Our behaviour policy was most recently updated in July  2019 and can be viewed here.

Governing Body’s Guiding Principles for Good Behaviour and Discipline

As required by law, the Governing Body has drawn up, in consultation with the school community and pupils, the following principles, around which our Positive Behaviour Policy has been designed:

  • • The school and all involved will work to provide a real ‘culture of respect’
    • Learning opportunities will be planned to engage and motivate
    • The school will promote inclusion and minimise any use of exclusion
    • All aspects of behaviour management at the school will be handled positively
    • All school policies pertaining to behaviour will be clear, publicly available, and with guidelines that are applied consistently and fairly
    • Partnership approaches will be actively sought with the local community and agencies
    • The Behaviour Policy will take into account developments in technology and respond accordingly to issues such as cyber-bullying
    • We will take a proactive approach to bullying by emphasising and developing a positive school culture, educational awareness through curriculum planning and links with the wider community. However, in the event of a bullying incident, the school will respond firmly and fairly in line with the school Anti-Bullying Policy
    • Parents will be involved fully and from the earliest point possible in any behavioural concerns
    • For pupils who cause concern, the school will draw up support plans, involving parents as well as, where appropriate, outside agencies
    • Where a child is likely to cause harm to themselves or others within the school community, then the Governing Body endorses the use of appropriate reasonable force by appropriately trained staff, in accordance with NYCC guidance
    • Where there are concerns that a pupil may be carrying items which may cause harm to themselves or others, the Governing Body endorses the right of staff to search pupils in line with policy guidance
    • When pupils are out of school and involved in any incidents through which they are publicly identified as members of the school community, the Governing Body endorses the right of the school to respond to those behaviour issues in line with the school behaviour policy
    • . If a member of staff is accused of misconduct, the Headteacher would discuss with the Governing Body who would support the Headteacher to ensure that the member of staff receives an appropriate level of pastoral support and would risk assess whether the member of staff can continue to work through any investigation period



THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN APPROPRIATE ETHOS is an essential prerequisite for learning. It depends upon trusting relationships and a process of co-operative teamwork. Our school welcomes and encourages the involvement of the STARMAT, local authority, governors, parents and others in the community.


The most effective and efficient approach to managing behaviour is by creating an active, happy, calm, positive and supportive atmosphere, whether in the classroom, when moving around the school or when out at play. This is a very real and day-to-day strength of Riverside School.


This ethos sets the tone for the school community as a whole and engenders positive and rewarding experiences for all its individual members, irrespective of background, culture, race, gender, position, capabilities or special needs. It leads to a reduction in poor behaviour and an increase in teaching and learning time. 

We follow research based evidence from the EEF and we base our behaviour support, strategy and interventions on the following recommendations, using pro-active approaches :
 Know and understand our pupils and their influences
 Teach learning behaviours alongside managing misbehaviour
 Use classroom management strategies to support good classroom behaviour
 Use simple approaches as part of our regular routine
 Use targeted approaches to meet the needs of individuals in our school
 Consistency and coherence at a whole-school level.


OUR AIMS FOR BEHAVIOUR are that all children will

  • be tolerant and understanding of the rights, views and property of others
  • develop a responsible and co-operative attitude towards work and towards their future roles as citizens in society
  • display courtesy at all times
  • accept responsibility for their own actions
  • achieve their potential in terms of self-esteem, academic achievement, aesthetic appreciation and spiritual awareness
  • take a pride and responsible interest in caring for their school - its fabric, equipment, reputation and traditions

These aims are embedded in our five whole school rules.



Riverside School is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all pupils so that they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Pupils, staff and parents work together towards the reduction of any forms of misbehaviour and the promotion of models of positive behaviour. Pupil behaviour has multiple influences, some of which teachers can manage directly and understanding a pupil’s context will inform effective responses to behaviour.

ALL MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY (teaching and non-teaching staff and governors) work towards the school's aims by:

  • • Training staff in specific strategies if supporting pupils with high behaviour needs
    • Ensuring every pupil should have a supportive relationship with a member of school staff
    • Ensuring every pupil knows the school rules and how to employ them around school
    • building the esteem of children and adults as individuals and respecting their rights, values and beliefs
    • fostering and promoting good relationships and a sense of belonging to the school community
    • providing a well-ordered environment in which all are fully aware of the expected standards of behaviour
    • providing a challenging and stimulating programme of study designed to enable all children to reach the highest standards of personal achievement
    • Teaching learning behaviours pro-actively will reduce the need to manage misbehaviour
    • recognising and being constantly aware of the needs of each individual child according to ability and aptitude
    • enabling children to take increasing responsibility for their own learning and conduct using metacognitive and self-reflection strategies.
    • being good role models - punctual, well prepared and organised
    • taking quick, firm action to prevent one child inhibiting another's progress
    • offering equal opportunities in all aspects of school life and recognising the importance of different cultures
    • encouraging, praising and positively reinforcing good relationships, behaviours and work
    • rejecting all conduct involving bullying or harassment
    • helping to develop strategies to eliminate undesirable behaviour both within and outside the classroom, and applying these consistently
    • caring for, and taking a pride in, the physical environment of the school
    • working as a team, supporting and encouraging one another

PUPILS work toward the school's aims by:

  • attending school in good health maintained by adequate diet, exercise and sleep
  • attending school regularly
  • being punctual and ready to begin lessons on time
  • being organised - bringing necessary kit, taking letters home promptly, returning books efficiently
  • contributing to the development of the school's code of behaviour
  • conducting themselves in an orderly manner in line with this code and the whole school rules
  • taking growing responsibility for their environment and for their own learning and conduct

PARENTS work toward the school's aims by:

  • • ensuring that children attend school in good health, punctually, and regularly (for example, by only taking holidays out of term time) adequate diet, exercise and sleep
    • providing telephone calls to explain all absences
    • providing support for the discipline within the school and for the teacher's role
    • being realistic about their children's abilities and offering encouragement and praise
    • discussing their children's progress and attainments
    • ensuring early contact with school to discuss matters which affect a child's happiness, progress and behaviour
    • supporting their child’s learning, whether in class, with homework, hearing reading or helping with learning tables, spellings.
    • allowing children to take increasing personal and social responsibility as they progress through the school
    • accepting responsibility for the conduct of their children; helping the school to embed the whole school rules

Reward procedures

Reward systems based on pupils gaining rewards can be effective when part of a broader classroom management strategy.

Each class will have in place a whole-class Merit system, whereby reward points are awarded when the whole class has behaved particularly well. There are also whole-class reward points in place for attendance and punctuality. When the whole-class merit chart reaches 10 points, the class receives a negotiated ‘treat.’ Any member of staff may award a class a class-merit – in class, at play, in line, in assembly, for a performance etc.

Each class may have their own individual class-based reward system for individual good conduct and effort in work. This might take the form of dojos, smiley faces, merit points, stickers, reward activities, written comments, etc. Each class teacher provides instant, short-term rewards and longer-term rewards for sustained effort. Reward systems are often particularly effective when children can contribute to their design and must be inclusive and fair.

It is sometimes necessary for rewards to be given to some children for lesser effort, in order to encourage pupils whose work and behaviour falls short of the norm. In this way, rewards can easily be built into an individual behavioural plan or ‘provision map’ to help motivate a particular pupil. This is not lowering our high expectations for behaviour but it enables some children to respond and identify the positive aspects of their behaviours and support their pathway to making good choices.

Individual achievements may also be recognised in school celebration assemblies and with postcards home. Any adult in school may nominate a child for a certificate by telling the child’s class teacher.

Wherever possible, good effort and/or behaviour should be reported to parents/carers in order to build a higher profile for the school behaviour policy in the local community.

To maintain a positive approach, all adults in the school community must be constantly looking for good behaviour and must respond appropriately and consistently to it. This may take the form of a smile, praise or use of the appropriate reward system. All adults must also provide an appropriate positive role model. Such lightweight responses or ‘encouragers’ should be used liberally by all adults as an integral part of the positive behaviour policy. This should prove to make times when sanctions are used much more effective and reduce the need for more severe sanctions. It should also be remembered that a sudden acceleration to ‘confrontational’ behavioural management can often prove ineffective. Such ‘confrontational’ techniques (shouting, sending to stand at wall, etc.) do have their place, but need to be applied infrequently and consistently in order to have the desired effect.

The Zonal Model

Our five whole school rules are:

Listen carefully to each other

 Follow instructions                                                    

Speak politely to everyone

Be kind and respectful to others

 Always try your hardest and do your best 

The colours of the rules are important. These colours are used for reinforcement, and for targeted rewards in the form of appropriately coloured certificates, stamps, badges and certificates.

The rules are used in assemblies and class-based pastoral work each year and especially during the Autumn Term so that all children learn to recognise them.

The rules, in the correct colours, are on display in every classroom, as well as communal areas, including the courtyard, so that children can see them everywhere and they can be reinforced by gesture (teacher pointing at chart etc). They can also be found in each child’s planner so that parents can see the rules in their correct colours at home.


Alongside the rules, each classroom will also have a small ‘zonal board’ used a reference point for our zonal behavioural support system. All children are in the “gold” zone for doing all the right things. However, if something goes wrong the child may be referred to as being in the green zone and they may miss part of a playtime or, if in the yellow zone, the whole of a playtime. If a pupil moves into the red zone, then they will see the Headteacher/Deputy either in class or in the office and parents would normally be involved. Children will then be required to make the appropriate changes and efforts to return to the zone. It is important that the pupil can identify what went wrong and how to rectify this as well as how to sustain the positive behaviours. The pupil must be given as many opportunities to speedily return into the gold zone and no pupil should remain in the green, yellow or red overnight of for a longer length of time. This system works through pupils wanting to stay in the safe zone or earn their way back to gold. It aims to build positive attitude and motivation to be make the right behavioural choices rather than relying on a punishment and sanction regime. That said, certain behaviours, such as bullying, racism or fighting, would of course lead to more direct escalation.

All school staff have been introduced to these approaches, along with some ‘standard’ dialogue cards to help us ensure consistency in handling incidents

Dealing with day-to-day incidents of misbehaviour

Where children become involved in incidents of misbehaviour and break agreed rules, various strategies and sanctions may be employed. The use of these varies according to the frequency, circumstance and attitude displayed. Ordinarily such incidents would be dealt with via progression through the zonal chart:

  • Verbal warning
  • Five minutes supervised activity during playtime.
  • Supervised activity throughout breaktime.
  • Sent to headteacher or deputy with parental contact

In general it would be expected that all avenues would be explored at the lower levels before escalation. It would be unwise to accelerate too quickly through this hierarchy and resort to sending to other staff too frequently. Once the lower level punishment has been ‘spent’ the pupil should move back into the gold zone.. If a pupil shows a significant positive shift in attitude (as opposed to a simple apology) it may be possible to de-escalate on the chart without the punishment occurring. Riverside School takes a proactive approach in contacting parents – always when pupils move into the red zone, but also if they frequent green or yellow.

However, escalation should occur when

  • A particular ‘one-off’ incident is viewed with greater concern - at a class teacher’s discretion.
  • A previously applied level of sanction is proving ineffective.

Care must be taken not to give children the impression that work is a punishment for misbehaviour and play is a reward - this will build up an undesirable picture of the ‘work ethic’ for the children and make enthusing children to work more difficult at a later stage in their education.

At this stage, with simple day-to-day incidents, each new school day is to be treated as a new start. However, if a child has two consecutive days where their behaviour is deemed inappropriate, the third day will be treated as a continuation of the previously applied discipline process and escalation through the sanction hierarchy will continue.

As part of our disciplinary code and to help children be responsible for their own actions, we feel that if children through their behaviour break, damage or deface school premises or equipment, the governors will ask parents to pay the cost of repair, replacement etc.

At all times, it is essential that the child understands:

        what the behaviour is that is unacceptable;

        why it is unacceptable; and

that it is the behaviour, not the child as a person, which is unacceptable.

Responding to those children who persistently give cause for concern

A more formal approach to behaviour management is required for children who display the following on a regular basis:

  • Antisocial behaviour – rude or abusive language, attitude, physical misbehaviour, etc
  • Regular reports of bullying
  • Inappropriate playground behaviour

With children who fall into the above description, the appropriate step may be to place them on a Behaviour Review. This will be done in consultation with the headteacher. It will always involve parents. External agencies may also be invited to offer advice at this stage.

In the first instance, the review should take place for three weeks and involve recording all behaviours (both positive and negative) displayed by the child during that period. The review should also record the efforts made by the class teacher to encourage and motivate that child and should be used with the child, and parents where appropriate, to motivate the child to make a noticeable improvement. At the end of the review period, the child’s progress will be discussed by the teacher and the headteacher to decide which of the following steps to take:

  • Further review period.
  • More parental involvement.
  • Use of outside agencies.
  • Removal from review.
  • School-based sanctions.

Parents should be kept informed of all steps taken in each individual case. The Behaviour Review should normally finish after three weeks.


The child whose misbehaviour is unacceptable within our school community

There are some incidents which our school community deems unacceptable and we need to send out the strongest possible message that such behaviour patterns will not be tolerated. These would be of extreme severity, usually premeditated and without remorse. For example:

  • • Premeditated and unprovoked violence/bullying.
    • Rude or insulting behaviour towards any adult.
    • Refusal to follow reasonable instruction.
    • Leaving the school premises without explicit permission.
    • Participation in petty crimes.
    • Wilfully destructive actions towards the belongings of others.
    • Any form of racism:
    • Physical attack because of colour/ethnicity
    • Derogatory name calling, insults or racist jokes
    • Verbal abuse or threats
    • Refusal to co-operate with peers
    • Ridicule of an individual for cultural differences

Pupils with high needs/challenging behaviours

Universal behaviour systems are unlikely to meet the needs of all pupils. For pupils with more challenging behaviour, the approach should be adapted to individual needs. This should link to the development of an individual behaviour plan and be reviewed at regular intervals as well as ensuring appropriate training is provided. However, a tailored approach to support an individual’s behaviour should complement our behaviour policy without lowering expectations of any pupil’s behaviour. We must be clear to communicate our high expectations at all times and be clear to all children, staff and parents about any reasons for differential treatment, including any reward systems. The current research shows that the interventions found to have a positive effect on behaviour largely focus on positive responses to the challenge of misbehaviour—teachers positively encouraging learning behaviours and putting in place reward systems—rather than primarily focusing on punitive measures. Some pupils may need a highly personalised individual curriculum plan that includes aspects of the Thrive approach- this may mean some time in different areas of the school away from the main classroom base (e.g. participating in a physical activity outdoors), but does not negate the need for maintaining and being clear about the high expectations for learning behaviours.

The school does not, and will not, tolerate bullying in any form (cf. Anti-Bullying Policy)

Children who bully may be withdrawn from the class or playground at playtimes and lunchtimes. These children will have to demonstrate their willingness to co-operate in order to regain their place in the classroom or on the playground.

Where these types of behaviour are demonstrated, a clear framework of discipline needs to be applied, always working at the discretion of the staff involved:

  • Child is taken to a senior member of staff/headteacher with a description of details of the incident recorded on an incident log.
  • The child will then be given ”time out” by being separated from their normal class for a period.
  • During this time, the child’s parents will be contacted and, depending on the severity of the incident, may be asked to come into school immediately. Should contact prove impossible, a note will be sent home or posted requesting the parents’ involvement on the next school day.
  • The child will remain in “time out” until their parents can be contacted to discuss how the child might be encouraged to avoid future incidents.

Such actions should normally result in moves towards a satisfactory outcome for child, teacher and parent. However, there may be a small number of situations which prove more intransigent and difficult to solve.

• Any incident of a serious nature will require further action, which may result in a short fixed term exclusion. We are a highly inclusive school, and as such, all forms of exclusion, including lunchtime exclusion, are only used as a last resort. Governors may be involved at an appropriate point when certain thresholds are met and this will in consultation with the Headteacher/Deputy

Restrictive Physical Intervention

Restrictive Physical Intervention may only be used in the following circumstances:

*          to prevent a child from harming him/herself

*          to prevent a child harming others

*          to prevent damage to property

If physical restraint is used to control a child then the Headteacher/Deputy must be immediately informed. All instances of restraint MUST be recorded in a pupil’s permanent file.


Out-of-school behaviour

When pupils are out of school and involved in any incidents where they are publicly identified as members of the school community, the Governing Body endorses the right of the school to respond to those behaviour issues in line with the school behaviour policy. This includes all aspects of ”cyber bullying” through text, social media etc.


Right to search

Where there are concerns that a pupil may be carrying items which may cause harm to themselves or others, the Governing Body endorses the right of staff to search pupils. This will ordinarily be done in the presence of another staff member, firstly giving the pupil an opportunity to disclose items for themselves. Any items found will be logged, parents notified and appropriate actions taken from that point, which may also include notification directly to the police.


Support systems

  • • regular pastoral review meetings in order to give the school behaviour policy a high profile
    • regular meetings of representatives of teaching and non-teaching staff to review behaviour/pastoral issues
    • the role of the Learning Mentors including pupil support groups, circle of friends, etc
    • Supervision for the Learning Mentors
    • Inclusion team offer supervision opportunities for staff
    • a planned programme of professional development for teachers, classroom assistants, midday supervisors and administrative staff
    • a programme of Personal and Social Education, designed to promote mutual respect, self discipline and social responsibility
    • a programme of education linked to new media and cyber safety/bullying
    • a programme of Health Education which includes work on relationships
    • a programme of Religious Education which includes ethical and moral issues
    • an integrated curriculum which offers role models and opportunities for children to learn how to interact, share, respect and care
    • whole-school and key-stage assemblies where issues are discussed, and explicit links are made to our five school rules
    • key-stage assemblies where certificates are presented and effort/achievement applauded

Priorities for development

Ensure all agreed school systems are in place and understood by all staff and all pupils

Ensure pro-active use in effect for reward systems including class rewards

Ensure all behavioural incidents including bullying are passed through to HT/DHT for formal log on school record

Ensure at least termly scrutiny of the behaviour log to check for trends (linked with work of FGB)

Ensure Inclusion Team consider appropriate referrals to Health Child and Prevention Teams to help with areas of behaviour and Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Use a range of monitoring and survey systems to consider impact of children new to Riverside on behaviour and ethos

Ensure at least annual communication in place to parents to explain our Behaviour Policy and ‘what to do if…’

Ensure at least annual Pastoral Review in place for all layers of staff team

Continue to use restorative practise and restorative conferencing to resolve issues

We remind ourselves frequently of the following useful model:


This policy should be read in conjunction with the school Inclusion Statement, Equalities Scheme, SEN and Anti-Bullying Policies.

The most recent edition of each of these policies is available on the school website.


Policy Created August 2012

Reviewed January 2015

Reviewed May 2017

Reviewed Jan 2019

Reviewed July 2019



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Contact Us

General queries to:
Mrs J Coates/Mrs J Kavanagh/Mrs V Scoot/Mrs Bain-Mackay - School Administrators
Mrs S Borradaile - School Business Manager

sampleTel:  01937 832 899

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Wetherby Road, Tadcaster
North Yorkshire LS24 9JN


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