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Time to discuss timeouts

The School Council met today with Mrs Newman to talk about the topic of Sanctions in school.

Jessica L, in Year 6, took the minutes of the meeting which was attended by representatives from Year 2 to 6. All the children contributed very sensibly to the discussion and agreements were reached together.

The council discussed 'time-outs' - which are designed to help children learn good behaviour in school - as it has been reported that several children are becoming really worried about receiving a time-out. When a Prep pupil receives a time-out, they have to go to the computing room at lunchtime to sit and talk with a teacher, reflecting on their behaviour. If they receive five time-outs a pupil will go and see the Head. The council needed to discuss why children may be worried, to agree how and why time-outs will be given and to convey this to the rest of the school to help reduce any anxiety.

The children talked about when Prep time-outs should be given immediately and when they should have a warning ahead of one being given. They decided that behaviour such as running in the corridors, being rude to teachers, deliberately hurting someone, misbehaving in the locker rooms and being more than 5 minutes late (time agreed very sensibly by them) for lessons for no good reason should incur an instant time-out, whereas warnings should first be given for incidents such as talking in assembly or forgetting a piece of school equipment, e.g. mouth guards or devices. It was agreed that children would definitely not be given a time-out for being late to school or wearing an incorrect piece of uniform on the odd occasion.

Key Stage 1 children usually receive a warning before a time-out and they miss 5 minutes of their playtime.

The children understand why timeouts are given and agreed that they are a good idea and fair for everyone. They all agreed that going to see the Head after five timeouts was a good incentive to behave well. Mrs Newman talked to them about how they shouldn't be worried about receiving them and they all accepted that some form of sanction needs to be in place to help them make the right choices. She reiterated to them that it is not a scary experience to go into a time-out, that it is actually a good thing to reflect on poor behaviour and that the  consequence of their bad behaviour really only results in them being a little later to lunch. She confirmed that parents would only be contacted if poor behaviour continued to be an issue.

Mrs Newman and the members of the School Council will present the findings of the meeting to the rest of the school in assembly later this week.