Managing Extreme Behaviour
Woodbridge Park works in a clear, evidence-based way with respect to behaviour. We regard behaviour as communication. Positive behaviours indicate emotional stability and a sense of wellbeing, regular inappropriate, anti-social behaviours indicate an underlying issue that requires compassion, intervention and support.
Please find attached here our Pupil Development Model which outlines our expected personal development journey for most learners accessing support at a Woodbridge Park site – this might be useful for mainstream schools in gauging where children and young people are with respect to their emotional development. We anticipate that Stages 6-5 indicate mainstream readiness, potentially Stage 4 too.
All children and young people entering WPES after a PEX or for dual registration, are started on our Personal Learning Development Passport. This comprehensive toolkit drills down deeply into the background of challenging behaviour and provides a structure to the management of those needs and target setting for improvement over time. We recommend to mainstream schools that they consider using the first 15-18 pages of the passport as an assessment toolkit when facing persistent behavioural issues with a child or young person. This will not only provide ‘below-the-surface’ information on what lies beneath behaviour; and therefore support more targeted interventions, it will also mean that there is more background information should a referral into Woodbridge Park be required at any point.
Personal Learning Development Passport 2020
We recommend that schools adopt a trauma-informed and attachment aware approach to the management of persistent challenging behaviour, as trauma-informed and attachment-aware approaches are good for all children, irrelevant of emotional competence level or need. These approaches mean that school staff approach children and situations from a relational perspective and with curiosity as opposed to judgment and criticism. We know that many vulnerable children who display persistent challenging behaviours are highly-vigilant and cannot read social cues or understand social expectations and boundaries well. How school staff decide to approach these children can either make a situation better or worse – these children will respond adversely to the misjudged approach and this will lead to secondary behaviours that are more likely to lead to a need for a fixed or permanent exclusion. If we can understand the cause of the behaviour, we have a greater chance of changing the behaviour itself.