What did the school look like before relational practice?

  • We had a lot of inconsistencies in the way in which we managed behaviour across the school.
  • The perception was that there was no Behaviour Policy.
  • There was no culture of recognition.

What triggered the change?

  • Principal Survey in which parents said they felt their children were not being recognised enough.
  • Staff Survey where concerns were raised about a lack of consistency and no visible Behaviour Policy.

What were the expectations/hopes?

  • An improved culture which all stakeholders bought into.
  • A consistent approach to both recognition and reflection.
  • A recognition approach built upon the values of the school.

What happened – what have you done, how did it pan out?

  • Pilot of a new, whole Primary school recognition system.
  • Pilot of an approach to reflection and restorative conversations.
  • Regular feedback from all stakeholders of the school, including parents, staff and students.
  • Introduction of a code of conduct that underpins the Recognition and Reflection approach.
  • A policy review to update the Behaviour Policy and ensure it is aligned with our changes.
  • Introduction of Peer Nominations to promote collegiality and team-ship.
  • Regular training for staff.

What was easy, what was hard?

  • Implementing the recognition system was relatively easy once we had classes who were happy to pilot
  • Asking for feedback was easy as it required a simple Google form.
  • Interpreting the feedback was hard because you naturally want it to succeed and have your own bias!
  • Making it stick has been hard because you cannot let it rest, you have to be relentless in making
    connections in your school context.
  • Seeking student voice has been easy, consistently making sure this is meaningful and not tokenistic has
    been hard.

Where are you now?

  • I think we are doing well, but we still have a lot more growth and there is always more that we can do.
  • We have a high number of new staff this year due to our campus expansion, so building connections
    with them is imperative at the moment.

What advice would they give to others?

  • Don’t let it drop!
  • Keep referring to your recognition approach in newsletters, assemblies, INSETS, class visits,
    performances, school trips etc!
  • Give it back to the students where possible through Peer Noticing etc.
  • Be consistent but listen and respond to feedback. You will need to re-iterate over and over again.