Thornham St. James’ C.E. (controlled) Primary School

Behaviour Policy

                                                                        (Reviewed & updated September 2020)


Our school’s mission statement has a direct bearing on the formation of this policy. It states, ‘Our school is a Christian community where respect, love and tolerance are the foundations of our activities…  Our priority is to provide a caring and supportive atmosphere, within an environment which will foster self-respect, self-discipline, self-esteem, confidence and motivation … We have high expectations, permeating every aspect of school life’.



Our approach to Behaviour Management at Thornham St James is underpinned by the idea that behaviour, like academic improvement, is learnt and can become habitual.  In order for children to behave and treat each other in appropriate ways we must have high expectations; we need to be consistent in our approach and we need to both model and regard the kinds of behaviour we are trying to promote.  To this end we have a rewards and sanctions framework for behaviour management.  It is deliberately hierarchical.  Children who behave in a positive manner are rewarded and exemplified as role models for other children to see.  Those who behave in inappropriate ways are offered options to change.  If children choose not to change they have to accept the consequences of their actions and these sanctions are made explicitly clear.  The principle that drives this is to make children responsible for their own behaviour which we hope provides the foundation for informed decision making as the children grow older.


We are aware that we need the co-operation and support of parents if our Behaviour Policy is to be effective.

We regard parental co-operation and involvement as essential at all stages of the child’s development.

‘The most effective schools are those which create a positive atmosphere based on a sense of community and shared values and those schools with the best relationships with parents’. (Elton)


At Thornham St. James we aim to provide a welcoming happy and secure environment for all who work in, or visit our school.  An environment, where well-motivated children achieve their potential and where a caring atmosphere allows the children to grow in confidence and self-esteem; to grow both socially and academically.  Staff and parents are encouraged to develop an active partnership as an aid to promoting good standards of behaviour.


Aims and Values

As well as the school’s aims stated in the prospectus, we aim:

  •       To help children develop a positive image of themselves and to know that their contributions and achievements will be recognised and appreciated.
  • To encourage positive attitudes and to recognise each individual’s achievement.
  • To provide a secure and caring atmosphere for learning to take place; an atmosphere in which there is mutual respect between all members and a concern for the environment.
  • To develop in pupils a sense of self-discipline and acceptance of responsibility for their own actions.
  • To ensure clear expectations, fairness and consistency.
  • To support caring, co-operative behaviour and discourage anti-social behaviour.
  • To acknowledge/reward academic achievement and good behaviour and to sanction unacceptable, inappropriate behaviour in a fair, consistent manner.
  • To ensure commitment to the policy and consistency in its application from all members of the school community.
  • To address problems of behaviour, where necessary, by implementing the SEN code of Practice.
  • To provide co-operation, support and advice to all adults dealing with behaviour or discipline issues.


Roles and Responsibilities

The Headteacher, along with the Governing Body is responsible for determining the school’s discipline policy and ensuring consistency in its application from all members of the school.

The SENCO is responsible for: the day to day operation of the school’s S.E.N policy and liasing with external agencies for the LEA and Health and Social Services when necessary. (see S.E.N Policy for detailed responsibilities of the SENCO)

The class teacher, supported by teaching assistants, has prime responsibility for pastoral care.  This includes:

  • giving rewards and sanctions in line with the school discipline policy.
  • watching for children who are behaving out of character.
  • looking for signs of distress and upset.
  • modelling courteous behaviour.
  • recognising and acknowledging positive behaviour in others.
  • listening carefully to what children have to say
  • providing a calm, supportive, purposeful, disciplined working environment in which children feel safe and valued.


We believe it is important that we each fulfil our responsibilities whether as pupil, teacher or helper – with regard to:

  1. a)punctuality
  2. b)completing tasks to the best of our ability
  3. c)taking responsibility for our buildings and equipment
  4. d)co-operation with other school members


Fundamental Principles

We recognise the importance of a positive approach to the behaviour of children in school.  Emphasising positive behaviour in school tends to marginalize bad behaviour and decreases the number of misdemeanours.  A well-managed, orderly environment in school will encourage children to react in a positive, caring way.

We believe that good behaviour needs to be carefully developed and that children learn best when they are clear about what they are supposed to do and when they are continually and consistently encouraged to do it.

Because we value good behaviour,


  • learn what we mean by good behaviour
  • learn to care for one another
  • learn the value of friendship
  • develop self-confidence
  • do as well as possible in their school work.


  • teach effectively because of fewer behaviour problems
  • meet the needs of all pupils
  • enjoy their work


Good Behaviour/Rewards

At Thornham St. James we expect all pupils to:

  • be sensible and honest
  • be polite and friendly
  • be kind, considerate and helpful to each other
  • be careful with school property and their own
  • be quiet and hardworking
  • look after the environment of the school grounds
  • choose safe behaviour

This behaviour is encouraged in every aspect of school activity.  Pupils are helped to recognise examples of good behaviour at all times and to take responsibility for their own behaviour.  The ethos of the school as a whole is central to establishing and maintaining high standards of behaviour.  The example set by teachers and other adults in school is emphasised by HMI:

‘….where teachers are seen by pupils to work hard, to put themselves out in the interests of pupils, to have high standards, to co-operate successfully and to treat each other courteously, these same attitudes flourish more readily among pupils themselves… where teachers insist firmly but fairly, on hard work and commitment from pupils, and on high standards of behaviour, they are more likely to obtain them’ (HMI Report ‘Good Behaviour and Discipline in school).

We encourage good behaviour by:

  • recognising and highlighting good behaviour as it occurs
  • ensuring that all children are praised for behaving well
  • ensuring that criticism is constructive
  • explaining and demonstrating the behaviour we wish to see
  • encouraging children to be responsible for their own behaviour
  • rewarding individuals and groups for behaving well


Unacceptable Behaviour/Sanctions

There is no place for violence, bullying, harassment, vandalism, rudeness to adults, or bad language in the school community and these will always be discouraged.

Very occasionally children forget the school aims for good behaviour and we try to prevent this by:

  • reminding pupils of school aims
  • noticing and praising good behaviour as it happens
  • ignoring attention-seeking misbehaviour whenever this is effective.

Sometimes this is not enough and depending on the situation it may be necessary to deal with persistent misbehaviour by:-

  • giving effective reprimands and reminders of good behaviour
  • applying appropriate sanctions
  • contacting parents to discuss ways of helping the child to improve his/her behaviour
  • devising an individual behaviour programme which will help the child to learn appropriate social behaviour in school.  This will be done in conjunction with parents.  Outside agencies may be involved.

Infringement of school rules will be viewed as:

  • failure to behave appropriately
  • failure to work appropriately

Sanctions currently in place:

  • children will be referred to the class teacher
  • reprimanded
  • repetition of task, if not done satisfactorily
  • sent to seating area – outside the Head’s office (teachers to check after 10 mins at the most in case the Head isn’t available!)
  • loss of outside playtime
  • referral to Headteacher
  • child placed on behaviour report log held in the Headteacher’s office.
  • suspension
  • exclusion – last resort!

 Sometimes it may be necessary for the child to have ‘time out’, where they have to sit apart from their class for a short time.  It may also be appropriate on occasions for a child to be removed from the place of problem for a longer period.

We encourage flexibility in the application of sanctions to suit individual circumstances.  The punishment of a whole group/class is discouraged unless this is unavoidable or appropriate to the particular offence.  It is important for adults to be careful not to damage relationships and children’s self-esteem by using inappropriate sanctions not matching the offence.


Potential Problems

Problems with behaviour are more likely at certain times of the day, usually when children are not actively involved in the classroom.  We should all be aware of the potential for problems, and try to minimise them.  It is also important to defuse potentially ‘high risk’ situations, by removing individual children from a likely source of conflict (e.g. playground) for a short time.


The Code of Practice Graduated Approach

The Behaviour Policy works alongside the school’s S.E.N Policy and follows the same graduated approach to help children with emotional, social and behavioural problems.  Where necessary, increasing specialist expertise should be brought to bear on the difficulties a child may be experiencing.


There are typically 3 Waves of intervention:

Put in the simplest of terms all pupils must have access to Quality First Teaching, however some may need more than this:

Wave One -    differentiated curriculum for the whole class e.g. class rules, rewards, sanctions, positive behaviour management.  


Wave Two -   interventions in small groups e.g. circle time, friendship groups.


Wave Three - individual programmes of learning and modified curriculum.


See appendix


Admission Arrangements and Inclusion

The schools admission and attendance policies are in line with the recommendations of the L.E.A – No child is denied admission because of S.E.N.



Playtimes, both mid-morning and at lunchtime, can sometimes be problematic as children are in school but outside the normal classroom environment.  We expect that the same behavioural expectations apply throughout the whole of the school day, which includes playtimes.  Mid-day supervisors should be treated with the same respect as other adults in the school, and have access to the school system of rewards and sanctions.



The object of this policy is to create a safe, happy caring and considerate community in which children learn to value others and where they themselves may develop as valued people.  This requires the co-operation of all parties involved in school life.  The school will regularly review its practices to ensure the effectiveness of this policy and code of conduct.



  1. Examples of unacceptable behaviour
  2. Waves of Intervention
  3. Code of Conduct
  4. Nine Powerful Tools to Improve Pupil Behaviour