Last week I published the first of 3 blogs looking at the day to day work of Harlaw Academy which is based around 3 simple behaviour statements:
– Respect for People
– Respect for Learning
– Respect for Community

This week my blog will look in more depth at “respect for learning’

Under the statement respect for people we have a line which reads:
– we will be on time, on task, trying our best and achieving success

These are ideas which apply to all our pupils, parents and staff and in simple terms it includes the following behaviours:

For Pupils it is acting in a way which thinks about:
– on-time – here every day, in school before 8.25, on time for classes and on time for class deadlines
– on-task – listening to instructions, concentrating, not distracting/being distracted, asking if unsure, staying focussed (especially when the work is more challenging)
– trying your best – putting in maximum effort (best work, first time, on time every time), going the extra mile, practicing until it is perfect, going to catch up/revision classes outwith class time, sticking in (when the going gets tough ….)

For Parents it is thinking about:
– on-time – supporting the school in getting pupils in every day and on time, not taking holidays in term time and making appointments outside school hours, supporting the idea of work being handed in early and deadlines being met
– on-task – highlighting the importance of good behaviour in school, taking an active interest in the work your child is doing (eg on Google classrooms), playing concentration/number/word games at home
– trying your best – supporting all of the activities/actions mentioned above for pupils

For teachers it is about:
on-time – being on time for classes and having clear deadlines
– on-task – setting out learning intentions and success criteria, picking up on behaviour which is distracting others, helping pupils, varying the focus of the lesson and issuing more challenging work
– trying your best – promoting best work, first time, on time every time from all pupils, going the extra mile for their pupils eg offering catch up sessions, encouraging pupils to go beyond their potential and encouraging practice

Teaching/learning is our core business – if we get that right our pupils will be successful. But to get it right for every child we need every child to respect learning, we need every parent to respect learning and we need every teacher to respect learning. The cumulative effect of lots of little things can have a massive impact overall. Over 6 years at school goodness knows how many days would be lost through lateness, low level disruption and re-doing shoddy work. Whilst it would be unrealistic to think we could get rid of this completely I am also very clear that we can make significant progress on all 3 areas.

It is a message we all need to come back to on a regular basis and improving. Respecting learning is of course very closely linked to respecting people because the children who are late, disruptive and handing in shoddy work are not showing respect to their teachers, their classmates or themselves. So improvements in these areas make a difference in both areas and for everyone.