As Year 11 leave and we look forward to welcoming a new group of students into Year 7, it is a good opportunity to reflect on the ethos at the College, in particular our approach to managing behaviour.
We believe that students who attend Catmose want to come to college, work hard, learn new things, contribute to their community and enjoy themselves. We know that you also share this expectation. We manage the College on the principle that Catmose students can be trusted, that is why there are no locked doors; students are able to attend from 8:00 am every morning and stay late, they can use any of our facilities including computers, pianos, the library and any others without the need for direct supervision because we trust them to do so. In dealing with students we believe that we should treat them as we wish to be treated ourselves, by staff leading by example, queuing with students, dressing smartly, working hard and making every individual matter.
We have an ethos that is centred on mutual respect and developing an appreciation of what each and every one of us contributes to the College community, for some this will be through their academic studies, for others it will be through volunteering, joining sports teams, contributing to music or drama, supporting trips and visits, helping out at progress evening or open evening. We know that students who contribute to the wider life of the College are happier, behave better and ultimately achieve more than those who simply go to lessons.
I would not want you to get the wrong impression however, poor behaviour is not tolerated at the College, a student disrupting the learning of others or intolerance towards others is unacceptable. On each and every occasion, action is taken to address the behaviour of the individual causing concern, including parental engagement, and is reinforced by sanctions which ultimately if not responded to by the student will lead to permanent exclusion. I will seriously consider permanently excluding students if they have not responded to support and continue to disrupt lessons or undermine our ethos.
There are also a number of significant behavioural issues which will lead to serious consideration of permanent exclusion for a one-off incident, even if the student concerned has not been in any prior difficulty. The sorts of offences that could lead to this are: supplying an illegal drug, serious actual or threatened violence, carrying an offensive weapon, bullying (including that which is racially motivated), sexual abuse or assault. We are fortunate that instances of such serious behaviour are almost unheard of at Catmose, however I will not hesitate to use this sanction if I feel the safety and well-being of students is undermined.
I know you will want to know that these matters are dealt with quickly and taken seriously by me and the College; please be assured that they are. Details will always be kept confidential between the College and family concerned. I will not allow the College to be anything but the safe and happy school I want for my own children and that I know you want for yours.
We apply this approach to students in College and in any circumstance that they could be in any way associated with this community; they don’t stop being a Catmose student when they exit the turnstiles each day. I encourage you to read our polices on these matters which can be accessed at: http://www.catmosecollege.com/policies; Behaviour Management can be found in the folder entitled ‘College’ and Exclusions in the folder entitled ‘Federation’.
This approach works for the vast majority of our students; we are one of the highest performing schools nationally for student attendance, exclusions are very low and the progress students make is exceptional. I continue to be immensely proud of each and every achievement of our students, in and beyond the classroom, and make no apologies for celebrating them at every opportunity in order that Oakham and our wider community can also share just how wonderful the diverse talents of our students are.
If you would like to discuss our ethos and approach to managing student behaviour I would be very pleased to meet or arrange a time to speak on the telephone, this can be arranged via my PA Sophie Dawson (firstname.lastname@example.org and 01572 770066). If you feel there is an issue that has not been addressed I would also welcome an email to highlight the issue to me; we can only get better if you let us know there is a problem.