The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Behaviour

Elizabeth Holmes

More smiles, less stick: Chris Dyson on a positive approach to behaviour

At Parklands Primary School, believing that pupils can do their best is the first step to better behaviour. Headteacher Chris Dyson spoke to Elizabeth Holmes about their 'no exclusions' approach. Much has been said recently about behaviour management. From ‘no excuses’ to 'no exclusions', the way...
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Steve Baker

Become an assertive teacher in 10 easy steps

What can you do to present yourself as an authority figure whilst being fair and self-evaluating? Steve Baker offers a checklist to help you become an assertive teacher 1. Does the school ethos support staff to intervene assertively? Many schools put up bright posters in their hallways with words...
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Steve Baker

Establishing high expectations of behaviour

Steve Baker explains how to put good behaviour at the centre of your school ethos. How should we go about setting high expectations? The behaviour policy is not a bad place to start. Does it focus on positive behaviours for learning? The worst policies are a thinly disguised list of complaints...
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Evie Prysor-Jones

Using de-escalation techniques effectively

An increasing number of children do not respond to normal classroom discipline. Elizabeth Smith outlines the key points to remember when faced with exceptionally challenging behaviour. The number of children who are classified under the umbrella term 'social, emotional and mental health' (SEMH)...
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Evie Prysor-Jones

Supporting pupils with behaviour issues: classroom strategies for teachers and teaching assistants

There are many misconceptions surrounding the role of teaching assistants in a classroom. Research has shown that effective partnership between teacher and TA can greatly benefit provision. Observe and record It can be useful to conduct classroom observations that focus on a pupil’s behaviour and...
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John Viner

Understanding Ofsted monitoring visits

Monitoring visits from Ofsted changed under the new framework. We look at the differences and what you can now expect. School inspection is currently set out in legislation through the Education Act 2005. In this act, the regular two-day inspection is described in section 5 and ‘other inspection’...
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Gareth D Morewood

Developing ADHD care pathways

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue into young adulthood or even longer. Gareth D Morewood examines what SENCOs can learn from recent research. ADHD may be common, but with symptoms such as ‘difficulty paying attention and...
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Gareth D Morewood

Understanding and supporting pupils with attachment in school

What are attachment needs, and how can SENCOs meet them? Here are some tips for supporting this group of vulnerable young learners. It's a complex area for SENCOs: young people who have experiences of trauma or stress in early life or whilst in the womb – those with attachment needs. There is an...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Teachers struggling with behaviour need support, not ridicule

Asking for help with behaviour management is not a sign of incompetence. Elizabeth Holmes suggests adopting an approach to development based on evidence and understanding could help to reduce fear and stress. ‘Pain explains a great deal of human conduct, but the fear of pain even more.’ Neil...
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