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Eastfield becomes When the Adults Change partner school

A Wolverhampton school is promoting the highest standards of behaviour in the classroom after becoming a 'When the Adults Change' partner school.

When the Adults Change helps schools to create environments where the 'highest standards of behaviour are accompanied by the most positive relationships'.

It was developed from the best-selling book by Paul Dix, which flips the debate on behaviour management in schools by turning the focus onto adults, offering them effective tips and strategies to develop a whole school ethos built on kindness, empathy and understanding.

Eastfield Primary School has been recognised for its outstanding relational practice by being named a partner school for When the Adults Changes.

Headteacher Sarah Hay said: "Social and emotional skills are essential for our children’s development and learning, and we have been looking at the sort of culture that we wanted within school, with the aim that, with the right support, our children would be able to articulate and manage their emotions safely, deal with conflict respectfully and to solve problems in appropriate ways.

"At the same time, we discovered the When the Adults Change book. As a result, we have revitalised the culture within our school for both adults and children. We have introduced three golden rules, rather than the 15 we had previously, we have improved relationships with adults and children through meet and greets and check-ins, and we have started trialling the introduction of recognition boards to meet functional behaviours and learning objectives.

"Staff have been trained in emotion coaching – an approach that uses moments of heightened emotion and resulting behaviour to guide children towards more effective responses. We have looked at our behaviour recording, capturing key factors such as the reason for the behaviour, location and time of day, for analysis. And we also use unstructured times to teach play and social skills through adult-led activities.

"We are now five years down our journey, relational practice is now embedded within our school and staff have developed a range of strategies to teach key social and emotional skills, both in dedicated time, and in everyday teaching.

"The training we have received has given us practical strategies that have been woven into everyday teaching, resulting in clear expectations for adults to apply consistently and fairly.”

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: "Good behaviour in schools is key to a good education, as is the creation of calm, safe and supportive environments in which children can learn and thrive.

"Sarah Hay and her team have embraced the When the Adults Change philosophy to deliver just this at Eastfield. Ofsted highlighted the impact it was having in its inspection of the school earlier this year, and it is clearly a win win for both its children and its staff.”

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