Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Power of Collaboration

For the last six and a half years, I have been in the privileged position of being able to visit many schools and see lots of different and wonderful practice. I worked for a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) from 2010-2014 where I supported children who were at risk of being excluded from their mainstream schools and I also helped to reintegrate permanently excluded children back into mainstream education. This has allowed me to see many effective and ineffective strategies, in terms of dealing with behaviour. The last few years have seen me move from full class teaching to Assistant Headteacher with only a 50% timetable. As well as this, I have become a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) within the last year or so and have been given lots of opportunities to help schools in my ever-growing multi-academy chain.

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Positive Debrief – Breaking the Negative Cycle

I’ve written a previous blog post called Conflict Spiral – letting children know we can listen which is an idea from Team Teach. The conflict spiral is excellent at thinking about behaviour as an escalating crisis with many different points or stages. These stages help us to try and think of behaviour in a different way but in particular, they make me think about conducting a positive debrief with a child after an incident.

There are two ways of thinking about a child after an incident in terms of what we can do for them. We can either:

  1. Continue to manage future incidents for the child
  2. Teach the child to manage future incidents themselves

If a child repeatedly goes into crisis, staff can manage them every time. They can help them to manage the crisis at that point and also, they may choose to physically intervene. This is a control and at times, it is useful. If we only do things to help children during the time of a crisis, we will only seek to react to their poor behaviour. If we want to help them to manage themselves in the future, rather than depend on the member of staff, we have to debrief every incident, every time. Read the rest of this entry

Anti-bullying: Not just for a week!

During this week, schools up and down the country would have had a large focus on anti-bullying as, unless you live under a stone, everyone knows it has been anti-bullying week this week. Children will have had lessons, assemblies, competitions etc to help to raise the profile of bullying and the kids dutifully come up with all of the answers but it got me thinking. How can a school keep this up all year long? If this could be addressed (and in lots of schools I am sure it is), then surely schools would become more proactive about tackling bullying rather than being reactive.

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