About Us

Goldwyn Charter

THE GOLDWYN SCHOOL CHARTER

APPROACH:

(HOW WE ACT IN PUTTING OUR PHILOSOPHY INTO PRACTICE)

FOR EXAMPLE:

WHY:

1.  Act as good role models to the students i.e. “do as I do”

Not “do as I say”

1.  Apologise when wrong, be punctual, dress appropriately, talk to students as you would wish to be spoken to.  Use positive body language and tone of voice.

1.  We are trying to teach alternative, more appropriate behaviours. 
Students need to learn that some adults do what they say.  It is easier to copy what you see than what you are told about.

2.  Use descriptive praise in every interaction with a student.

2.  We can praise achievement, effort and qualities. “You were brave to take a guess, even though you weren’t sure.” “You tried and didn’t give up; you gave it your best shot.” “You have stopped shouting at me and now you are listening.”  “Even though you are angry, you are not hitting. Your self control is improving.”

2.  Descriptive praise is a way of giving detailed information about what we actually want.  It means that we notice and mention the behaviour we wish to encourage. 

Students who are praised want to do more things to that please us, in order to get our positive attention.  As the praise describes what is actually happening, the student is likely to believe it and this is likely to increase their confidence.

3.  Act in a consistent manner.

3.  Follow routines, do what you say you will do, follow agreed practices; do not allow your mood swings to affect your behaviour towards students.  Do not favour or discriminate.

3.  Some students need to unlearn that adults cannot be trusted – by seeing that they can and that they are fair. Consistency gives students security (eventually), probably the most important ingredient for improvement and establishing relationships.

4.  Enforce simple and clearly defined rules and
limits, fairly and firmly.

4.  Do not allow rule-breaking, turning a blind eye, etc.  Do not make rules too complicated – check that students have understood them before they are broken.  Tell students you are enforcing them, rather than saying nothing and reporting them later.

4.  Students have often ignored or broken rules without anyone saying anything. Equally adults invent rules arbitrarily! This causes confusion and reinforces that adults are unreliable.  Consistently applied rules make life more predictable.

5.  Speak to students in a clear, concise manner.

5.  When giving instructions, keep them short – don’t go on and on. 

 

Check that you are not using language which students cannot understand, or which, if taken literally, will be confusing.  Don’t use slang. 

 

Check students’ understanding by asking questions, and get their attention before you give instructions/speak to them etc.

5.  Students cannot always take in long talks or long words; it is sometimes too much information to process.  Their attention span may be short.  They may only remember the last thing you said and you may gain a reputation amongst the students as a “waffler.”

6.  Express disapproval of behaviour, never of
the individual.

6.  “Stealing is an awful thing to do” rather than “You are an awful boy for stealing.”

6.  No one likes to be put down or labelled and where self-esteem and self-confidence are already low, such comment can be harmful and long-lasting.

7.  Give praise warmly, appropriately and
sincerely at every opportunity.  Describe the
behaviour that you like.

7.  Notice and comment when students have done something right, or haven’t done what they usually do wrong.   

 

Recognise even small improvements - do not wait for perfection.

7.  Praise is good for everyone – but particularly if you rarely receive it or normally receive only negative comment.  Success breeds success and

Positive reinforcement of good behaviour is far more effective than negative reinforcement of poor behaviour.

8.  Be a fair and reliable adult.  Avoid letting
students down whenever possible.

8.  Turn up for work everyday; be punctual, fair and stick to your word.

 

Keeping students safe from bullying, putdowns and any form of harassment etc.

8.  We want students to learn to trust adults and have faith in them – this may be a new experience for them. Predictability = security = improvement.

9.  Refer to students, their parents, relatives or
possessions in a positive manner, whenever
possible, and always in a professional manner.

9.  Whatever you may think personally about these matters, only voice that which you would wish them to hear. 

Do not show prejudice towards anyone. 

 

Be the one to mention positive attributes - look for them. 

 

Always refer to students by their first name.

9.  It is hurtful to students and destructive to relationships and is completely contrary to the need to build self-esteem and trust in adults.  Parents, home, relatives etc. are often sensitive areas for students.

10.  Concentrate upon positives and what can
be done, rather than the opposite.

10.  Encourage students to compare their efforts and achievements with their own abilities rather than those of others.

 

Ignore minor negative behaviour and comment upon the positive behaviour you have identified. 

 

Where students do something wrong, remind them of all the good behaviour that has preceded it and acknowledge this yourself.

 

Celebrate success, however small.

10.  This helps build self-esteem, self-confidence and trust.

11.  Show tolerance towards students exhibiting
negative behaviour, but you may show
intolerance towards the behaviour.

11.  Students are not rejected i.e. staff do not dismiss them because of their behaviour, - but having dealt with the behaviour, assume a positive working relationship with them. 

 

Students are given another chance, and another and another – but staff may make it clear that they disapprove of the behaviour.

11.  Students may expect you to reject them – after all, many other adults before you have.  To do so would merely confirm their own hopelessness and that adults don’t really care for you, only if you’re being good.  Negative behaviour may be used to test you out - i.e. do you REALLY care?

12.  Listen to students.

12.  When students are in trouble ask for their version of what happened. 

 

Give students time – even if you have to delay it until later. 

 

Don’t interrupt – check that you have heard correctly.

12.  The student’s view of events is likely to be different from yours – you do not share their difficulties after all.  It is a strong message that you value them. Students will not expect you necessarily to agree and just getting it off their chest may help.

13.  Be aware of individual needs and how they are being met.

13.  For each student in the school can you name two current, priority needs? 

 

Be aware of how the activity in which you are involved contributes to meeting needs of the individual/class group.

13.  If we do not meet the student’s needs we are failing in our task.  To meet them we have to know then and how they can be met.  Meeting needs does not occur accidentally very often!

14.  Enable students to manage failure in a safe
setting.

14.  Allow students choice, as appropriate, rather than making the decisions for them all the time. 

 

Allow them to take on as much as they think they can manage, rather than only what you believe they can manage. 

 

Look for opportunities where students can be involved in decisions which affect them.

14.  Decision-making is part of growing up and moving towards independence. It can encourage students to view staff in a more collaborative rather an authoritarian role.  It can boost confidence through success and ownership and it provides the opportunity to teach students how to deal with failure in a constructive manner.

15.  Plan you work for students.  Then plan every
other aspect of the school day.

15.  Attention to detail often prevents difficult situations occurring. 

 

Think about classroom work, break times, meetings, assemblies, reviews, sports events, visitors. 

 

Difficulties often occur during transition times.  Active supervision is crucial.

15.  Events run better when they are planned.  Planning is another sign from staff that students are important and valued.  Needs cannot be met efficiently in an ad hoc manner.  Students with chaotic backgrounds or lifestyles need order in their lives.

16.  Behave respectfully.  Act towards students in
such a way that their respect and dignity are
not threatened.

16.  Be aware of your body language. Never mock or use sarcasm and avoid personal criticism and any criticism in public, if possible. 

 

Knock on doors before entering.  Do not discuss students in front of others. 

 

Address students courteously and by all means expect this to be reciprocated. 

 

Show sensitivity and caring towards students who are distressed and unhappy whatever the actual causes or eventual outcome.

16.  Students are often fragile individuals and cannot withstand attack.  They are also young people with rights – even if they don’t respect the rights of others at all times.  They are the other people’s children in our care and we have no right to make their situation worse, only a duty to make it better.

17.  Persevere with students; never give up on them.

17.  After a problem always show that it is over and that you bear no grudges or hard feelings towards students. 

 

Never refuse to have a student in your group. Start again as many times as necessary.

17.  This gives a very powerful message that you are different from all those adults who have given up on them, and that you really DO care and value them as individuals.

18.  Intervene to prevent or curb inappropriate
behaviour.

18.  Stop fights, name-calling, swearing, running off, bullying or at least step in and tell students to stop.  Express your disapproval of the behaviour. 

 

Follow school procedures having stepped in. Never ignore, unless it is minor. 

 

Divert wherever possible rather than confront. Look for signs and triggers and be proactive; act before it happens.

18.  To do otherwise would be to abdicate your responsibility, and collude with the idea that the behaviour is acceptable.  If you do nothing students will see you as weak and ineffective, as well as unreliable and unsafe.  It is part of proving that as an adult you can be trusted and that you will uphold what is right.  If you do not intervene, it is likely that the students’ behaviour will deteriorate further until something more serious happens.

19.  Allow and encourage students to grow and
develop by having appropriately high
expectations of them.

19.  Give students progressively more difficult work to do in class or tasks to undertake out of class rather than allow repetition in safe areas beyond that required initially to provide success.

 

Avoid giving simple work purely for ease of containment.

19.  It shows you care and value students and that you have a high regard for their ability, possibly higher than their own.  You owe it to the as an adult in this school.  You may help them to surprise themselves as to just how much they can do – if pushed.

20.  Take an interest in all students.

20.  Find out students’ likes and dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, family background, sense of humour and
interests e.g. musical, sporting, fashion.

 

Talk to students about the positive areas and use your knowledge to start conversations and to build and cement relationships. 

 

Share your interests with them, if appropriate – but don’t bore them!

20.  Students are people and as such are unique, varied and interested in something.  Taking this path differentiates you from all other adults who perhaps have not taken an interest or listened.

21.  Be positive, enthusiastic and aware of the
need to motivate yourself and others.

21.  Make an effort to ensure that the work or activity is interesting or exciting and talk about it enthusiastically. 

 

Look for new ways to make the task exciting and interesting - be lively yourself. 

 

If appropriate, use a “carrot” or reward to get an unpleasant task done.  Encourage students to try new activities and join in yourself.

21.  New activities can cause anxiety for students and, unless they are encouraged they are more likely to opt out.  If you are not enthusiastic about a new project, why should students be? If activities are new to students, they cannot have experienced failure in it previously and may therefore be easier to motivate.

22.  Express your care for the students through
the quality of your supervision of them.

22.  Regularly “count heads” to check that the students for who you are responsible are still with you. 

 

Take a register – at activities as well as lessons. Follow up absences – check their authenticity. 

 

Follow school reporting procedures when a student is missing.

 

Stay mobile around the school area in order to supervise. 

 

Don’t be gullible by accepting bogus excuses. 

 

Lay down clear rules, e.g. stay within 5 metres of me.

22.  You cannot actively care for students who are absent.  Supervision is an element of the structure required to bring a degree of security to chaotic
lives.  Make school an interesting, caring and special place so that students want to be here.

 

 

Working and Learning

Together at

Goldwyn School

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