Behaviour, Attendance & Welfare
Behaviour and Wellbeing
At The Downs School we believe that every student has the right to feel safe at school and to learn. Our ethos is ‘Learning together. learning for life,’ which emphasises a partnership based on trust and respect between all members of the school community.
We work hard to ensure that the school is a place where all students are able to achieve their potential as learners and leaders, with relevant support, care and guidance from appropriate staff. This will be achieved by:
- Ensuring that outstanding behaviour is achieved through outstanding teaching and learning, which is supported by the school’s minimum expectations and vision for teaching and learning
- Equipping staff and students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to make informed choices
- Raising staff and student awareness of the school’s expectations for behaviour, which is summarised in the Downs Diamond and reflects an equal focus on both positive and negative consequences of different types of behaviour
- Developing consistency to praise positive attitudes to learning and reward achievement as well as attainment
- Promoting good behaviour at all times so that students can grow in self-discipline, self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Supporting students in becoming good citizens, who will relate positively to other members of society, at home and in the community.
All members of the school community are responsible for encouraging good behaviour by:
- Ensuring that outstanding teaching and learning is achieved by adhering to the school’s minimum expectations for teaching and learning
- Setting positive role models for students to follow and ensuring that they are fully aware of the behaviour that is expected in the school
- Creating a calm, safe and well-ordered environment for teaching and learning and promoting pride in it
- Establishing high expectations at all times and praising when expectations are reached or exceeded
- Creating an atmosphere whereby students and adults are treated as individuals whose rights, values, beliefs and cultures are respected
- Fostering good relationships from the first point of contact with the school so that a sense of belonging will follow
- Recognising all kinds of bullying and unkindness when they do occur and taking the necessary steps immediately to deal with unacceptable conduct in a constructive manner
- Consistently promoting positive social behaviour: “treat others as we would like to be treated”.
We actively promote good behaviour in school by modelling the behaviour we want to see, by communicating clearly our expectations of behaviour and by acknowledging, praising and rewarding good behaviour throughout the school. These positive behaviours are summarised in our ‘Minimum Expectations for Teaching and Learning,’ which both students and staff adhere to.
To ensure greater consistency and clarity around behaviour in the classroom students and staff have devised the Downs Diamond. This is displayed in all classrooms and followed by both students and staff.
Regular attendance and arriving on time for school are very important factors in students achieving their full potential. At The Downs School we work in partnership with parents and carers to ensure that students attend school every day and are always on time.
As a parent or carer you are committing an offence if you fail to ensure that your child attends school regularly and punctually, even if they are missing school without your knowledge.
We ask parents and carers to:
- Check that when students miss school – for whatever reason – they must see their individual teachers on their return to catch up with any missed class work and home work.
- Ensure your child attends every day, on time, equipped and ready to learn. Tutor time begins at 8.50am and students should be school by 8.45am.
- Students arriving after 9.05am may be marked absent and will require an explanatory note from home or the absence will remain unauthorised.
- Ensure the school has up to date addresses and telephone numbers for you. We will contact you if your child is absent and you have not contacted the school. This ensures that any absence is quickly identified.
- If your child is ill, please contact the school on each day of their absence and provide an explanatory note on their return to school.
- If you wish to check that your child has arrived at school contact the school reception on 01635 270000 and we will inform you if your child has been registered. If you use the School Gateway App you can see your child’s attendance record for each day.
- If no contact is received regarding an absence, it is recorded as unauthorised. Ultimately the school is responsible for deciding if the absence is acceptable or not. Only genuine absence will be authorised. You will be asked to provide medical certificates if your child has a poor attendance record.
- Please ensure that medical and other appointments are made outside school time.
- Holidays should not be taken in school time. Any Leave of Absence can only be agreed by the Head Teacher and will only be agreed where there are exceptional circumstances.