Posted on Leave a comment

Garth Smith and going ‘over and above’ in behaviour – PP73

The topic of the week is Garth Smith and going ‘over and above’ in behaviour – PP73.


This week Paul explains the importance of going ‘over and above’ in behaviour. Pivotal made the offer to review behaviour policies for free recently and Paul has been offering lots of advice on how to tweak policies by making small changes. These changes ‘ripple out’ to make a really strong change in the culture of the school or college. Whole schools and colleges, individual classes, 1-to-1 work and even parents and their children can benefit from this small change:

Whenever positive recognition is used, it must be for learners who go over and above.

Learners immediately try to stretch – to go a bit further to get their positive recognition. In the classroom, expectations are instantly raised. Instead of praising children for doing the basics, think about thanking learners for minimum standards but praising them for going over and above.

The effect of this simple tweak can ripple through the whole institution if everyone’s focus in now on going over and above. All praise including positive notes and phone calls can use the phrase.

A natural progression is to start applying this approach with staff as well. Praise members of staff who go over and above – those who arrange drama productions, sports events or extra revision classes.

We also welcomed Garth Smith back to the podcast for the third time. Garth is ‘our man on the inside’ – he is in the process of becoming a teacher and has reached the stage of taking the ‘skills tests’ which he needs to pass before be can begin his PGCE course.

There are two tests – in Numeracy and Literacy at GCSE ‘C’ level.

Garth tells us the story of how he is getting on in taking – and re-taking – the tests. It’s well worth listening to his experiences. If a candidate fails the tests three times, they are not allowed to take a teacher training course for another 2 years.

Garth recommends which helped him a lot in preparing for the numeracy test.

He goes on to describe the literacy test:


  • 10 spellings to do with education e.g. omitted, justifiably, subsequently etc.
  • punctuation – 15 errors to correct
  • correcting grammatical mistakes in a letter
  • comprehension – education-based passage of text

De-stress for success in exams

Garth has found ways to keep calm in the tests including some of the techniques in a Guardian article –

Breathing, wiping your hands, shaking you arms and a technique from international Rugby involving staring into the far corner of the stadium have all worked for Garth.

Pivotal Podcast Pocketbooks

PEpocketbook-BUNDLE2Newly-created Pivotal Podcast Pocketbooks are now available from Amazon including one on Restorative Practice. There will be a huge range of Pocketbooks from Pivotal Education, starting with the edited transcripts of some of the most popular episodes of the podcast.

The idea of releasing written versions of episodes came from listeners who wanted to be able to make notes and use the content in different ways. If you would like a particular episode to be converted into an ebook, please let us know!

(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. –



What would you like to hear covered in forthcoming episodes? Let us know by emailing or by leaving a comment below this post.

Get involved:

Appear on the podcast yourself by sending in a comment or question via either of the two answerphone hotlines:

Telephone Hotline Telephone Hotline – 0844 579 6949, Mailbox number 23161 Microphone Computer Hotline (SpeakPipe)




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nine − 3 =