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Barrow Hedges Primary School

Reminder, Warning, Consequence System

In this section...

The Barrow Hedges Reminder, Warning, Consequence System was designed so that a consistent approach to tackling unacceptable behaviour is used by teachers and teaching assistants. 

At the start of every teaching session, the teacher will set expectations for good behaviour, for example: good sitting, good listening and making it clear as to if and when children should be working silently. If these expectations are not met, the teacher will use positive narration: focusing on what students are doing correctly and openly saying those things aloud to help motivate students. If the expectations are still not met by all, the teacher will use group correction (a verbal reminder to the whole group or a smaller group) with clear instructions requiring specific action. 

If positive encouragement and group correction do not work, staff will use the Reminder, Warning, Consequence system. The scripts below show the language and guidance that teaching staff at Barrow Hedges have been trained to adopt. Scripts 1, 2 and 3 naturally escalate (so if Script 1 fails to have the desired effect, Script 2 is used and so on). In EYFS, while the same system of scripts is followed, the language may be simplified so that it is age appropriate, e.g. ‘Fred, eyes on me/ looking eyes.’. 

Script one – Private reminder of the expected behaviour. eg: “Fred, this is a reminder that we face the front and listen. Thank you.”  

  • Adults will use a firm but calm voice showing they are serious but in a non-confrontational way that might otherwise lead to a defensive response.  

  • Adults will be assertive and avoid starting or ending with ‘please,’ end with ‘thank you’ instead. This carries an expectation that they will do as you have asked of them and helps support the idea that your request is not optional.  

  • Adults won't ask ‘why?’ children are doing what they’re doing, as this can be confrontational.

  • If a positive change in behaviour is seen, it will be acknowledged with a further ‘thank you’ or with a gesture (e.g. a smile or a thumbs-up).  

  • Children will be given ‘take up time’ to think about their behaviour and respond. It may be desirable to deal with another task or child, to temporarily divert attention away from the child, and allow sufficient space and take-up time.  

  • When the child is demonstrating a positive change, make sure to acknowledge that with praise: “Thank you, Fred, for... (e.g. walking/putting your pencil down/listening nicely...)” 

If the child’s behaviour doesn’t change after a reasonable take-up time, move on to the warning stage in Script 2.  

Script Two – Warning, e.g.: “Fred, I’ve reminded you to face the front and listen. This is now a warning that if you continue to talk, then you will miss 5 minutes of your play.”  

  • Adults will remain calm, without any sense of agitation, while making it clear to the child that they are responsible for the consequences of their actions; that what has happened so far and what will follow is their choice.  

  • Adults will need to ignore minor secondary behaviour, e.g. stomping about, muttering, or answering back – the most important thing is that the child has made the right choice about their initial undesirable behaviour.  

  • Where appropriate, allowing a child to have the last word can help resolve or avoid further conflict and can also be valuable in helping you to role-model grown-up behaviour.  

  • If the child chooses to do the right thing, then the adult must praise them for making the right choice. This will help them learn that it’s good to do the right thing and that the adult is pleased with their choice. Every child likes to be praised and acknowledged on the inside, even if they might not show it on the outside: “Well done/Thank you, Fred, you made the right choice.” 

Should you not see a positive change in behaviour, move on to Script 3.  

Script Three – The child will be informed that they are missing 5 minutes as a consequence.  

‘Fred, you have chosen not to follow our rules and will now miss 5 minutes of your break.’ 

  • Should the child choose not to do as they have been asked, then the adult must follow through with the consequence. This is very important so that the child comes to understand that you mean what you say. Failing to be consistent in carrying out consequences that have been threatened quickly undermines the adults authority and indicates to the child that they need not listen to future requests for improved behaviour.  

  • Once a consequence has been issued, it must be seen through. Adults will not cave in to protests, remove or reduce the sanction. If good behaviour follows, that will be rewarded separately, but the consequence will be maintained.  

  • When a child has completed their 5 minutes of missed break, they will reflect with their teacher on their behaviour and say “Sorry, Mrs XX.” 

  • If a child progresses through the Reminder, Warning, Consequence system during lunchtime, at this stage the child will be issued a yellow card and told to sit on a bench for 5 minutes.  


Script Four: Removal to another classroom (reinforce and depersonalise) / red card at lunchtime: “Fred, at Barrow Hedges we respect and listen so that everyone can learn, you need to go to Mrs X’s classroom now and be ready to listen when you get back.”  

  • If the behaviour continues, the child will be sent to work in another class for the rest of the lesson (a guide for a Reception child is 15 minutes). Ideally within the same year group, but this may not always be possible. The child will take their learning with them. At this point, parents will be informed.  

  • The member of staff who has been sent the child will not speak to them about their behaviour and will keep any communication to a minimum, simply directing to where they should sit.  

  • If the child refuses to leave the classroom, a phone call will be made to the main office and a member of the senior leadership team will assist.  

  • Repeatedly referring to whole school expectations (i.e. Core Values) can be very helpful in reminding children of an objective set of rules and values which never change. This approach indicates that the request is fair and consistent; it is simply what has always been and what will always be expected, rather than personal ‘against’ them. 

  • If the child reaches this stage during lunchtime, the child will be issued with a red card and sent to the blue chairs to be spoken to by a member of SLT.