Warmley Park School & College

Relational Approach January 2024




At Warmley Park School and College (WPS & C) we aim to create a welcoming, caring environment where relationships are based on respect and develop positive self-esteem in each child. Relational schooling is much more than an approach to behaviour management. Rather, it is a value-based approach which describes how an understanding of our relationships with each other, both as a school and as individuals can enhance both academic and social learning, and as such is a cornerstone of our commitment to our school ethos, beliefs values and attitudes. At WPS & C we believe that learning happens best when there are strong relationships; between our staff, between our pupils, within the learning spaces and beyond, with parents and carers and with our wider community. To ensure this all staff seek to establish a calm and supportive environment where our children feel safe, valued and listened to.



Beliefs, Values and Attitudes


At WPS & C the beliefs, values and attitudes which underpin our school ethos are:


Behaviour is a form of communication and the expression of underlying needs. It is not possible to support a child’s behaviour without addressing these needs. We view behaviour as a communication of an emotional need (whether conscious or unconscious) and responding accordingly.


Being ‘fair’ is not about everyone getting the same (equality) but about everyone getting what they need (equity). Children need personalised responses to supporting their personal development and well-being. Consistency does not always mean responding in the same way to each child or behaviour, it means responding in a way which is consistent to our values and beliefs. Whilst each individual child benefits from a consistent approach, being consistent and fair is not about everyone getting the same, but everyone getting what they need.


Taking a non-judgmental, curious, and empathic attitude towards behaviour. We encourage all adults in school to respond in a way that focuses on the feelings and emotions. that might drive certain behaviour, rather than the behaviour itself and we all have a duty to explore this vulnerability and provide appropriate support.


Putting relationships first. This requires a school ethos that promotes strong relationships between staff, children, and their parents/carers. It also relies on creating a positive school culture and climate that fosters connection, inclusion, respect, and value for all members of the school community.


Maintaining clear boundaries and expectations around behaviour. In order to help our children feel safe, the learning environment needs to be high in both nurture and structure. Children need predictable routines, expectations, and regulated responses to behaviour. These must be in place and modelled appropriately, within the context of a safe and caring school environment.


Natural rewards and consequences that can follow certain behaviours should be made explicit, without the need to enforce ‘sanctions’ that can shame and ostracise children from their peers, school community and family, leading to potentially more negative behaviour. Responses to behaviour should ensure that all children feel safe and that all needs are met.


Behaviour must always be viewed systemically and within the context of important relationships. Relational, regulatory, and restorative approaches are more effective in supporting their development of internal control and regulation. Not all behaviours are a matter of choice and therefore external control will not be effective in changing behaviour.


All children wish to belong, achieve, and contribute to their school community. Child centred approaches, where the children’s voices are central and where learning utilises their strengths, resources and qualities are integral to their success.


Encouraging parental engagement and involvement is absolutely crucial when addressing and planning support for children’s needs. “The parent-child connection is the most powerful mental health intervention known to mankind” (Bessel van der Kolk)