Do many of you follow educationalists on Twitter? There is always a hot topic being unpicked and examined, for example, Philip Hammond’s ‘little extras’ which elicited many responses and strong views!
But one other topic has caused some hot and, at times, angry debate recently - silence (or not) on corridors as students move around the school. Some schools are fiercely in favour; they say it keeps the school calm and prevents corridor altercations and bullying. Other school leaders and education writers are just as strongly against this approach, they say it stifles the children, takes the joy out of the school and prevents much needed social interaction. I did not enter the Twitter debate but I delight in being on our corridors at all times of the day. I enjoy the jaunty greetings that I get, charming students who hold the door open for others, the way our students dress and the many things they stop to tell me and show me. Undeniably it is also an opportunity for me to remind the occasional student to put away a phone, take off a hat and pick up the pace so that they are on time for their lesson. If your school expectations are clear (our High Storrs Non Negotiables are listed at the end of this blog) and we all work together to uphold them, then the control of silence is unnecessary.
However, there is something that I do feel more strongly about and I suspect you all agree - no-one should tolerate a student who disrupts a lesson and spoils learning. Everyone has a right to learn and enjoy from the start to the end of the lesson. You probably know that we use an ‘on call’ system where a member of staff can request that a senior colleague comes to the lesson to take a student who has significantly disrupted the lesson to another location to work alone. This allows the rest of the class to carry on with their learning. The student who was removed from the lesson then receives a consequence (normally a detention) from the department. Moving forward, this will become an SLT detention and a letter will be sent home. Let’s be clear there is lots of support for students who struggle in different ways at High Storrs but all students have the absolute right to learn and enjoy at High Storrs School and the small minority who threaten to spoil the learning do need to change their ways. No silence on our corridors but high expectations for all.
NON-NEGOTIABLES AT HIGH STORRS SCHOOL
- Do as you are asked first time.
- Arrive for 8.40am and on time for lessons.
- Enter and exit school via the pedestrian entrances.
- Stick to the dress code.
- Don’t chew gum
- Put litter in bins.
- Only eat in the dining room, flexible lunch spaces or on the field.
- Mobile phones only to be used in phone zones or in classrooms with permission.
- The following items are banned; cigarettes, tobacco, vaping equipment, knives or weapons and illegal drugs- Permanent exclusion from school is always considered if a student brings these things into school.
We do ask that students follow these key rules and do as they are asked first time by any member of staff to ensure we all can enjoy a safe and happy learning environment.