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Behaviour and Engagement

At St John Fisher Catholic High School, we aim to create and maintain a safe and consistent learning environment, underpinned by a pastoral system which promotes the wellbeing of all students. The Behaviour and Engagement policy exists to support outstanding teaching and learning within an ethos which promotes outstanding behaviour, self-discipline, respect, high standards of achievement and transparent and consistent application. Students should be able to develop and work in an atmosphere of trust, tolerance, security, and openness where positive relationships and achievements are celebrated within the school and wider community.

We promote the formation of such positive and productive relationships by recognising and committing to the following:

  • The uniqueness of the individual
  • The significance of community
  • The practice of forgiveness, reconciliation and therefore justice
  • The belief that young people have a strong natural sense of justice and appreciate a sense of order in which there are clear parameters
  • The belief that good behaviour is secured through consistent adult behaviours, praise, and encouragement

Behaviour, Rewards and Sanctions

The school has very clear expectations regarding students’ behaviour, which are detailed in our READY, RESPECTFUL, SAFE (RRS) expectations statements that appear in each classroom. It is a basic expectation that students always behave in a respectful manner, reflecting the Gospel teachings of Jesus Christ which are central to the school’s Mission Statement and ethos.

When students demonstrate the behaviours that we seek to promote and that reflect our RRS expectations they actively contribute to creating, maintaining, and promoting a positive and safe learning environment across the school.

Staff are expected to recognise and acknowledge these student behaviours by awarding Positive Behaviour Event codes appropriately.

It is inevitable that there will be instances of student behaviour that fail to meet our RRS expectations. In these circumstances staff will be expected to respond accordingly using the hierarchy of sanctions outlined in this behaviour and engagement policy as a guide.

Form Tutors have a key role in establishing and maintaining school routines and the expectations outlined in the Behaviour and Engagement Policy.

Form Tutors are expected to ensure that each student starts their school day in a positive, safe, and nurturing environment with a clear focus on the standards of dress and behaviour expected in their own personal pursuit of excellence, as outlined in our RRS expectations. Form Tutors implement the expected Form Time activities as a means of supporting students to meet these expectations.

Ready, Respectful and Safe

At St. John Fisher, we expect all students to work hard and the values of 'Ready', 'Respectful' and 'Safe' underpin our daily activities both on the school site and out in the wider community.

Alongside the school motto of 'Educating for Life', these RRS expectations help every student be in pursuit of excellence.


We expect ourselves to attend school and work hard every day.

  • Take pride in wearing our school uniform correctly
  • Be ready to learn every day: on time, equipped, on task
  • Strive for excellence in all aspects of life
  • Embrace the opportunities and challenges each day brings
  • Meet all learning expectations and work-related deadlines


We show respect, kindness and compassion to every member of the community, including ourselves.

  • Speak to others politely and act with consideration
  • Look and listen attentively to the person who should be talking
  • Follow instructions the first time
  • Contribute positively to all lessons, supporting the learning and progress of all
  • Notice and celebrate the success of others
  • Look after our resources and environment and place litter in bins


We make sure that our school remains a safe and positive environment for everyone regardless of faith, race, gender, sexuality or skin colour.

  • Our classrooms are 'safe spaces' where mistakes are used to strengthen our learning
  • Move calmly and safely round school
  • No unnecessary physical contact (either as play or intentional)
  • Report any behaviour or language that risks the safety or wellbeing of others or yourself
  • Safe, responsible use of technology and on-line behaviours
  • Use equipment properly

RRS Main Graphic 

RRS Expectations in Classrooms

Rewards System

By promoting and upholding the principles encompassed in our Ready, Respectful, Safe (RRS) expectations we encourage all members of our school community to pursue excellence daily. Observing and acknowledging those behaviours that we wish to encourage and develop is a crucial part of ensuring that all members of the school community feel valued and recognised for their positive contributions.

All staff will use praise and encouragement to raise student expectations and progress, recognising effort as well as achievement. Praise will always be:

  • Specific to a task or behaviour
  • Meaningful and personalised
  • Used to reinforce our core values, ethos, and expectations
  • Earned, ensuring that the recipient is clear about why they have received it
  • Used to motivate students and develop their self-efficacy
  • Applied fairly, transparently, and consistently.

St John Fisher Catholic High School has a rewards system in place, which includes the following:

  • Verbal praise
  • Written praise (student’s work/planner)
  • The awarding of positive behaviour points (+1) in Bromcom (My Child At School)
  • Positive Notes (+3)
  • Postcards of praise to be sent home to parents
  • Phone calls to parents 
  • Achievement certificates
  • Reports and Progress Records
  • Parents’ Evenings
  • Awards Evenings
  • Termly Achievement Assemblies
  • Termly Rewards Trips

Positive Behaviour points (+1) and Positive Notes (+3) are awarded in recognition of outstanding work, effort, behaviour, attendance, and punctuality. They are intended to be aspirational, yet achievable, acknowledging a student’s personal pursuit of excellence.

Sanctions System

At times, students will need reminders about our RRS expectations, guidance on good behaviour and on occasion sanctions to impose and reinforce our high standards. At all times our aim will be to support and encourage, taking account of everyone’s needs. Our standards and expectations for behaviour will not be diluted to accommodate individual preferences but will always be focussed on supporting each student’s personal pursuit of excellence.

Our RRS expectations, including in lesson descriptors give students the chance to reflect on their behaviour, to exercise self-control and to make thoughtful decisions. By providing these repeated opportunities for a student to pause and consider their next course of action, we are framing the student’s behaviour as their choice, with a sanction/consequence/outcome for which they are responsible.

If a student continues to disrupt a lesson following a Caution, they will be removed from that lesson to work in a supported classroom. Parents will be informed of the removal via Bromcom (MCAS) and the student will attend a short (5 minute) reparation meeting with the member of staff who removed them from their lesson.

Following their removal from a lesson, if a student chooses to continue behaving in a disruptive fashion, they will be escorted to work in the school’s Seclusion room for the remainder of that lesson in the first instance. Once again, parents will be informed (usually by phone call). In addition, the student will attend a sixty-minute Thursday Night Correction from 3:30pm - 4:30pm.

When a Thursday Night Correction has been issued, the school will endeavour to give at least 24 hours’ notice of the sanction. Parents/carers will be informed of a Thursday Night Correction via either, phone, text, email, Bromcom (MCAS), post, or face-to-face. It will be the Parent/carer’s responsibility to make suitable travel arrangements for their son/daughter at the end of Correction.

Sanctions should be used in accordance with the commitment to resolve problems and in a spirit of reconciliation. All staff must seek to ensure that sanctions are proportionate to the offence and should enable students to make reparation where possible. Sanctions will follow the principles of repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation, involving a restorative approach in line with the school’s RRS expectations, beliefs, and Catholic ethos. They will:

  • Relate to a specific task or action and will be applied clearly
  • Be issued consistently and fairly, ensuring that the recipient is clear about what they are being reprimanded for
  • Reinforce our RRS expectations, core values and ethos
  • Not focus repeatedly on the same issue without progress
  • Not have a negative effect upon others

The following sanctions may be applied at the discretion of staff and where appropriate:

  • Verbal warning/reprimand
  • Adjusted seating plan
  • Removal from the classroom or specific area of classroom
  • Improving work of an unacceptable standard
  • Negative Behaviour Event entry on Bromcom
  • Carrying out useful tasks to support the school community
  • Withdrawal of privileges
  • Removal from a group or class or particular lesson
  • Completion of specific programmes of work on areas such as bullying and social skills
  • Thursday Night Correction
  • Meeting with the Head of Year, Head of Department, or members of the school’s Senior Leadership Team
  • Withholding participation in educational visits or sports events which are not essential to the curriculum
  • Meeting with the Headteacher or Governors’ disciplinary committee
  • Being placed on report or signing a behaviour contract
  • Fixed term placements in Seclusion 
  • Referral to an external agency or inclusion support
  • Fixed term placements in offsite Inclusion Units as arranged through Fair Access Panel (FAP)
  • Managed moves to alternative school/education provider
  • Exclusion, including internal, fixed term and permanent exclusion

NB This is not an exhaustive list, an appropriate sanction will be determined in consideration with the specific circumstances surrounding an incident.

Any student found to have made (false) malicious allegations against a member of staff may face a Disciplinary Committee chaired by the Headteacher and a member of the Governing Body plus any other appropriate member of staff.

Behaviour Responses

Peer-on-peer abuse

Peer-on-peer abuse is when children abuse other children. This type of abuse can take place inside and outside of school and online. 

Peer-on-peer abuse is most likely to include, but may not be limited to:

  • Bullying (including cyber-bullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying)
  • Abuse in intimate personal relationships between peers
  • Physical abuse such as hitting, kicking, shaking, biting, hair pulling, or otherwise causing physical harm (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages physical abuse)
  • Sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault (this may include an online element which facilitates, threatens and/or encourages sexual violence)
  • Sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment, which may be standalone or part of a broader pattern of abuse
  • Causing someone to engage in sexual activity without consent, such as forcing someone to strip, touch themselves sexually, or to engage in sexual activity with a third party
  • Consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nude images and/or videos (also known as sexting or youth produced sexual imagery)
  • Up-skirting, which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without their permission, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or cause the victim humiliation, distress, or alarm
  • Initiation/hazing type violence and rituals (this could include activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group and may also include an online element)

Where children abuse their peers online, this can take the form of, for example, abusive, harassing, and misogynistic messages; the non-consensual sharing of indecent images, especially around chat groups; and the sharing of abusive images and pornography, to those who don't want to receive such content.

If staff have any concerns about peer-on-peer abuse, or a student makes a report to them, they will follow the established safeguarding procedures in school, as appropriate.

If a parent/carer has any concerns about peer-on-peer abuse, or a student makes a report to them, they should contact the school reception and request to speak to Mrs Crichton Designated Safeguarding lead or Mrs Hutchinson-Jones Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead or e-mail marking the correspondence for attention of the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools

Sexual violence and sexual harassment can occur:

  • Between 2 children of any age and sex
  • Through a group of children sexually assaulting or sexually harassing a single child or group of children
  • Online and face to face (both physically and verbally)

Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap.

Children who are victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment will likely find the experience stressful and distressing. This will, likely, adversely affect their educational attainment and will be exacerbated if the alleged perpetrator(s) attends the same school.

If staff have any concerns about sexual violence or sexual harassment, or a student makes a report to them, they will follow the established safeguarding procedures in school, as appropriate.

If a parent/carer has any concerns about sexual violence and sexual harassment, or a student makes a report to them, they should contact the school reception and request to speak to Mrs Crichton Designated Safeguarding lead or e-mail marking the correspondence for attention of the Designated Safeguarding Lead.


Searching and Confiscation (including prohibited items)

The Department for Education (DfE) published advice for headteachers, school staff and governing bodies in January 2018 in relation to schools’ powers and legal requirements in terms of screening and searching students for prohibited items.

Students should not bring onto the school site or be in possession of items which detract from good behaviour or have a negative effect on their own learning or that of others. Students should not be in possession of items which endanger the health, safety and wellbeing of themselves or other members of the school community. This also extends to off-site school activities. Failure to adhere to the school rules regarding prohibited items may result in a fixed–term or permanent exclusion.

The Headteacher can authorise a search of students or their possessions (including bags) for any item banned under the school rules if the student agrees. In addition, the Headteacher, or in his absence the Deputy Head /Assistant Head, have a statutory power to search students or their possessions (including bags) without their consent if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the student may have a prohibited item. The DfE has identified the following as prohibited items:

  • Knives or weapons
  • Controlled substances
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal drugs
  • Stolen items
  • Tobacco, cigarette papers, E-cigarettes
  • Matches and lighters
  • Fireworks
  • Pornographic materials
  • Any article that the member of staff reasonably suspects has been, or is likely to be, used: to commit an offence, or to cause personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the student)
  • Any item which is a violation of the school rules

In addition, if a member of staff suspects a student has a banned item in his/her possession, they can instruct the student to turn out his or her pockets and/or bag. If the student refuses to cooperate with such a request, it raises the same concerns as a refusal to cease/refrain from any other unacceptable behaviour when instructed by a member of staff. In such circumstances, an appropriate sanction, as set out in the school’s Behaviour and Engagement Policy, will be issued. Where there is potential danger or risk to the personal safety of a member of staff or a student, the police may be called to assist.

Where a search is being undertaken, the following must be adhered to:

  • The member of staff carrying out a search must be of the same sex as the student being searched; and there must be a witness (also a staff member) and, if possible, they should be the same sex as the student being searched*
  • May not require a student to remove any clothing other than outer clothing
  • A student’s possessions may not be searched except in his/her presence and another member of staff
  • If during a search, the member of staff finds anything he/she suspects of falling within the knives and offensive weapon category, or any other thing he/she suspects is evidence in relation to an offence e.g., drugs, he/she may seize and retain it 
  • Whenever a search is undertaken, irrespective of the outcome, the Headteacher must be informed directly or via email to the Headteacher’s PA.

*There is a limited exception to this rule. An authorised staff member may carry out a search of a student of the opposite sex to them and / or without a witness present, but only where there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is a risk that serious harm will be caused to a person if the search is not conducted immediately and where it is not reasonably practicable to summon another member of staff.