At Hardwick House School, it is recognised that each learner’s autism is individual. To reflect that and to ensure that this it is achievable by all, the behaviour policy has been set out with fairness at its core.
The staff work with learners based on the principle of ‘fair not equal’. Hardwick House School has an ethos of fairness; subscribing to the belief that ‘fair does not mean that every learner receives the same treatment or consequence, but that every learner receives what he or she needs’.
We recognise that all behaviour is a form of communication. The staff therefore, are constantly searching for alternative ways to support the learners in making the right choices, and communicate in a positive and alternative way. In order that we achieve this, we must establish high expectations where learners feel safe and can learn lifelong strategies of self-control.
Teaching appropriate behaviour is central to academic independence and community participation, therefore, the focus must be on rewarding appropriate behaviours; helping learners take responsibility for their actions and understanding the significance of the intended and unintended consequences of their choices.
Hardwick House believe that the consequences for unpredictable behaviours should vary based on the specific context and circumstance. There is a toolkit of interventions designed to help the learners identify the expected behaviour for the situation and encourage its use in the future. All interventions and consequences relating to behaviour are considered with a view to reinforcing a safe and fair learning environment in which each learner can flourish.
Promoting positive behaviour forms the foundation of our school’s continuing success. Having clear, fair and consistent expectations is essential to forming relationships in school and in establishing a respectful and positive culture of behaviour for learning that leads to achievements and success.
At Hardwick House School, we believe that a system of reward and celebration is the best way to promote positive behaviour. We have a number of systems in place that recognise and reward positive behaviour and learning. These include weekly enrichment sessions and a longer term credit system that is designed whereby learners can earn individual rewards throughout the year.
Our school values the partnership with parents, guardians and carers. Regular contact is maintained through daily or weekly diaries or phone calls/emails and the use of positive praise communications such as ‘postcards home’. Building up good home/school relationships makes it easier to discuss any problems that may arise, and makes it possible to work together closely where there may be behaviour difficulties.
Information about progress and achievements should be communicated between school and home, so that both can share in the learners’ achievements and we are constantly developing and refining our approaches to this so that all families can feel involved.