For Grade R to 3 children ‘Worker of the Week’ badges are awarded in the Junior Prep Assemblies on Friday mornings to children who have put in that ‘extra’ effort. The badges are kept and worn for the week and returned the following Friday morning. ‘Artist of the Week’ and ‘Performer of the Week’ badges are also awarded in Assemblies – check the Drama and Art sections of this Handbook for more information.
Green Card System (Junior Prep):
Green cards can be given to children by all Staff for almost anything that is positive, out of the ordinary, helpful etc. It can include good academic work, good sport and sportsmanship, politeness, going the extra mile et al. Green cards would be appropriate in all areas of school life.
What is it? It is literally a small piece of green card or paper, upon which the teacher writes details of why the card has been given. The children hold onto the card until it is handed in. The children hand the card to our Deputy Head and therefore have an opportunity to explain to someone else why he or she has earned the card. They can be pleased and proud of what they have done! The card might then go home to parents; it might end up in the bin – but that is up to the child.
The Points: Each Green Card earns one House Point and these can be added to the other points competed for in the House Competition.
Discipline is possibly one of the most widely discussed terms and is often used in the judging of schools. It is also possibly one of the most frequently misunderstood. Our objective at Somerset House is to assist children in learning to make the right decisions with regard to personal actions and behaviours. We do so, recognising that children make mistakes and must learn from them in order to grow. The ability to self-regulate one’s behaviour is a valuable attribute. We take discipline seriously and are advocates of an environment which is based on mutual respect and responsibility rather than fear. We believe strongly that if a positive and constructive environment is created in our school, there will be fewer discipline issues to deal with. Equally, if we deal with discipline issues respectfully and responsibly, our children will learn to respect rules and be responsible in abiding by them. We therefore emphasise our responsibilities more than our rights. We emphasise consideration for others in all our actions.
At Somerset House we expect:
- Good manners from all who make up the school community
- Responsible behaviour
- Respect for others regardless of differences of appearance, culture, religion, language, opinions or beliefs
- Respect for school property and the property of others
- Pride in our school, our grounds, our appearance
- Children to handle problems in a responsible manner by consulting the relevant staff member.
It is part of our policy at Somerset House not to have any written School Rules. Pupils and staff are expected and encouraged to treat all members of the school community with respect and courtesy. It is through this respect that the most effective form of discipline can be achieved. If the children are well-mannered, take pride in their personal appearance, are punctual and well-motivated, it is hoped that they are less likely to cause serious disciplinary problems. At Somerset House discipline is based on an understanding of what is socially acceptable in and out of the classroom. Our overriding emphasis is on a positive rather than negative discipline.
Bullying is a reality in all schools and happens in many different ways. It can be physical or emotional and it can happen at school in the playground or on a social network after hours. It has become a complex issue to deal with and it is generally powered by silence.
The school obviously does what it can to protect children from being bullied. It also does all it can to work positively in changing the behaviour of the child or children doing the bullying. If you have a suspicion that your child is a victim, or aggressor for that matter, it is very important to work with the school in solving the issue as soon as it presents itself. It is much tougher to change once entrenched. Please also be aware that there is normally much more to the situation than your child may tell you. It is for this reason that the school will often involve parents in the discussion so as to ensure that the “full picture” is visible. The cycle of bullying is only broken by people speaking about what is happening, as by its nature, it happens secretively.
The Junior Prep has a traffic light system that works well.
Parents are therefore encouraged to get their children to talk to a teacher, Head of Department, Deputy Head or Headmaster. Alternatively, a mail or call to an appropriate person is a vital first step in helping a child who is being bullied.