Great Oaks from Little Acorns
The Behaviour for Life policy at Myton is centred around all staff having consistently high expectations of students. This comes through knowing your students well in a professional teacher/student context which enables you to challenge all students to meet high expectations for the behaviour they exhibit and the work ethic they should employ.
‘Knowing your students’ comes through using the information available, marking work and having conversations with them about the work being set. The new programme ‘MintClass’ will be able to assist with this too once it is up and running.
Ultimately, the standards of success should be applied for all students (See ‘Learning and teaching’ pages in planner.) Don’t let anybody slip though the net and challenge all to meet your expectations.
The Power of Illusion
There’s a scene in the television show, Game of Thrones, where the eunuch says to the imp “Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall.”
Students respond to us based on the illusion we create of our own authority. If you give the appearance and act as if you are in complete control then they will treat you accordingly
For example, if you tend to be moving around a lot then experiment with sitting still. If you talk a lot, try saying little. How can you project the image of being the boss? What does someone totally in control look like?
There are many excellent short videos on the Facebook page of Teach Like a Champion. Watch a few to see a range of outstanding teaching and learning.
The more you fake certain behaviours the more those traits become real. After a while the illusion will disappear and you naturally will have more control.
Rewards and Praise
Praise is one of the most powerful tools we have in promoting the kind of behaviour and attitudes we want our students to display.
Think carefully about how praise is delivered. While some students like to be singled out not all enjoy being praised publically. In some cases this can actually have a detrimental effect. A quiet word after the lesson or on the way out is often far more valuable than a quick ‘well done’ in front of the whole class. If a student has had a particularly good lesson a brief, private reminder of this at the start of the next lesson can help to focus that student on repeating his/her successes.
The critical mass. In every difficult class there will be a balance between negative and positive influences. Make sure that you praise and foster those students who exert a positive influence on the rest of the group as well as tackling those who are having a negative influence. It is very easy with a difficult class to spend all of your time thinking about and dealing with the difficult students. However, in every lesson there will be some students who have displayed self control or grit and tenacity even in trying circumstances. Consider keeping a group of hard working students back at the end of the lesson to praise them for their continued efforts. A brief, genuine message of praise
for these students will help to keep them on board and will perhaps influence others to follow suit.
Make sure that praise is descriptive. It is very easy to keep repeating the stock phrases of ‘brilliant’ or ‘well done’ without telling students what was so brilliant about what they have done. Try to ensure that your praise explains why their work or behaviour is so impressive.
Give students a sense of what kind of behaviour you are looking for in an activity. Try to outline to the students the kind of behaviour you expect for a specific task and why. When you see this behaviour praise and reward it. Students then know what is expected of them and why they are being praised for it.
Avoid praise for praise’s sake. It is possible to over praise individuals or groups, particularly if the praise is not warranted. Students will see through empty praise very quickly.
Rewards – Use Vivos to reward individuals, groups or the whole class. A whole class vivo can be a useful tool to reward an entire class if they have performed well on a particular task. Sending a postcard home is another very powerful reward. It will open up a dialogue between the student and the parent about your subject. A brief phone call home also has the same effect. If you have had to phone home for a negative reason, reward any subsequent improvement with a phone call home for a positive reason.
The basics of BFL
1 Be in charge…
2 Use positive classroom rules…
3 Make rewards work for you…
4 Catch them being good…
5 Be specific and clear in your instructions…
6 Deal with low level behaviours before they get big…
7 Have a ready repertoire of easy to implement and monitor consequences…
8 Find a ‘best for both outcome’…
9 Establish ‘start of lesson’ routines…
10 Manage the end of the lesson…
The Behaviour for Life policy is powerful as it is all about the classroom teacher being in control. However, there are some times when an example scenario can be useful. Please be advised the following responses to situations are all interpretations and it may be that individuals deal with the behaviours in slightly different ways. The consistency of the policy comes from setting high expectations and setting meaningful sanctions where appropriate.
A student is repeatedly interrupting the lesson by calling out answers
Remind them of the expectations to show respect and good manners (be direct about the language you use) and why this is important in a classroom. It is continues explain the impact this is having on other people and their learning- a warning can be given at this stage. If the behaviour is shown again explain that this will now be recorded on SIMS. Any persistence- a student would need to be asked to step outside to reflect on their behaviour using the conversation card.
Link to learning habits> warning> recording> outside the classroom> restorative conversation> Parking zone
After many conversations about homework, it is still not being done
Make sure you record each homework issue onto SIMS for record keeping, but this is not the solution. Contact home from the onset to make parents aware. Contact the tutor who can monitor this and put the student onto homework report if this is a wider school issue. Detentions can be set to complete homework but a restorative conversation needs to take place at the end to leave on a positive note. Check there are no barriers to doing homework with them/ their tutor.
Record on SIMS>contact home and tutor> detention if persistent> involve HoD to follow department policy
A student is refusing to complete work in the lesson.
There would need to be a conversation in the lesson about the learning habits- this shows a lack of grit and tenacity. Explain the expectations and the consequence of them making a poor choice not to work. A warning can be given and if this continues a recording can be made. Before this is would be good to ask the student to step outside of the classroom to speak to them individually as there may be an issue stopping them from doing it that they don’t want to say to the rest of the class.
Set out expectation>warning>recording>outside of the classroom>restorative conversation
When I step outside of the classroom for my restorative conversation with a student the rest of the class use this as an opportunity to do nothing which makes the problem worse.
Allow the student to reflect on their behaviour outside of the room using the restorative conversations card- don’t spend any time with them at this point. After a few minutes invite them back into the classroom but check first if they are ready to come back into the room. The restorative conversation can take place at the end of the lesson or quietly in the room while others are working.
Student outside with RC card> back into the classroom when calm> conversation during the lesson
Despite having time outside to calm down, the student is still not prepared to talk.
Leave them with the behaviour card to read and reflect first and provide space for them to calm down. Ultimately you may need to use the parking zone if a student is not prepared to reflect on their behaviour but there are stages to work through before this.
How do I go about giving a detention?
You need to refer to the policy outlined by your HoD who will have a department plan for detentions. Detentions start with the class teacher, they need to be arranged at your convenience and should last for no more than 20 minutes. They get written into the correct section of the student planner. At the end of the detention a restorative conversation needs to take place so that the student can put right their behaviour. If an issue persists then you will need to contact home and refer the student to your HoD who will be able to advise you on the next steps.
How do I parking zone a student?
Students can be parking zoned for the following things:
- Persistent disruption
- Persistent defiance
- inappropriate comments
- abusive comments
- deliberately causing conflict
- aggressive behaviour
The parking zone must be used when all other methods have not worked. In order to send a student to the parking zone you must add a behaviour on to SIMs (parking zone – disruption, defiance, gross misconduct, other). You must then either send the student straight to the designated parking zone in your department where your HOD/TLR holder is present, or to student support who will inform them of where they must go. A BET will escort the student if necessary. If you feel the student will not arrive at either of these places then you must send another student to student support who will send a BET to come and collect the parked student.
What do I do if a number of students are disrupting learning?
This may need the wider support of your department team. In the lesson maintain the use of the learning habits to remind students of the high expectations in your room. If there is one main student who is interrupting the lesson then they need to be asked to step outside to calm down. This time can then be used to work with other students in the class. Use the same process as you would with an individual. Ensure that you do not have the conversation with all students outside at the same time. If this disruption continues then seek advice and support of Lead practitioners, HoH, or HoD.
When do I record a de-escalation? Isn’t speaking to a student outside of the lesson just normal teaching?
Ideally you must record all conversations outside the classroom as a ‘de-escalation’ comment in SIMs, which you then add ‘resolved’. This does not mean it is behaviour point, but a note on their file for you and other key staff. However, if you feel that the conversation warrants a warning, rather than recording it as a de-escalation then you must ensure the student is aware that this is a warning.
How do I use the policy to tackle low level disruption within my class?
Begin the lesson with a routine where students are actively participating. Remind students of the expectations to show respect and good manners when you are talking. Refer to the ten Learning habits which should be displayed in your classroom to remind them of the skills they should be exhibiting as a class. Using the language of the learning habits, reward those students who are showing self-control and respect and good manners whilst you are expecting. Put the restorative behaviour card on their desk whilst in the lesson to remind them of the expectations. If this does not work then you must follow the process as stated above.
Does using the parking zone reflect badly on me as a classroom teacher?
No. Recordings and the parking zone are designed to support you as a classroom teacher, and to make key staff aware of the behaviour patterns of students. They are a method of managing behaviour of students so that the classroom environment is conducive to learning. By using the Behaviour for Life policy you are showing consistency throughout the school, and ensuring students know the expectations of you as a classroom teacher and Myton as a school.
Am I a ten habits role model?
Use the Behaviour for life policy and the ten learning habits to promote the desired characteristics through your own behaviour. Model high expectations and respect in lessons, show self-control when having the restorative conversations and show gratitude to students who are showing respect and good manners.
Jargon busting: Your A-Z guide to the BFL policy and Code of conduct
BETs: Behaviour Engagement Tutors (Matt Hancock and Sion Humphries. Senior BET = Seb Apostle)
BFL Behaviour for Life (based on 10 learning habits)
CAF Common Assessment Framework. Used to bring professions together from external agencies to support the need of the child.
CAMHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
Code of practice The flowchart of Wave 1-3 intervention used at Myon to tackle behavioural issues. This can be found in the planner.
Core Teaching Standard 7
- Manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment
- Have clear rules and routines for behaviour in classrooms, and take responsibility for promoting good and courteous behaviour both in classrooms and around the school, in accordance with the school’s behaviour policy
- Have high expectations of behaviour, and establish a framework for discipline with a range of strategies, using praise, sanctions and rewards consistently and fairly
- Manage classes effectively, using approaches which are appropriate to pupils’ needs in order to involve and motivate them
- Maintain good relationships with pupils, exercise appropriate authority, and act decisively when necessary.
DC The Development Centre at Myton
De-escalation When strategies are put in place to reduce the chance of poor behaviour choices. These might include a restorative conversations, 2 minutes outside of the classroom or adapting tone and body language.
EHC plan (SEMH) An Education HealthCare Plan. These outline the plan to meet any individual’s healthcare needs. (Social Emotional Mental Health Plans)
Parking Zone This is the area designated by your department that is available to send students to if they do not adjust their behaviours after de-escalation techniques have been employed. There is a timetable of rooms that your HoD will have made available so you know where to send students. Parking zones must be logged on Sims and then followed up with a meaningful sanction and contact with home.
Personalisation The differentiation strategies and the personal approach you take with a student as a result of the information you know about them. (Data, social, SEND etc.)
Restorative conversations These either take place in the lesson between teacher and student as a de-escalation technique, or would happen after a student has been sent to the parking zone. The aim is to re-establish the working relationship between student and teacher ready for learning to begin again. The Behaviour team have these cards available to use as prompts for this discussion.
SEND Special Educational Needs/Disability
Standards for Success This is the baseline that we at Myton expect from all staff and students. It is outlined in the planner and students have had it issued to them on the back of their learning habits card
Student Profile This is an information sheet that is completed with a student for all teaching staff to access. It outlines techniques which work well with the student.
The Learning Habits The 10 learning habits are the foundation for the Behaviour policy at Myton. They stem from the research conducted by the Confederation of British Industy into what attributes are needed to be successful in the workplace. It is all staff’s role to model, discuss and refer to these habits in our interactions with students.
‘Thinking’ part of the brain Moving away from emotional reactions towards a more rational response.
Wave One This is the intervention you as a classroom teacher put in place. Quality first teaching, seating plans, personalisation, de-escalation strategies and restorative conversations.
Wave Two This is the intervention needed for those students who persistently don’t meet the standards for success across the school. Who are identified by the pastoral team or by the department as needing further intervention. This may mean reports, parent/carer meetings, CAFs, mentoring etc.
Wave Three This is high level intensive sanctions for gross misconduct. This would include isolations, exclusions, reduced timetables, EHC plans, referral to CAMHS etc.
The Teaching and Learning Team
Come along to….
The ‘Tea and Learning’ event on 15th October to watch other people share ideas about practical strategies that work for them.
In the next T&T issue and receive stamps for your loyalty card.
Sign up for the ‘Tea and Learning’ event and share an idea
Don’t forget to post your postcards to let someone know if you have used their idea.
Thank you to everybody who has led a twilight so far this term: Paul MacIntyre, Jo Benjamin, Katie Collings, Jane Millington, Helen Bridge, Helen Burton, Chris Grier, and Emma Clark.