Behaviour, Attendance & Welfare
Behaviour and Wellbeing
At The Downs School, we believe that every student has the right to feel safe at school and to learn. Our ethos is ‘Learning together, learning for life,’ which emphasises a partnership based on trust and respect between all members of the school community.
We work hard to ensure that the school is a place where all students are able to achieve their potential as learners and leaders, with relevant support, care and guidance from appropriate staff. This is being achieved by incorporating therapeutic approaches to dealing with behaviour into the school’s procedures for promoting good behaviour amongst its students.
Our behaviour policy is based on Rights, Responsibilities and Rules which are common to all. The school acknowledges its legal duties under the Equality Act 2010, in respect of safeguarding and in respect of pupils with special educational needs (SEN). The school believes that students with different needs should be provided with the support they need to achieve individual success, while still operating within the framework of the school’s behaviour policy.
All members of the school community are responsible for encouraging good behaviour by:
- Adopting therapeutic approaches when interacting with other members of the school community:
- Creating positive experiences inside and outside the classroom for all members of the school community, so that students enjoy their learning and make rapid progress
- Building respectful relationships with other members of the school community
- Recognising the difference between equality (treating everyone the same regardless of their individual needs) and equity (providing individuals with additional needs with the support they require to receive positive outcomes), and acting in a way that promotes equity
- Using consequences that help people displaying anti-social behaviour understand the impact of their behaviours on other people, so that they stop behaving in an anti-social way (developmental consequences); and using consequences to keep people safe (protective consequences)
- Dealing with pro-social and anti-social behaviours in a way that ensures students have consistently positive experiences across the school, while still recognising that people with additional needs will need further support
- Ensuring that outstanding teaching and learning is achieved by adhering to the school’s minimum expectations for teaching and learning
- Being positive role models for members of the school community to follow
- Creating a calm, safe and well-ordered environment in which high quality teaching and learning flourishes and in which all members of the school community feel physically and emotionally safe
- Creating an atmosphere in which all members of the school community are treated as individuals whose rights, values, beliefs and cultures are respected
- Recognising all kinds of bullying and unkindness when they occur and taking the necessary steps to deal with these behaviours so that all members of the school community feel safe (see Anti-Bullying Policy)
We actively promote good behaviour in school by modelling the behaviour we want to see, by communicating clearly our expectations of behaviour and by acknowledging, praising and rewarding good behaviour throughout the school. These positive behaviours are summarised in our ‘Minimum Expectations for Teaching and Learning,’ which both students and staff adhere to.
To ensure greater consistency and clarity around behaviour in the classroom students and staff have devised the Downs Diamond. This is displayed in all classrooms and followed by both students and staff.
Regular attendance and arriving on time for school are very important factors in students achieving their full potential. At The Downs School we work in partnership with parents and carers to ensure that students attend school every day and are always on time.
As a parent or carer you are committing an offence if you fail to ensure that your child attends school regularly and punctually, even if they are missing school without your knowledge.
We ask parents and carers to:
- Check that when students miss school – for whatever reason – they must see their individual teachers on their return to catch up with any missed class work and home work.
- Ensure your child attends every day, on time, equipped and ready to learn. Tutor time begins at 8.50am and students should be school by 8.45am.
- Students arriving after 9.05am may be marked absent and will require an explanatory note from home or the absence will remain unauthorised.
- Ensure the school has up to date addresses and telephone numbers for you. We will contact you if your child is absent and you have not contacted the school. This ensures that any absence is quickly identified.
- If your child is ill, please contact the school on each day of their absence and provide an explanatory note on their return to school.
- If you wish to check that your child has arrived at school contact the school reception on 01635 270000 and we will inform you if your child has been registered. If you use the School Gateway App you can see your child’s attendance record for each day.
- If no contact is received regarding an absence, it is recorded as unauthorised. Ultimately the school is responsible for deciding if the absence is acceptable or not. Only genuine absence will be authorised. You will be asked to provide medical certificates if your child has a poor attendance record.
- Please ensure that medical and other appointments are made outside school time.
- Holidays should not be taken in school time. Any Leave of Absence can only be agreed by the Head Teacher and will only be agreed where there are exceptional circumstances.