Good Relationships and Good Choices

Nonington is a church school, and, as such, our motivation is based in the Christian values of Faith, Hope and Love. 

  • Faith in the power of education to nurture our human, God-given, potential.
  • Hope that we can have a positive impact on the lives of those around us; that we can achieve our goals and learn from our mistakes.
  • Love for all people, whoever they are and whatever their needs; sharing and caring for everyone.

This policy has been written with these central values at the core of our thinking. The process has involved staff, governors and children and the final policy represents a consensus of our discussions and deliberations.

Core Values

  1. Our faith in the power of education can best be nurtured in the context of good relationships between everyone in the school. We are able to make the most of our God-given potential when we have the opportunity to make good choices in a safe and caring environment.
  2. Our hope to have a positive impact on the lives of those around us can only be truly realised if we live and work in a positive environment where all people are recognised as having equal value.
  3. Our love for all people (caritas) comes directly from a desire to have good relationships with others and a willingness to see ourselves as members of one human family.

 Relationships and Choices

  • Relationships, in all their variety, are the means by which we are able to live in the world with other people. In schools, there is a danger that relationships will be unequal because they exist between adults and children. We seek to challenge this idea through this policy. The level of responsibility will differ according to age and role, but the level of value and importance ought not to be different.
  • Choices are the way in which we express our free will. We all have choices and it is the purpose of this policy to highlight the choices that are open to all members of the school, and the potential consequences of those choices upon individuals and those around them.

This Policy is for all involved in the life of the school – adults and children alike.

Relationships

There are a number of types of relationship that exist within a school community. Leaders and managers with other staff, staff with each other, staff with children, children with each other, and staff with parents. Added to this are relationships that members of the school have with visitors and those in the community. All these relationships are central to the development and progress of everyone involved in the life of the school, and are therefore of equal importance.

Good Relationships

Good relationships need to be nurtured. In formulating this policy, we discussed what constitutes a good relationship. We have defined it as:

A supportive relationship between two or more people who

  1. care for each other,
  2. listen to each other,
  3. are prepared to look after each other, and
  4. will help each other to make good choices.

Caring

In caring for each other, we are bound to recognise everyone’s unique personality and his or her value as a human being. This care is unconditional. It should not be changed by the behaviour of the other person, or by that person’s views or words. Our care is shown not only by our actions, but in our words. We show our care for all human beings by speaking to everyone in a polite and appropriate way that shows that we value each person equally.

Listening

Relationships can only work where people listen to each other. We undertake to listen to what other people have to say, and to do this in an active way, that not only acknowledges people’s right to speak, but the right to contribute with equal weight to discussions and debates, and the formation of policy (within the appropriate forums).

Looking after each other

All members of the school community should look after those around them. This ranges from helping someone who has fallen over to supporting those going through bereavement or other crises. All needs have value. All members have the same right to be looked after as those around them, and the same obligation to look after others.

Helping each other to make good choices

In an open and caring environment, we must not be afraid to support others when they are making choices, nor to do so when the choices that they have made are not good. We all have a responsibility to give and accept feedback. This feedback must be supportive and aim at positive results for all.

Choices

Choices are the way in which we respond to the various opportunities that we encounter on a day-to-day basis. It may be as simple as deciding to put on a coat when it is cold, or as complex as choosing to follow a course of behaviour that will lead to a break-down of teaching and learning in a classroom. We must be aware that all choices have results, direct and indirect, and that these lead to consequences for ourselves and for others.

Good Choices

Good choices are those which have a generally positive outcome for all people involved. This does not mean that good choices always lead to everyone getting what he or she wants, or that the positive consequences are seen immediately. The moral stance ought not automatically to be the utilitarian argument of ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’: it is important to weigh the consequences before deciding on a course of action.

Consequences

It is vital that the knowledge of the right to make choices comes with the understanding that these choices have consequences. If this is explicit, then everyone will understand that he or she chooses the consequences as much as she or she chooses the course of action. In order to provide clarity for all, and to meet our statutory obligations, we have devised a table of choices and consequences that will serve as a statement of our commitment to good relationships, and as a means to support all members of the school community to make good choices.

It is should be remembered that everything below applies to all members of the school community

Choice Consequences
Working hard and trying my best Feeling of achievement.
Praise from those around me.
Possible award or certificate.
Not working hard or trying my best Feeling of failure.
Those around me will be disappointed.
I may have to spend my free time on my work.
Listening to others I will know what is going on/what to do.
I show my respect for other people.
I will be listened to myself when I speak.
Not listening to others I will not know what is going on/what to do.
I show disrespect to others.
People are less likely to listen to me.
I may lose my free time to catch up.
Respecting school and others’ property I will feel a sense of responsibility.
I will be able to use a wide range of resources.
I will be trusted with equipment.
Not respecting school and others’ property I will feel a lack of responsibility.
I will not to able to use some resources.
I will not be trusted with equipment.
I may have to replace or repair resources.
Sharing with others – time, work or resources. We feel good about ourselves.
We get to work with others.
We get to use a wider range of resources.
We will be praised by those around us.
Not sharing with others – time, work or resources. We don’t feel good about ourselves.
We are not able to work with others.
We do not get to use so many resources.
Others will not be happy and will know we have not shared.
Asking politely – e.g. using ‘please’. We get a good feeling from knowing we have been polite.
Others will feel appreciated when we are polite.
We are more likely to get the things we want or need, at the time we want or need them.
Not asking politely – e.g. not using ‘please’. We do not feel good about being impolite.
Others feel unhappy and undervalued.
We are less likely to get the things we want or need, at the time we want or need them.
Showing our gratitude – e.g. using ‘thank you’. We get a good feeling from knowing we have been polite.
Others will feel appreciated when we are polite.
We are more likely to get the things we want or need, at the time we want or need them.
Not showing our gratitude – e.g. not using ‘thank you’. We do not feel good about being impolite.
Others feel unhappy and undervalued.
We are less likely to get the things we want or need, at the time we want or need them.
Showing respect for other people’s views and opinions It is good to feel tolerant and value difference.
Others feel valued.
We are respected ourselves and set a good example.
Not showing respect for other people’s views and opinions. We feel unhappy when we do not tolerate others.
Others do not feel valued.
We are not respected by others.
Showing tolerance of all people regardless of their gender, race, country of birth, disability, or religion. It is good to feel tolerant and value difference.
Others feel valued.
We are respected ourselves.
Not showing tolerance of all people regardless of their gender, race, country of birth, disability, or religion. We feel unhappy when we do not tolerate others.
Others do not feel valued.
We are not respected by others.
Being helpful. We feel a sense of self-worth.
We are appreciated by others.
We feel a full part of the school community.
Not being helpful. We do not get a feeling of self-worth.
Others do not appreciate us.
We do not feel a full part of the school community.
Respecting other people’s personal space. We feel free in our own space.
Others feel free in their space.
We are able to achieve well and enjoy the respect of others.
Not respecting other people’s personal space. We may feel pushed out by others.
Other people feel annoyed and threatened.
We are not able to take a full part in some activities.
Sharing and celebrating the success of others. We feel good when we share in other’s successes.
Other people like us to celebrate with them.
We all gain pleasure and support together from the celebration, and our achievements can be celebrated too.
Not sharing and celebrating the success of others. We lose that good feeling that comes from sharing.
Other people do not feel valued.
We lose the pleasure and support of celebrating and our achievements may not be celebrated.
Respecting people in the way we speak. We feel better when we have good communication.
Others feel respected and valued.
Everyone is able to believe that the school is a positive place.
Not respecting people in the way we speak. We all feel there is a lack of respect and value for all.
We will not get the response we would like.
If our language is aggressive we may lose our privileges, or have to leave the conversation.
If our language is violent, we may be excluded.
Making sure that everyone is physically safe and secure. We feel good about supporting others.
Everyone feels safe.
We all help each other to create a safe and caring environment.
Not making sure that everyone is physically safe and secure. We do not gain respect.
People feel unsafe and insecure.
The school is such a safe and happy place.
Hurting others We lose our self-respect.We lose the respect of others.
We lose our privileges.
More extreme violence can lead to exclusion.
Positively representing the school in the community. We have a sense of membership and ownership of our school.
We have fellow-feeling with other members of the school.
We gain respect for the school.
Not positively representing the school in the community. We do not have a sense of membership or ownership of our school.
We lack fellow-feeling with other members.
The school lacks respect in the community.

Levels of Responsibility

Whilst stressing the equality of value of all members of the school community, we recognise that there are degrees of responsibility for the nurture and development of this policy and plan. They are broadly as follows:

Governing Body

The Governing Body sets the tone and vision of the school through their strategic planning and policy making. This is reflected in their published documents and the Governor Vision, as well as in the Governor/School Agreement. The Governing Body has overall responsibility for the way in which the school operates. Governors’ interactions with others must be appropriate and supportive.

The Headteacher

The headteacher has overall responsibility for the day-to-day leadership and management of the school and is responsible for ensuring that his or her actions and words fully reflect the ethos of this document. His or her signing of the Staff/School agreement reflects this.  His or her interactions with others must be appropriate and supportive.

Teachers

Teachers have responsibility for their classes and the welfare of their teaching assistants and the children in their care. Their actions and words must fully reflect the ethos of this document. Their signing of the Staff/School agreement reflects this. Their interactions with adults and children must be appropriate and supportive.

Support Staff

Support staff, under the supervision of their class teachers or line managers, have responsibility for the children in their care. Their actions and words must fully reflect the ethos of this document. Their signing of the Staff/School agreement reflects this. Their interactions with adults and children must be appropriate and supportive.

Children

Children, by signing the Home/School agreement, undertake to strive to form good relationships and make good choices. They accept the ethos of the school as expressed through this and other documents and, with support, undertake to ensure that their interactions with children and adults will be appropriate and supportive.

Parents and carers

Parents, by signing the Home/School agreement, undertake to support their children to form good relationships and make good choices. They accept the ethos of the school as expressed through this and other documents and undertake to support their children to ensure that their interactions with children and adults will be appropriate and supportive. They also undertake to ensure that their own interactions with other members of the school community, both children and adults, will be appropriate and supportive.

Members of the wider community

Members of the wider community, who wish to be involved in any aspect of the life of the school, accept the ethos of the school as expressed through this and other documents, and undertake to ensure that their interactions with children and adults will be appropriate and supportive.