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Branch Out

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We believe that pupil well-being should be at the heart of a school. When children are secure, respected and understand what is expected of them they thrive both socially and academically. We wanted to create an ethos that encompassed this belief and that was visible and accessible to all our children and staff.

Our Journey so Far

In staff meetings in the summer term of 2016 we began by discussing what attributes we felt were important to recognise in our children. We had staff meetings on restorative practice (Christine McMahon) and Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck) and staff were inspired by these

ideas and wanted to reflect both of these ideologies into our school behaviour system. Following some passionate discussions during staff meetings we agreed on the principles that would underpin our behaviour system in school.


  •  To reward the process of learning, rather than the outcome

  •  To value the holistic child

  •  To instil confidence in all our children

  •  To promote key characteristics of effective learners


The characteristics of effective learners:

1. Be enthusiastic

2. Don’t Give Up

3. Make Good Choices

4. Show Respect

5. …. And Always being Kind and Caring!

Now we had the understanding of what we wanted our behaviour system to achieve, the next step was to create a visual representation. We agreed that a tree with 5 branches – each branch clearly labelled with one of the attributes- would be aesthetic, easy to replicate in each classroom and complement our existing tree names for each class. And so the ‘Branch Out’ tree was launched (September 2016).


School system for awards was brought in line with ‘Branch Out’ in September 2016. Subject specific certificates were replaced with certificates for each of the 5 attributes. In alternate Friday celebration assemblies children are rewarded with a certificate celebrating their achievement of one of the 5 attributes as well as a leaf with their name on. Whilst the certificate is theirs to take home, the named leaf goes onto the appropriate branch of the tree in the classroom.

Over the year the trees fill up with named leaves, creating a positive reminder of children’s’ successes.

Embedding ‘Branch Out’

  •  Assembly launch in September 2016

  •  Assembly themes for the Autumn term explore each of the characteristics of the ‘Branch Out’ tree 

  •  Assembly themes for the Spring term focus on Growth Mindset and promote resilience 

  •  ‘Branch Out’ communicated to parents/families through our newsletter regularly 

  •  School council survey ‘Branch Out’ in each classroom and report a positive and informed knowledge

  •  School council developed ‘Branch Out’ and launch a staff tree. Each class nominates a member of staff to be awarded a leaf which is displayed in the school entrance hall. This happens in the alternate Friday celebration assembly

  •  ‘Branch Out’ themes and purpose is revisited in assemblies throughout the year

  •  School launched a competition to give each of the 5 attributes a super hero (Spring 2017)

  •  Children were asked to design a super hero character and winners would have their super heroes on display on all the Branch Out displays around school.

  •  The winners were announced in assembly – Resilient Robin, Captain Caring, Queen Keen, Good Choice Guru and the Master of Manners

  •  New school rules were launched in September 2017. There are now just 5 simple rules and each one is based on one of the ‘Branch Out’ attributes. They are on display around school and are known as the ‘Branch Out’ basics

Impact of Branch Out’

  •  Children, staff and parents all have a secure understanding of the values we hold.

  •  There is a consistent approach to behaviour in all classrooms by all staff.

  •  Children receive a consistent message about what is expected of them.

  •  The language staff use around behaviour is clear, consistent, fair and refers to the ‘Branch Out’ attributes.

  •  Behaviour has improved and children are able to talk about the importance and relevance of ‘Branch Out’.

  •  Children feel positive and are confident and caring members of the school community.

  •  Staff feel positive about the system and enjoy the staff ‘Branch Out’ tree.

  •  Governors are informed and supportive of the leadership’s commitment to securing a positive learning environment for the children and staff.

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