Like me, I am sure many of you reflect on the relationships you had with adults when you were children and see how very different they were to the relationships children have with adults today. These changes have brought about many positive things, but there are also challenges.
Some of the challenges that adults face is knowing where to put boundaries for children. Children enjoy a lot of choice today and the voice of the child is central. Boundaries can be seen as restrictive or strict, and routines seen boring and limiting, when in fact the opposite is true, and children need boundaries and routines to feel cared for, loved and safe.
As educators, we never stop learning and over summer, we all enjoyed reading a book by Paul Dix; When the Adults Change, Everything Changes. We followed this up on our INSET day with training on how to implement the ideas.
The model is relationship based. Fostering warm, caring, respectful relationships between adults and children, with adults showing the behaviour they wish the children to demonstrate. 'People will follow people first, and rules second.' And with strategies to make children feel loved and safe like routines and clear expectations. This may sound easy, but it takes a lot of hard work.
We have implemented some cornerstones, absolute consistencies - The Key Three - that we expect to see from all adults, and children, throughout the day: Meet and Greet, Legendary Line Ups and Wonderful Walking. These create a sense of belonging and a clam atmosphere. Ask your children about them - I am sure they will give a demonstration!
We have committed to a 'this is how we do it here' approach, where children will get the same script from staff no matter who deals with their poor behaviours. We have high expectations and will praise children for going above and beyond showing the basic values.
We are already seeing a great and positive impact on the atmosphere around school. I know that lots of children have spoken about it at home.
We will keep providing you with information about this, as it is a fascinating and vast subject. If you would like to try and of the techniques at home, or want to find out more; Paul Dix has written a book called When the Parents Change, Everything Changes.