Our approach to behaviour management at The Malling School is ‘Strict, Consistent and Caring’. 

Managing Student behaviour at TMS

Positive Behaviour Support and SWAT

We have strong behaviour systems in our school so that ‘every classroom is disruption free’.  To achieve this, we use positive behaviour support strategies and techniques.  Where classrooms are not disruption free, staff will consistently use our effective behaviour management system (SWAT) to deal with this. 

Ultimately, having disruption free classrooms allows every teacher and support staff member to ensure that great teaching occurs in every lesson which, in turn, ensures all our students achieve to the very best of their ability.  We use Positive Behaviour Strategies to manage our students’ behaviour so we can establish high expectations whilst at the same time fostering fantastic relationships with our students which will in turn help develop their character.

Our approach to behaviour management is Strict, Consistent and Caring. Ultimately, having ‘every classroom disruption free’ will allow every teacher and support staff member to ensure that great teaching occurs in every classroom which, in turn, will ensure all our students not only achieve to the very best of their ability but develop their character by always encouraging ‘The Malling School Way’ and promoting our core values of being Caring, Determined and Reflective.

Our approach to behaviour management is Strict, Consistent and Caring.

“You are always responsible for how you act, no matter how you feel”

Robert Tew

SWAT System

S –  State what the student has done wrong – 1st warning.  The student is told what they are doing wrong so they can change their behaviour.

W – Warn the student for a second time – 2nd warning.  Tell the student what will happen if they don’t change their behaviour.

A –  Apply a sanction.  This is moving them to another seat.  3rd and final warning.  Apply this sanction because they haven’t changed their behaviour.

T –  Transfer the student.  They are removed from their classroom by duty staff and taken to the Transfer Room.  They spend the remainder of that lesson in the Transfer Room and then return to their normal lessons.

  • Staff will use SWAT rather than asking a student to stand outside their classroom.  Our corridors are calm and quiet environments and this will be maintained by consistently following this policy.  Any warning given to a student will be recorded on the SWAT board.
  • A student can be transferred early in the lesson if necessary.  This will enable good quality of teaching and learning to be delivered without distraction of managing low-level disruption
  • Students are expected to listen to staff instructions and explanations in silence.  If this does not happen then the SWAT process is used
  • Planned student practice within lessons is expected to be completed in silence.  If this does not happen then the SWAT process is used
  • If a student is not producing a sufficient standard of work, then the SWAT process should be used.
  • A student can be transferred immediately if there is a serious breach of the school’s expected standards of behaviour
  • If a student is transferred from a lesson this will be logged on SIMS and then parents/carers of that student will receive a phone call on the same day so a positive conversation can be held about what went wrong and how it can be avoided in the future

An abstract of Positive Behaviour Support

Throughout the academic year, PBS strategies are taught so that all students and staff at TMS have a consistent approach to managing behaviour in a way that is strict, but importantly, caring.  It is pieced together from elements of educational and cognitive research over many years coupled with our own observations and experiences from The Malling School.  There are ‘three pillars’ of PBS: Consistency; Non-Confrontation and Positive Relationships.  Being consistent in our approach to dealing with our students and doing this in a non-confrontational manner gives every member of staff the best possible chance of developing positive relationships with the students we teach and nurture.

The work of a teacher is never done and we will all continue to reflect, refine and redo things in our endless quest to deliver the perfect lesson. This approach is equally as relevant regarding behaviour management as it is teaching strategies and techniques.  Without one, you cannot have the other.

Behaviour Management is something that can be taught and learned.  But, as with everything pedagogical, this can only be achieved using a step-by-step approach. 

The 13 Malling School ‘commandments’ of Positive Behaviour Support strategies

The foundations of PBS can be summarised and demonstrated by our students always doing the following: 

  1. Being at the classroom door at the start of their lesson
  2. Greeting all staff positively with a smile or a positive comment
  3. Knowing that SWAT is used in every lesson
  4. Ensuring they have their equipment every lesson and have completed all homework assignments
  5. Striving to receive Reward Points as part of their routine
  6. Completing their Low Stakes Test at start of every lesson
  7. Not putting ‘hands up’ to answer a question
  8. Not shouting
  9. Never using sarcasm or personal remarks
  10. Working silently during planned practice
  11. Always following the instruction of “Pens Down, Eyes on Me…3, 2, 1. Thank you” when teachers want their attention
  12. Leaving their lessons in an orderly fashion, one row at a time
  13. Working in silence during cover lessons

”High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation”

Charles Kettering

Teaching Manners through TMSW

We know that each student is different, in the same way that we as adults are all different.  Our own upbringing will determine what we consider ‘good manners’ to be.  It is for this reason we are very clear about what our expectations of good manners are, and that we consistently reinforce these with our students.

We teach our students how to behave and to respond to adults and each other.  Staff will greet our students with a smile and a “hello/good morning/good afternoon”.  Students at TMS are expected to:

  1. Say “good morning/afternoon” to staff
  2. Hold doors open for others, especially adults
  3. Say “thank you” when this is an appropriate response
  4. Offer to help an adult whenever and wherever possible

The only response a student should make when they make a mistake and their behaviour is challenged is “sorry Miss/Sir”.  We use our professional judgement to decide if “sorry” is enough of a response but the important point is that our students need to acknowledge they accept responsibility for their own behaviour.

“Good manners reflect something from inside – an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.”


High expectations at the start of lessons

Consistency is essential at the start of our lessons.  It helps our students, as they know what to expect.  This will ensure good behaviour in every lesson, in every subject, every day.  By following the points below, we support each other and the result will be consistently high standards across the whole school.

  • Teachers will be standing in the doorway of their classroom at the very start of each lesson to greet students with a smile, using their names and a welcoming gesture to show they are ready to learn
  • Students enter the classroom and sit in their allocated seat according to the seating plan
  • Lessons will start with a low stakes test or other appropriate starter activity
  • Students begin their starter activity immediately
  • Students’ books should be on their desks whenever possible so the starter activity can begin immediately
  • Students sit and get out their equipment and begin their starter activity in silence
  • Bags are placed under the desk and coats removed and placed on the back of the chair
  • Starter activities are completed in silence
  • Teacher to take register at the start of the lesson, ideally when the starter activity is being completed in silence.  Students are to respond with “Yes Sir/Miss” without deviation (with the exception of MFL)
  • Teacher to mark a student as late (L) if they are not present when the register is taken at the very start of the lesson
  • Teacher to mark a student with a Q if they do not have the correct equipment
  • Teacher to mark a student with a K if they have not produced the required homework
  • Planned Practice is completed in silence
  • Teachers should take pride in their classroom and maintain a clear, clutter-free, professional workspace.  The front-facing teaching wall should be free from distractions and busy displays or storage should be at the back of the classroom where it won’t distract you or your students from the main point of focus – which is you.

Silent work has huge benefits. A scientific study showed that periods of silence could create new cells in the hippocampus region of the human brain that is linked to learning, remembering and emotions.  Silent working also has psychological and emotional benefits such as improving creativity, awareness of self and environment and reflection.  It also helps develop students’ independent study skills. These have huge educational benefits and help develop character.

“Silence is a source of great strength.”



We use simple codes to ensure that our students know what to expect in every lesson, with every member of staff in every subject.  This helps with the consistent approach that is central to everything about TMSW.  These codes can be easily entered in SIMS.

Reason Late Transfer Equipment Homework
SIMS code L T Q K
Detail Staff should take their register at the very start of the lesson.  If a student is not present when the register is taken they need to be marked late.  5 L marks across all subjects result in a detention. If a student is transferred from your lesson a T is entered into SIMS.  A follow-up phone call must be made the same day to parents/carers.  The student attends an after-school detention the following day. If a student does not have the correct equipment, then a Q code is entered into SIMS.  5 Q marks across all subjects result in a detention. If a student does not complete a homework assignment, then a K code is entered into SIMS.  5 K marks result in an after-school detention.


We ensure our students come to school every day with the required equipment in order for them to successfully participate and produce work to the best of their ability in all of their lessons.  Required equipment every day:

    • Pens (Blue or Black AND Green)
    • Pencil
    • Ruler
    • Eraser
    • Sharpener
    • Appropriate books
    • Calculator (for mathematics and science)
    • Whiteboard, pen and highlighters (optional)
    • A school bag sufficiently large enough to hold all the equipment

High Expectations during lessons

Consistency is essential during our lessons if we are to manage behaviour effectively.  It helps our students as they know what to expect.  This will ensure good behaviour in every lesson, in every subject, every day.  By following the points below, we will support each other and the result will be consistently high standards across the whole school.

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routines”

 Mike Murdock

Establish high expectations

At TMS, this means if we tolerate mediocre standards in our classroom, then this is what we will get back from our students.  On the other hand, if we establish that we will not accept mediocrity in our classrooms, then students learn to function within these high expectations. We establish high expectations by doing the following in every lesson:

    • Using SWAT
    • No ‘hands up’ answering
    • Always use the phrase “Pens down, eyes on me, 3,2,1” to gain student attention
    • Planned Practice in silence
    • Follow Great Teaching Model
    • Front-load our questions and instructions
    • Re-boot our expectations whenever needed so students are regularly reminded of our high expectations
    • Being a radar – always scanning our class for full engagement
    • Praise, praise and praise.  Positive behaviour strategies are the most effective way to manage behaviour.  We highlight the behaviour we want to see and do not focus on the behaviour we do not want to see.
    • Use positive language and develop positive relationships with students

It is incredibly difficult for students to concentrate if we allow background noise to be the norm in our lessons.  This is why we will insist upon silence as our default position.  Silence supports all our students, but particularly our most vulnerable ones.  We insist that our classrooms are silent unless we have specifically said otherwise.  Discussion is a perfectly valid part of effective teaching but it needs to be planned for, directed by staff, and we must not allow misconceptions to develop. 

High Expectations at the end of lessons

We have a consistent approach to our lesson dismissals as it helps to manage behaviour effectively and ensure calm corridors.  It helps our students as they know what to expect and supports the teacher of the next lesson.  It ensures good behaviour in every lesson, in every subject, every day.  By following the points below, we support each other and the result is consistently high standards across the whole school.

  • Staff will finish teaching with appropriate time allowed for clearing of their room before the end of the lesson, so the next class can enter quickly
  • Students to stand behind their chairs before dismissal
  • Students must be dismissed in an orderly fashion one row at a time
  • Staff will address any uniform infringements before a student leaves their classroom
  • Staff will monitor the corridor outside their classroom to help support all staff maintain a strict, consistent and caring environment.

”High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation”

Charles Kettering

Calm Corridors

Quiet corridors ensure we maintain our calm and focussed school.  Students are expected to walk quickly and quietly through the corridors and not raise their voice for any reason. 

Pastoral Responsibility

We have fantastic pastoral teams at TMS.  Our Pastoral Leaders and Guidance Managers are crucial in providing the strict, caring and consistent approach we use.  However, the role of the Form Tutor is just as important.

”Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them…and insists that they become the best they can possibly be”

Rita Pierson

Role of the Form Tutor

At TMS, most teachers have two equally important roles.  The first is to pass on their exceptional subject knowledge to their students and teach high quality lessons using our Great Teaching Model and the second is to be a Pastoral Champion. 

Our staff will always try to develop positive relationships with their tutees and their families.  In developing these relationships, we have the opportunity to insist on the highest expectations while at the same time encouraging and developing our core values of being caring, determined and reflective.  Tutors are in the ideal position to ensure our students are ready to be the best person they can be every lesson, every day.  They do this by:

    • Delivering high quality P1 lessons by following ‘The Malling School Way’ curriculum
    • Awarding TMSW Reward Points through the ‘P1 Malling School Way’ lessons
    • Checking uniform is perfect every day at the start of P1 and informing your Pastoral Leader and Guidance Manager if not
    • Checking their tutees have the correct equipment every week at the start of P1 and putting a Q code in SIMS if not
    • Encouraging attendance of at least 96%
    • Deliver messages that come from the Pastoral Leaders or SLT to help with consistency across the school
    • In Year 9, monitoring student participation and encouraging completion of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
    • Regularly and consistently encouraging every student to consistently follow at least one ‘Personal Development Pathway’ throughout their school career


These are an integral part of our school.  We ensure that our assemblies consistently reflect the high standards of our school.  It is one of the best methods to ensure both staff and students are immersed in the character education and values central to 'The Malling School Way'.  Every form tutor and other members of staff contribute to this by:

    • Taking the register promptly in their form room and then escorting their tutor group to the school hall for the start of assembly no later than 9.00am
    • Ensuring every student is wearing perfect uniform when entering the assembly hall (coats off, shirts tucked in, ties worn correctly, skirts not rolled, no incorrect uniform will be worn)
    • Ensuring entry to the assembly hall is in complete silence
    • Ensuring students enter walking in single file
    • Ensuring students sit and wait in complete silence for the assembly to start
    • Standing opposite their tutor group to monitor and scan their tutees to ensure they demonstrate very high standards throughout the whole assembly
    • Supporting and promoting the content of assembly in subsequent Period 1 TMSW lessons
    • Ensuring students are dismissed one row at a time and remaining in silence 

Pastoral Leaders

At TMS, our Pastoral Leaders set the tone with their expectations of students.  They have pastoral responsibility for a particular year group.  Through this, they develop a sense of belonging and ensure that the ethos and culture of 'The Malling School Way' is understood and followed by every student in their year group.

They meet with their team of tutors to share information about the ‘P1 Malling School Way’ curriculum, discuss student achievements and concerns and ensure the personal development, character education and following 'The Malling School Way' is at the core of our pastoral work on a daily basis.  They have the jurisdiction to visit students in their classes at any time during the day, but this will always be a last resort to avoid disruption to the quality of teaching and learning taking place.

Guidance Managers

At TMS, our Guidance Managers have an essential role in supporting our students whose circumstances create a significant barrier to progress and learning.

The role is challenging due to the amount of emotional currency that needs to be invested in some students at various times.  They will strike the right balance between being caring and supportive while at the same time developing resilience in these students.  Guidance Managers are non-teaching members of staff, which means they have the time to deal with minor situations that teachers, form tutors and Pastoral Leaders do not.  They are often the appropriate person to make a call home or speak to a student during lesson time, but it is important that our vulnerable students do not see them as more important than other staff.  Staff should not send a student to see a Guidance Manager during lessons unless a serious health or safeguarding issue arises. Our students should not see a hierarchy in our behaviour management system as all adults are equally important.  They have the jurisdiction to visit students in their classes at any time during the day, but this will always be a last resort to avoid disruption to the quality of teaching and learning taking place.