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Development of prosocial behaviour


‘We do have rules, we just don’t have sanctions’

‘The carrot and the stick’ – our basic approach to behaviour management has remained unchanged since we used donkeys as beasts of burden. Anecdotal evidence, however, would suggest that the ‘stick’ is ineffective and that the donkey would make just as much progress in pursuit of the carrot alone. Even with this being so, the move to dispense with sanctions in a school is so contrary to received wisdom that it represents a massive leap of faith. This is why we are working closely with the psychology department at Goldsmiths college to develop our new behavioural modification system.

Goldsmiths will assess our pupils to discover how they are likely to respond to a range of behavioural modification strategies. They will work with us to devise a system based on cutting edge neuroscience and then help us to assess its impact. Our vision is that there will be no primitive element to our systems. Better behaviour will be modified by protocols based on pupil responsibility, choice and post incident learning opportunities. It will be backed by a comprehensive and coherent hierarchy of reward.

As a result of this research, we developed and implemented a system of positive behaviour modification. This system is the cornerstone of our practice at school and fosters engagement and participation in learning.