Behaviour for Learning

We believe high expectations of student’s behaviour is essential in creating a positive learning experience for all. It creates an environment where students feel safe, respected, and valued, which in turn, fosters a sense of belonging, engagement and high-quality learning experiences.

The foundation of our behaviour expectations is built on the principles of Positive Discipline. This restorative approach not only shapes the school’s philosophy but also underpins the way students are taught and their behaviour managed.

Positive Discipline is a method of teaching students’ self-discipline, responsibility, and problem-solving skills while encouraging them to learn from their mistakes. It emphasises empathy, respect, and a focus on solutions rather than punishment. At William Howard and as part of Cumbria Education Trust we have wholeheartedly embraced this approach as the foundation of our behaviour strategy and systems, understanding that fostering a positive school environment goes beyond mere rule enforcement.

Our students are encouraged to exhibit nine core positive behaviours on a daily basis which are underpinned by our 3 core values of Respect, Responsibility and Resilience. These behaviours are not only expected but celebrated as key contributors to a high performing learning community. They include:


  • Use good manners
  • Actively listen and respond positively
  • Value difference


  • Self-regulate
  • Attend, be on time and engage
  • Create a calm and organised environment


  • Seek help and accept support
  • Have courage, encourage others
  • Learn from mistakes

Celebrating Positive Behaviour and Success

Celebrating and recognising success sits at the heart of our positive behaviour strategy. Students are rewarded in the following ways:


Weekly Headteacher Award

Each week, a student is nominated by staff and recognised for having the courage to be different and exceptional.

Learner of the Lesson

Every lesson, a student is chosen as Learner of the Lesson and rewarded with house points. The criteria for Learner of the Lesson is selected by the teacher each lesson and can change depending on the learning experience.

Core Behaviours

When students overtly demonstrate our core behaviours they are rewarded with praise and house points.

Extra-Curricular Participation and Wider School Contribution

Every time our students attend a club, represent the school or contribute to the wider school community they are awarded house points.

Half-Term Positive Behaviour Streak

At the end of every half-term, students who display only positive behaviour receive additional house points to add to their personal total.

House Point Auction Assemblies

Student house points can be auctioned at the end of every term in the Year group auction assemblies. Students are able to pool their points with their friends to improve their chances of winning the bid for the most sought-after prizes.

End of Year Achievement Assemblies

At the end of each academic year, students participate and celebrate academic success through our annual achievement assemblies. Students are recognised for academic excellence and endeavour in every subject.

Carlisle Cathedral Presentation Evening

Students who graduate Year 11 and 13 are celebrated in the most fitting venue of all; Carlisle Cathedral. Every year, students who pass through the doors of William Howard for the last time in Year 13 and/ or Year 11 return to celebrate their time and academic success. Music from our choir and orchestra provide the atmosphere of celebration and feelings of immense pride and accomplishment.

Sports Awards Ball

As a school of past Olympians and present regional, national and international performers it is no surprise that the annual Sports Awards Ball is a highlight of the year. Students are recognised and awarded for their sporting excellence and endeavour.