships with pupils and used to reinforce and develop desired behaviours.
  3. All staff must take a flexible approach determined by the individual needs of pupils.  This should be communicated effectively through class, key stage and staff meetings so that consistency of approach is ensured.

Our Golden rules:

  • Be kind and helpful
  • Be gentle
  • Listen
  • Be honest
  • Work hard
  • Look after property

The rules are statements that encourage the children to be adopt a range of positive behaviours and attitudes. 


Some pupils especially those that have experienced insecure attachment are less likely to respond to rewards or consequences and may sabotage or disregard rewards and if left out of a ‘reward trip’ feel punished because they cannot meet the behavioural expectations. Rewards therefore have to be used carefully so they do not, by default, become punishments. However, rewards can be effective for motivating most pupils with an aim on focusing positive rewards for positive behaviour rather than focusing on undesirable or negative behaviour.

  • Behaviour that leads to rewarding consequences are more likely to be repeated for most pupils.
  • All staff are actively involved in consistently focusing on rewarding positive behaviour.
  • The types of rewards used across the school are varied and reflect the individual nature of class groups and pupils.

Informal rewards include;

  • Smiles/positive eye contact/gestures.
  • Targeted praise statements to the pupil or groups of pupils.
  • Peer group praise, both spontaneous and planned.
  • Direct positive praise home to parents.
  • Additional responsibilities.
  • Sharing good work and behaviour with peers/adults/senior staff.
  • Written comment on work/books.
  • Displaying good work.
  • Work towards an activity chosen by the pupil.
  • Recognition and celebration of learning and behaviour in assembly (cup of kindness)


Classrooms are complex environments, often crowded and noisy.  At Priory Woods they contain pupils with a wide range of abilities and a variety of special needs.  Staff teams can be as large as four.  Teachers have the responsibility of delivering a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum.  It is easy to understand that within such an environment conflict, confrontation, frustration and challenge can occur.  It can be minimised if consideration is given to a number of issues.


  1. Grouping: where possible avoid combinations of pupils that can be troublesome.
  2. Timetabling: be aware that different activities demand different standards of behaviour and self-control from children (and staff!). Some children may need a period of time to calm down between an exciting, physical, active session and one demanding more controlled, calm behaviour. There is little point in subjecting a child to an activity or situation that you know will cause frustration or emotional difficulty for them.  It may never be possible to avoid every such situation but at least the additional problems faced by the child can and should be recognised.
  3. Furniture and equipment: many difficult situations can be avoided if careful consideration is given to how the classroom is arranged.


  1. All class groupings have at least two members of staff. It is therefore important that these teams work well in order to ensure that a consistent approach to behaviour is taken.
  2. Reward systems used for groups / individuals should be commonly understood and consistently applied.
  3. Staff should feel confident enough to voice their feelings and suggestions without fear of recrimination or ridicule and should feel confident that their views will be taken seriously by the team. This will reduce tension and promote consistency and good relationships between staff.
  4. The relationships between staff / staff and staff /pupils are of paramount importance; the children will learn civility, respect for others, sympathy, consideration much more easily if they are given continual good examples and role models.


  1. The whole school curriculum allows the style of delivery and exact content presented to individual children to be determined by the class teacher and their support staff.  This freedom to differentiate and change style and technique of delivery can, if used sensitively, help reduce feelings of failure, frustration and boredom, all of which can lead to behaviour problems.
  2. Children with severe learning difficulties often have repeated experiences of not understanding, misunderstanding, failure, frustration and confusion, all of which can lead to a lowering of self-esteem and behaviour problems. It is vital that teaching styles and content are chosen to minimise this.
  3. Children need the experience of success and the joy of learning new skills within an environment that is nurturing and reduces the fear of judgement and failure as much as possible.


  • The importance of the place of every member of staff in creating an environment that reduces the likelihood of bad behaviour cannot be overemphasised.
  • All staff have a duty to show children that they are liked, respected and welcome. 
  • Staff should set challenging but realistic expectations of behaviour.
  • They should demonstrate by their own example appropriate ways of expressing their emotions.  A calm, consistent approach and a sense of humour are important qualities that help to reduce tension and promote a sense of confidence and security in children.
  • Pupils with autistic features often exhibit behaviours that require an individual response, which acknowledges their inability to cope with changes and their difficulties in understanding and responding to sanctions and rewards.


At Priory Woods School and Art College staff intervention to support the regulation of behaviour is based on pupils’ level of development, the nature of their disability and circumstances. Any strategies to address unwanted behaviours are designed as restorative learning opportunities, in which the impact of the behaviour can be highlighted and addressed to ensure a positive outcome and a reduction of those behaviours over time.

The types of interventions used across the learning community reflect the individual nature of class groups and pupils. These interventions may include;

  • Use of planned support strategies as detailed in individual PHP’s or behaviour support plans.
  • Facial expressions of approval and mood – attuning with the pupil to prevent escalation.
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication - as above.
  • Systems that promote privileges and rewards.
  • Success reminders and praise.
  • Assertive and consistent reinforcement of routines.
  • Consistent use of positive language and positive interventions.
  • Consistently modelling the behaviours we wish to see in the pupils.
  • Explicitly teaching positive behaviours.
  • Restorative conversations and discussions to reflect, repair relationships and positive steps.
  • Temporary withdrawal from learning environments (see Use of Thinking room policy).
  • Pupils remove themselves from a situation which causes anxiety or distress to a location where they can be supported, continually observed until they are ready to return to their timetabled activity. This time out could be in a quiet area of the classroom, playground or in a designated ‘Thinking Room’ (see use of Thinking room Policy).


Priory Woods School and Art College strives to create a safe learning environment and promote positive behaviours and minimise the risk of incidents that may require interventions.

Team Teach techniques are used to reduce the risk presented by challenging behaviours – all staff are trained in skills to support them diffuse and de-escalate potentially challenging situations and promote positive alternatives.

In exceptional circumstances, staff may need to take action where the use of reasonable and proportional force using Team Teach handling techniques may be required.

Staff are aware of their responsibilities in the context of their duty of care in taking appropriate approaches to promoting and celebrating positive behaviour. Staff are supported in doing so through Team Teach rolling programme and appropriate CPD promoting restorative practice and provides them with appropriate strategies and techniques to more effectively manage unwanted behaviours should they arise.

At Priory Woods School and Arts College, staff share and discuss in a professional, supportive and positive atmosphere e.g. through team and behaviour meetings;

  • When a pupil’s behaviour is difficult it is a problem to be shared.
  • All interventions focusing on trying to change the behaviour and/or teaching the pupil alternative ways of behaving or responding to a situation.
  • Support in analysing behaviour and in producing, implementing and reviewing Positive Handling Plans.
  • Systems for getting support quickly e.g using dedicated radios.

If a member of staff has had a particularly difficult day with a group or an individual pupil they are encouraged to reflect this within class or team settings and have opportunity to discuss with SLT or behaviour lead.

Support systems for Parents

In addition to involving parents at all stages in their child’s education, parents may also benefit from the following opportunities;

  • Parent Support Advisor.
  • Family Thrive
  • Opportunities to discuss PHP’s with class staff or behaviour lead teacher.

Related Guidance:

  • Keeping Children Safe In Education 2016

  • Behaviour and Discipline in Schools

  • Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools