The Southwood Way
At Southwood Primary School we believe that all behaviour is a form of communication and treat it as so.
Southwood is a safe space to fail, to take risks, to be different, to explore, to be curious, to make mistakes, to have a different opinion, to think, to be reflective, to be yourself, to share and to shine.
Within our policy and curriculum we aim to foster and develop the skills to be able to appreciate how our behaviour affects other people, resolving disagreements that does not involve conflict, taking another person’s perspective with honesty and we model how to treat everyone with dignity and respect. Whatever we do, it is what’s best for our children.
Staff at Southwood will, inspire, guide and teach children the social emotional skills too holistically create positive relationships, independence, self-worth, resilience and contribute towards a positive community. We value the importance of the voice of the child and strive to establish relationships and interactions that create a sense of agency and self-worth. We will demonstrate compassion and understanding to all our students and community members; we will install the belief that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. We aim to be the best version of ourselves, so that we can inspire children to dream big, work hard and believe in themselves.
At the core of what we believe stands our vision and values. Emotions are a part of everyday life and self-regulation is the key to being able to realise and live by our vision and values. Self-regulation is tricky for adults at the best of times and even more so for children. When emotions are strong (there are no negative emotions) it becomes even harder to control. We use a system created to develop language around emotions and support mental and emotional well-being which is based on ‘Zones of Regulation’ (more information can be found at: https://www.zonesofregulation.com/index.html All actions have consequences and so it is our responsibility to teach pupils about this (this includes criminal responsibility lessons.)
Respect agreements are written at the beginning of each academic year, with age and stage appropriate language and layout; ideas are led by pupils. This agreement helps pupils to cooperate with each other, to support learning and teaching in their classroom and are linked to our three school rules. The agreement outlines: rights and responsibilities, the basic routines that support learning and welfare, class rules, the consequences for rule breaking, how pupils support one another and the rewards for good behaviour. Pupils have a responsibility to report incidents of bullying or intimidation. They also have a role in offering support to their peers through activities such as peer mentoring and peer to peer nurture.
Building strong and positive relationships is at the heart of Southwood Primary School.
Our relationship policy has an unwavering focus on positive behaviours and intrinsic motivation. Just like our curriculum prepares each individual child for their real and future lives; through active participation, purpose and application, so should our relationship education.
We are a community that nurtures and supports every child; values everyone’s unique worth and contribution; empowers every member to achieve and open up a world of opportunities.
Punishments don’t teach, they create more distance between teachers and students; they make children become compliant and lead to feelings of anger, shame and humiliation. So instead of reflection, children learn to plot how to avoid detection next time, learn to look after just themselves and learn that they should exert power as a way of getting what they want. We therefore use restorative practices which represent a positive step forward in helping students learn to resolve disagreements, take ownership of their behaviour, and engage in acts of empathy and forgiveness. Restorative practice repairs the harm done to relationships, over and above the need for assigning blame and giving punishments. It fosters an awareness of how others have been affected by actively engaging everyone, separating the deed from the doer. This is done WITH the children and not TO them.
Relationships and communication between all adults and children will show respect, cooperation, tolerance, encouragement and praise. They will reflect the underlying principles of Nurture and Restorative Practice. Real positive relationships mean that it is harder for students to act defiantly or disrespectfully towards adults who clearly care about them and their future.
‘When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower itself’ Alexander Den Heijer.