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'No Shouting' schools

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by PennyTripp, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. PennyTripp

    PennyTripp New commenter

    Hi, does anyone out there have experience of 'No Shouting' policy in school? I am particularly interested in reactions of pupils and staff and how new staff are inducted into the concept. Any information or thoughts from anyone with experience of this kind of initiative would be very welcome.
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Who does the "no shouting" refer to - pupils or teachers, or both?
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi PennyTripp

    I have never heard of a school using the policy you mention, but I have a person no shouting policy. I make it my aim never to shout at students since shouting seldom solves anything but makes the situation worse. However, I might raise my voice to get a classes attention or stop a dangerous situation from occuring.

    I think all teachers would do well to have a personal no shouting policy. In six years of supply I can't remember too many students students shouting. Mostly it is just non stop talking and off task behaviour.
    ScotSEN, PennyTripp and indusant like this.
  4. PennyTripp

    PennyTripp New commenter

    The idea is that adults in the school use alternatives to shouting to manage behaviour. The knock-on effect is that levels of noise drop as there is less staff/pupil conflict.
    ScotSEN likes this.
  5. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    I have never worked in a school with that specific policy, but shouting was frowned upon at my last school. I had a KS3 class at this school that were particularly loud. Reminding them or even shouting at them had little effect - the noise would soon rise to unacceptable levels. I gave various noise level indicators a go and displayed them on the board. There are various traffic light ones online (red for too loud, green for good working noise etc). I found that it did work well as it gave them something visual to remind them of their noise levels. These can be used in various ways. I would also assign noise monitors (sometimes they could be the loudest kids - they like the responsibility) to quieten the others if the traffic light got to amber or red.

    Another fun one is https://bouncyballs.org/ - although it can make them very excitable. It may be useful for good but chatty classes. The aim is for them to be quiet to stop the balls from moving. I found that it was good to use to get them quiet at the end of the lesson, before leaving. It worked particularly well before break, lunch or home time.
    Camokidmommy and PennyTripp like this.
  6. PennyTripp

    PennyTripp New commenter

    Thanks for your reply indusant, some great ideas there. I'm actually really looking for information about schools who have adopted this approach as an explicit policy as its an initiative I'm currently working on for my LA - because, exactly as you say, shouting at kids makes things worse! I know that there are schools out there that have this as a stated policy/ethos and I'm hoping to get the lowdown from someone with experience.
    Anyone? Positive or negative experiences equally welcome!
  7. missrturner

    missrturner Occasional commenter

    Whilst I have not worked in a school who have this specific policy, I personally adopt a 'no shouting' policy. Perhaps it is a little easier for me as I work predominantly in Early Years but I believe that you can have the same effect by using a different tone of voice and talking to the child.

    I've found that children have more respect when I talk to them, rather than shout at them and my mentor commented it was "a calming approach that was lovely to see work". I fear this would be pushed to the limits if I had a more behaviourally challenging upper KS2 or KS3/4 class.

    The placement schools I worked in typically promoted alternative techniques in order to provide an enabling learning environment, such as the bouncy balls website or things like raising your hand and waiting for the class to follow etc. As i'm only a new teacher I have been told about various techniques and saw them in action. They typically seem to be centred around creating a calming, enabling and effective learning environment with the belief that shouting hinders this/raises noise levels/is counter productive. Unfortunately, this tends not to be specifically in a policy but rather an accepted practice so I am unable to help any further. Good luck!
    PennyTripp likes this.
  8. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    I need this in my life. NOW! Thanking youuuu
    linber and PennyTripp like this.
  9. missrturner

    missrturner Occasional commenter

    Also, @PennyTripp a quick Google Search of 'no shouting policy primary school.doc' has found some policies posted on to school websites that seem to be what you're looking for.

    A Behaviour & Discipline policy shows up as the first result which includes a specific 'no-shouting' rule.
    PennyTripp likes this.
  10. PennyTripp

    PennyTripp New commenter

    Thank you missturner! I'm still hoping for personal experiences of what its actually like to work in a school with this policy. I can imagine that some less enlightened colleagues might respond to the idea rather in the manner of the Daily Mail article which also pops up, be good to know how colleagues find it working in a no shouting school.
    missrturner likes this.
  11. missrturner

    missrturner Occasional commenter

    Could you perhaps contact the schools that show up in the search results via email or phone and ask for feedback on it? Just incase there's no luck on the forum!
  12. m4thsdotcom

    m4thsdotcom Occasional commenter

    Perhaps turn this question round and look for schools who have 'shouting' in their behaviour policy as a way of de-escalating or encouraging pupils to have good behaviour for learning.
    When you read it that way round it seems silly doesn't it?.
    I would have thought more schools will strive to have the system without the necessity to be explicit. I also believe that good teachers and good schools will forge good enough relationships and practice that shouting is only ever used for serious/dangerous situations at most.
    PennyTripp likes this.
  13. longtimelistener

    longtimelistener New commenter

    My (secondary) school doesn't have a no shouting policy per se, but its in a deprived area, and has all the problems you would generally associate with it. The kids don't take any notice if you shout, they'll shout right back at you, so there aren't many raised voices. I like to use respect as a leveraging factor, I'll say things like "I've always spoken to you in a polite way, and I won't be talking to you again until you are ready to speak politely." - or "Could you please not shout, as I have never shouted at you." - Now I'm not claiming that it always works, but it does generally de-escalate the problem.
    I always say please and thank you, I don't raise my voice and when they leave the classroom, even if they've been awful I say "Have a nice day guys, I'll see you tomorrow" or "Enjoy your evening" Thanks for coming to class have a nice weekend." - Just something positive so that you can use your mutual respect angle when arguments arise.
    PennyTripp likes this.
  14. PennyTripp

    PennyTripp New commenter

    That is such a simple and helpful way of looking at it longtimelistener! I have been wondering about my response to colleagues who feel that you have to shout to maintain/promote good behaviour - asking if hollering is written into their behaviour policy as a helpful strategy (possibly using different phraseology :)) is a good way to open up debate more positively. Thank you!
  15. PennyTripp

    PennyTripp New commenter

    Absolutely, my starting point really was thinking about building positive relationships and how shouting at children and young people is so damaging, no shouting cannot be a quick fix but part of a wider ethos that uses restorative approaches and invites responsibility for behaviour. Thank you for your contributions.
  16. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    Not a policy but something I do follow on a personal level. I don't believe it's an effective way of maintaining discipline.

    When I've heard staff screaming at classes, I do feel a bit 'where do you go now if this doesn't work?' And worse, when I've picked classes up from shouters it's really annoying to spend the first few weeks dealing with low level disruption which students say "well mr so and so just shouted at us. If you shout we listen". It's like reteaching expectations all over again.

    That said, there are times when shouting is appropriate and I think it's a tool to use when the situation requires.
    PennyTripp likes this.
  17. PennyTripp

    PennyTripp New commenter

    Thank you purplecarrot, your views are really helpful and confirm the feelings I have come across of many other colleagues.
    Happily I have been able to arrange a visit to a school with an explicit 'no shouting' policy and I am really looking forward to picking the brains of the head teacher re how it is implemented, why, how new staff are inducted and the effect it has on behaviour. If anyone on this thread is interested I'll pass on how I get on!
  18. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Surely a no shouting policy would be just that: no one is to shout at another person unless someone is in danger. The two issues then become implementation and enforcement.
    PennyTripp likes this.
  19. PennyTripp

    PennyTripp New commenter

    Absolutely - there are implications for the training of Staff, support staff and midday assistants in positive behaviour management as well as restorative practices. It's obviously no good simply saying 'don't shout' I would also hope that shouting between pupils would be tackled so perhaps peer mediation and emotional literacy would need to be delivered. Personally I would hope that signposting for 'shouty' parents who wished to explore alternatives would also be available and then of course there is the issue of why staff shout - if it's a result of personal stress then that is an area that a no shouting school might need to address. It's not something to go into lightly I suspect, hence my original post :)
  20. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Learning not to about is one of the most important skills a teacher will learn. Raising your voice when it is called for is appropriate, but not screaming or shouting unless someone is in danger.

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