How we started
At Caister Junior School, we started working with the Index for Inclusion in 2010. We used the following indicators as a starting point to raise awareness of what we needed to address:
- A1.4 Staff and children respect one another
- A2.9 The school encourages children and adults to feel good about themselves
- C2.8 Discipline is based on mutual respect
- A2.2 The school encourages respect for all human rights
We combined this with the UNICEF Rights Respecting agenda and Restorative Approaches to formulate a Plan of Action, focused on Continuing Professional Development for staff, underpinning our curriculum, behaviour management and inclusion strategies across the school. We used the questions from the Index for Inclusion – this included an audit of where we were: ‘what was working well’, what was working 'so-so’ and ‘what wasn’t working’ in these areas. All stakeholders were involved and this made it very powerful with comments included in our School Self Evaluation. We then set up a new Behaviour Policy which has evolved over the past year.
What we did
As a result, we have put in place Lunchtime Marshals who help the Midday Supervisory Staff, Playground Buddies who help with friendships on the playground, and Squaddies who make the corridors safe at lunchtime also. We also have a Curriculum Vision group who make decisions about our evolving integrated curriculum and personalised learning.They have also come up with some Rights and Responsibilities to support the lunch hour.
In addition, Individual Target cards are given to pupils with specific needs and there is a specific target to be rewarded for achieving; e.g. ‘to speak politely to all adults in our school’. A ‘smiley face’ is given each time an adult is given a positive response and then a reward is given after 20 smiley faces are achieved. Positives Books are used widely for children with low self esteem and staff and parents write a positive comment each day in the book.
We then assigned the role of Peer Mentor to 10 pupils in Year 6 – again using a restorative approach to give them responsibility for good behaviour in the school too. We are continuously evaluating and changing and have found the Index an extremely useful resource in doing so.
In the 2012/13 school year, we have used the Parent and Pupil
questionnaires at the back of the Index book as an evaluative tool to work alongside our Restorative/UNICEF work. We found it to be a great tool and adapted it for our own setting. It highlighted the need for us to look at our Homework policy as there were comments about the amount etc.
Plans for the future
Two ideas we would like to promote in the future are linking with ‘pupil voice’ across the community of local schools (Index indicator B1.1), and orchestrating learning (Index indicators C2. 2,3,4,5) through challenges, problem solving and pupil-led learning.
We have found that our best way of working is to work as a cluster
of schools together rather than just individually on projects.