School’s ‘old-fashioned educational values’ prove a success

The Metro has reported that a secondary school has implemented strict rules which have halved suspensions and detentions

Orchard Park High School has been overhauled by its head teacher to create a no-nonsense approach to dealing with pupils.

Students of the school are not allowed to talk in corridors when they line up three times a day – before school, after morning break and after lunch – and breaking this rule can see them being made to line up again in the playground.

Pupils also have to stand up when staff enter the room, and rules regarding uniform have been tightened. At lunch time, teachers sit with pupils, and students are encouraged to talk to them about topical discussions.

According to head teacher Ciara Warnock, the new format is working – she said numbers of suspensions, detentions and exclusions have halved.

“There are some that will call this old-fashioned education values but, as far as I am concerned, it is just pure common sense.

“Young people learn better in a calm, safe and disciplined environment, we make no apology for wanting this for our students.

“We put a lot of demands on our pupils but that is only because we have very high expectations and aspirations for them.

“I am in no doubt that the reason our behaviour has been improved and our results have gone up is because of the introduction of this policy.”

Clare Adams, whose son is in year 8 at the school, believes it’s good the school isn’t afraid to make potentially controversial decisions. She said:

“I strongly believe that consistency of approach is key to ensuring that change happens.

“The staff and students have created an ethos of traditional values at this school.

“There is strong and determined leadership who are not afraid to make controversial decisions, which I think this school needed.

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“The daily lining up and walking in silence around the school has led to the school becoming a calm, ordered environment needed for successful learning. I am proud to be a parent of the school.”

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