25/01/2012 10:43 GMT | Updated 25/01/2012 10:47 GMT

Anger Management Classes Given To Primary School Pupils

A primary school has taken drastic action to tackle bad behaviour and are giving their pupils anger management, a report from Ofsted revealed.

Hillcrest Primary School in Chapeltown, Leeds, was visited by the inspection body last December who noted the school's behaviour management strategy "is showing signs of impact". In the past year there were 38 exclusions, which Ofsted note reflects the "challenging task" the school faces.

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, who broke the story, the school is now receiving the highest level of "behaviour support" from Leeds City Council – the only school in the city to do so.

"School leaders are making inroads in improving the atmosphere and ethos in and out of the classroom," the letter from inspector John Young reads. "The volume of incidents and dangerous occurrences has reduced significantly."

Some pupils are taught in "nuture groups" while others receive counselling in anger management and improving their social skills. The school works with an educational psychologist, which Ofsted says is "helping break the cycle of poor behaviour some pupils have fallen into".

Young continues to say: "The deputy headteacher overseeing this has a good understanding of potential flash points for misbehaviour."

But, the report adds, "some staff have different thresholds of what is and what is not acceptable behaviour and this leads to inconsistency and mixed messages for pupils."

The school, which takes pupils from three up to 11, is described by Ofsted as "larger than average" and has a "high volume" of staff absence.

More than 95% of pupils are from ethnic minority groups while three out of four pupils speak English as a second language.

Headteacher Teena Thompson, who took up her post at the school in April 2010, said: “We are encouraged Ofsted has recognised our school’s behaviour management strategy is showing signs of having a positive impact.

“Part of this strategy is to get groups of our children together to talk about how to deal with their feelings, how to share, how to control their emotions and develop good social skills. This helps to encourage friendships, positive play and good behaviour.”

But she added: "We are obviously all disappointed that the Ofsted team did not feel that Hillcrest has made adequate progress since the last inspection.

"This is not a position we wish to be in and we know there is a lot more work to do."

Nigel Richardson, director of children’s services in Leeds admitted Hillcrest had been facing a "number of challenges".

"Ofsted’s latest assessment highlights the importance of working in partnership with the school to support them. We have put in place expertise from within Leeds and a number of other initiatives to ensure that the necessary improvements are made”.