Saint-Didier primary school


summary > school > cycle 3

Others mend a child's scooter.

I have two aims as far as the behaviour of my pupils is concerned:

• to promote their long-term development;

• to facilitate my work as a teacher.

I do not want to hold a class for the pupils; rather, I want to hold a class with the pupils. In this way, they become joint leaders. For this to be effective, the children have to acquire as many responsibilities and rights as possible.

I took several aspects into account when devising the system:

1. The children are not all at the same stage in their behavioural development.

2. Yet, the more independence they have, the easier and more enjoyable my work becomes.

3. As with other disciplines, assessment provides a route for growth. The children know what is expected of them and where they are.

In consequence, I decided that:

1. The children will not all have the same rights. This is shocking to many teachers, but it is perfectly in keeping with real society: fortunately, not everyone has a driving licence, a hunting licence, a licence to fly an aeroplane... When the same rights are granted to everyone (as is generally the case), the rights have to be downgraded, otherwise the risks are too great. The children of my class have the right to leave the school during class (this right has been available for more than 10 years and there has never been the slightest problem). Thus, the children do not all have the same rights, but they can all acquire the same rights.

2. Behaviour assessment will be based on two major principles:

• respect for oneself and for others;

• ability to organise and to be organised.

3. Based on progress in these areas, the children will obtain rights (outlined in the last line of the table below).

I had to ensure that the assessment criteria and the associated rights were consistent. For this reason, I had to remove the yellow, green and brown belts (used in other assessments), otherwise certain rights would have been rather artificial. Here are the assessment belts:

The children apply weedkiller in the garden (at their request)








I know the class regulations.

I put away and take care of collective equipment.

I respect the class and school regulations, even when the teacher is not there.

I moved about safely outside.


I put my belongings away properly. I put my files away.

I threw away paper in the bin.

I finished my work in the required time.

The work I presented was serious and carefully thought out.

My folder and notebooks are tidy and I can be proud of them.


I have the right to move around the class and to use the collective equipment freely.

I can use the spare room or the headteacher's office, when they are free, without the teacher.

I can move around freely in the school, stay in the class during breaks.

Subject to my parent's permission, I can go to the post office, the town hall, to the shops…


The behaviour is assessed by the teacher continually over separate periods of two weeks. In practice, only deviant behaviours are noted, since they are they exception.

The pupils can dispute, a posteriori, my observations. Generally, they ask me to let them know problems as they occur, for example,"Tell me when I do not respect the class or school regulations." If a problem reoccurs, I tell the child and ask whether he accepts. This will not make him gain his belt in the following period, but will allow him to be aware of the problem and act on it.

To remind myself that a child wants to be told of problems as they occur, I tick the box in the observation chart with a highlighter.

There is a difference between these belts and other belts used for assessment: it is possible, and quite frequent in fact, to lose the behaviour belts.

As with all the assessments, the belts only show that the child achieved something at a specific time under specific conditions. It does not show, for example, that he can do multiplications; it just shows that he was capable of this feat. I will not ask him to perform multiplications, week in week out, to check that he can still do them.

It is imperative to keep track of variations in the children's behaviour, which varies according to factors such as alertness, excitation and family events. The act of recording these changes, what is going well, what is not going well, enables the child to become aware of them, and to stabilise his behaviour. It also guarantees that the children do not have rights that they are ill-prepared to take on.

Remi Casteres

further reading

framework for children ages 5-7

This page has been translated from French by Andreas Theodorou.




Your opinion

summary > school > cycle 3

Last Update :05/02/05