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Celebrating positive behaviour in school

How St Benedict’s Catholic High School used the Behaviour Hubs programme to develop a consistent behaviour policy, standards and expectations.

The behaviour in schools guidance says:

“Acknowledging good behaviour encourages repetition and communicates the school community’s expectations and values to all pupils.

“Using positive recognition and rewards provides an opportunity for all staff to reinforce the school’s culture and ethos.

“Positive reinforcements and rewards should be applied clearly and fairly to reinforce the routines, expectations, and norms of the school’s behaviour culture.”

St Benedict’s Catholic High School is an example of how to do this.

Characteristics of St Benedict’s Catholic High School

St Benedict’s is a Catholic School and sixth form with 592 pupils on roll. It is part of the newly established Our Lady of Magnificat multi-academy company.

Nearly 17% of pupils have special educational needs and disabilities and over 21% speak English as an additional language. Both proportions are higher than the national average.

In March 2020 Ofsted judged that St Benedict’s required improvement. Their report said the school needed to tackle low level disruption. It said not all staff consistently applied the school’s behaviour and rewards policy, so misbehaviour disrupted some lessons and hindered pupils’ learning.

What the school aimed to achieve with Behaviour Hubs

The school’s aims on joining the Behaviour Hubs programme included:

  • creating a positive behaviour culture in lessons and during social times
  • developing consistent behaviour policy, standards and expectations

Working with the Behaviour Hubs programme

The school focused on:

  • creating a culture and vision with all staff
  • setting up strong systems and support
  • creating positive relationships between pupils and staff

The school used the Behaviour Hubs pupil voice survey and audit to understand pupils’ perspective.

Staff from a lead school – a school with an exemplary behaviour culture – visited St Benedict’s. They offered a non-threatening assessment of current standards and provided practical and realistic solutions. The lead school provided weekly coaching.

School leaders from St Benedict’s attended open days at lead schools, where they observed and shared good practice.

What St Benedict’s did

St Benedict’s:

  • held daily briefings with the school’s pastoral team to identify positive and negative behaviour, and to share support and good practice
  • promoted high attendance through rewards and shared attendance data
  • amended the school’s reward policy, and used a parent app to inform families of positive and negative behaviour
  • changed praise and achievement logs to meet the school’s mission values
  • used more verbal praise
  • used the school’s framework of gospel values to recognise student achievement. Rewards included hot chocolate on Friday, achievement assemblies, a pizza party and a weekly attendance raffle

Results and benefits

Staff and pupils highlighted a positive change to behaviour and standards. The results included:

  • 75% of students saying they knew how the school expected them to behave and why
  • attendance improving from autumn term (92%) to spring term (93.5%)
  • a decline in low-level disruption and negative logs for school uniform
  • improved punctuality


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