Our aim is that all students are able to work to the best of their ability in a positive environment. Disruptive behaviour damages the learning of the whole class and all members of the school are responsible for maintaining the highest standards of behaviour in the school environment. Rewarding good work and good behaviour engenders a positive attitude to study and school.


The positive behaviour policy supports the core purpose of the school and has at its heart a system of rules for good work and behaviour. It has the following objectives:

  • To promote positive behaviour throughout the school.
  • To motivate and encourage students through praise and rewards.
  • To develop self-discipline in students.
  • To create the conditions for an orderly, safe and secure community in which effective learning can take place and in which there is mutual respect among all of its members.
  • To secure a consistent approach to the maintenance of discipline throughout the school.
  • To instil in students high standards of behaviour based on self-respect and respect for the rights of others and their environment, thus enabling them to become valuable members of the adult community.

Teach don’t tell

Here at Devizes School we really believe that it is better to teach students how to behave, rather than just tell them to do it. This is based on the research of leading educational thinkers such as Doug Lemov, Tom Bennett and Barry Smith. To do this, we employ whole-school learning behaviours that explicitly outline expectations in school. There are three acronyms- FOCUS, STEPS, and LEARN.

FOCUS outlines how we listen and pay attention, STEPS how we interact and communicate and LEARN how we involve ourselves in lessons to make good progress. Staff regularly refer to these throughout the day, be that in morning line-up, assemblies or in classrooms.

We also utilise whole-school lesson routines to minimise the chances for disruption or lost learning. These include lesson arrivals/departures, the handing out of resources and equipment, and the structure of the lesson, which follows a “Do Now - Why do - I do - We do - You do - review” approach.

Disruption Free Learning

It is our expectation that lessons are conducted without disruption, to ensure that all students are able to achieve to the best of their ability. Students have a responsibility to manage their own behaviour in such a way as to not disrupt the learning of others, and to ensure that teachers are able to focus their efforts on teaching lessons which allow students to make good progress. Teachers for their part have a responsibility not to allow individuals to disrupt the learning of others.

If disruption takes place, the member of staff will initially give an informal verbal warning to the student in an effort to ensure they re-engage with their learning. If this is not successful, the member of staff will give the disruptive student a clear formal warning and will issue a demerit. If the student concerned continues to disrupt the learning of others the teacher will send the student to the Refocus Room. The student is expected to arrive promptly to Refocus where they are expected to sit in silence, completing a written task and displaying the necessary attitude that- when the time comes- will lead to their return to the classroom.

If a student is placed in Refocus, parents will be notified to inform them that this also extends to a thirty minute after-school detention, that same day if possible. Parents/carers will be notified.

On the rare occasions that more serious behaviour incidents take place, the above process of giving warnings will not be applicable and the Pastoral team and/or Senior Leadership Team will apply sanctions that are appropriate to the incident.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones are an unnecessary distraction in school and should be switched off at all times whilst at school and kept in the student’s school bag. The school will not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage of these often-expensive items in school. If a student is found using his/her mobile phone it will be confiscated following the procedure for banned items. If a student refuses to hand over their phone they will spend time in our Refocus room and will be issued an after-school detention. Parents will be informed of these actions as soon as possible.


More information on the school’s policies around student conduct can be found on our “policies and procedures” page.