The topic of the week is Behaviour around the site.
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Often, teachers concentrate on getting the behaviour management sorted in their classrooms and the behaviour around the site is left to a few people.
In Pivotal Education anonymous surveys, 80% of staff say they intervene only sometimes or rarely to adjust behaviour in the corridor – 20% say they stop every time.
Really dramatic change can be created when the whole school or college staff take up the collective responsibility for behaviour around the whole site. Pupils often report they feel safe and secure in classrooms but around the site they feel the most vulnerable. So how can we get those 80% of staff to intervene with behaviour but not spend all their time on it when out of the classroom? You don’t actually need to stop, unpack the whole incident and come to a full resolution. Sometimes, stopping and making the learner aware you have noticed is enough. You don’t have to spend all of your break time intervening but you do have to be a presence in the corridors.
Some of the large range of assertive actions you could use include: – Intervening – Let the learner know you have seen what has happened and that you are going to follow up later on – Just stop and watch – often this is surprisingly effective – Stop and have a quiet word
The critical factor is – the senior leadership team must be present!
This is particularly important for when there are lots of learners moving from one place to another. Senior members of staff shouldn’t reserve this kind of visibility for when OFSTED come. If it’s good practice for OFSTED, then it’s good practice all the time. This instills confidence in the whole staff that they can intervene when necessary – it’s everyone’s responsibility – all adults. We should have the same simplicity of expectation outside the classroom as inside the classroom. For example, some Colleges have three clear rules inside and outside the classroom based on: 1. Ready 2. Respectful 3. Safe In Primary schools, for example, certain areas may need some clear, simple, short guidelines on display.
Think about the causes of poor behaviour. Paul tells a story about a school he visited where groups of three teachers were sent out to manage behaviour at lunchtime. They ended up talking in groups and not being effective. However, Paul noted that the main reason for the lack of good behaviour in the children was that they were bored. Instead of paying for three teachers to police the area, small sports equipment was purchased and the children began to focus on playing table tennis and other sports, arranging tournaments and behaviour improved immediately. Paul also mentions that he has recently been in a Pupil Referral Unit at lunchtime playing chess with the students. You might not think that could work, but it does.
Practical intervention strategies There are times at which it is necessary to intervene. Stop and think before you intervene with groups. – Find out the name of the student before you approach – very often people around you will give you the name as you walk towards the situation – Consider drawing individuals away from the group to speak to them privately – Prepare what you are going to say – make sure you have a beginning, a middle and most importantly an end – what is your ‘out line’ – what are you going to say to bring the conversation to an end, maybe quickly as you walk away? – Decide whether you are going to have the conversation in public or private – you may attract a crowd if you decide on a public conversation – Your physical language is as important as what you say – remember that personal space is 360 degree, cultural and will be different for different individuals – try and get physically alongside the person you are talking to – Wait calmly for your time to speak rather than attempting to shout down the learner – and keep calm throughout the interaction – Have a couple of pre-prepared micro-scripts ready – a couple of sentences you have at your disposal if you get into a conversation which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere productive – ‘I need you to’ ‘I know you can’ ‘You can impress me by’ ‘Show me you can’ are helpful stems.
Sanctions You will often not know what an appropriate sanction would be for the particular area of the site you are in. So you can say that you are not going to make a decision right now. This will give you a chance to think or take some advice. This also works if you are getting frustrated as it can be easy to offer a consequence that is too high, disproportionate or unfair when you are frustrated. For lots more detail, practical examples and inspirational personal stories, listen to the episode with the player above.
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