School Behaviour Secrets Podcast

Are you a teacher, a SENCo or a school leader?

Want research-backed strategies for supporting students who find it hard to manage their emotions or behaviour? Want practical ways of supporting pupils with special needs like autism, ADHD, FASD or attachment disorder? Want tried-and-tested classroom management strategies that will work with that 'tricky class'?

Then you're in the right place.

Welcome to the School Behaviour Success podcast where we'll answer ALL these questions and so much more! Week after week, your hosts Simon Currigan and Emma Shackleton share the secrets to behaviour success that every teacher and school leader should know, all based on their decades of experience supporting real teachers and real students in real classrooms.

But that's not all... We also interview thought leaders from the world of education so you can hear NEW insights that could hold the key to unlocking your students' potential. Whether it's managing the whole class, helping kids with behavioural SEN, or whole school strategy - we've got you covered.

Are you in? Brilliant. Because this is YOUR CHANCE to get unstuck, hear from the experts, feel inspired and start seeing more positive behaviour in your classroom again. So hit that subscribe button... and let's get started!

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How To Create A Trauma And Attachment Aware Classroom with Rebecca Brooks

When a child experiences early trauma, or develops an insecure attachment with their parent, the impact can last for years. It can negatively affect how they regulate their emotions, interact with others and cope in the busy school environment.

In this episode, author and expert Rebecca Brooks explains the link between early adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and behaviour in school, and shares practical strategies for building an inclusive, trauma and attachment aware classroom - with the aim of creating success for all.

Is It Time To Rip Up Classroom Behaviour Charts?

Classroom behaviour charts have been used for decades to help support positive behaviour in class (and discourage negative behaviour). But are they actually doing more harm than good?

In today’s episode, we look at the pros and cons of using behaviour charts to manage whole class behaviour. We’ll be asking if charts are a great way of providing recognition for good behaviour - or do they just publicly shame kids with behaviour needs?

How COVID Has Impacted On Pupils' Emotional Well-Being In Schools

Since September, have you been surprised by the change in the emotional well-being - and classroom behaviour - of the kids in your class? Noticed less resilience, less ability to focus, fewer social skills and asked... is this just my class? Or my school?

To answer that question, we surveyed our community to assess the change of SEMH needs schools are seeing in their students. And in this episode, we share the results, revealing the true impact of COVID and lockdown... and the challenges we face supporting our pupils in 2022.

How To Use EFT Tapping To Help Pupils Manage Emotions And Stress With Deborah Miller

Looking for a different approach to help pupils manage their emotions and stress? That's easy for students to access... and doesn't rely on them sitting still and focussing for long periods?

In this episode, Deborah Miller unlocks the secrets of EFT Tapping, a simple technique for helping children get back on top of strong emotions... leaving them feeling calm, grounded and focussed.

Are interactive whiteboards undermining our classroom management?

In recent years, more and more technologies like interactive whiteboards have been enthusiastically introduced into classrooms. But has the impact on classroom engagement been wholly positive?

In this episode of School Behaviour Secrets, we explore whether interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are a positive force for classroom behaviour... or whether they’re quietly undermining the teacher’s ability to run the class.

How To Help Kids Overcome The Emotional Impact Of Bullying With Bradley Davis

Bullying is an issue that affects many pupils. But once the immediate issue of bullying has been dealt with, how do you help victims overcome the emotional impact of what has happened to them?

Bradley Davis, who is dedicated to supporting pupils with emotional and mental health issues, talks about his own experiences of bullying as a student - and shares practical strategies for helping (and healing) pupils who have experienced bullying in school.

Why Parenting Programmes Don’t Work

Most of us invest more time learning to drive than learning to parent - and parenting programmes are full of valuable ideas and strategies. But why do they have such a high failure rate in schools?

In today’s episode, we look at the factors that drag down the success of parenting courses, and explore what can be done to make the programmes offered in your school more successful.

How To Improve Behaviour Through Playtime Games With Therese Hoyle

Looking for a way to boost student behaviour at lunchtimes - and increase their social skills as well - in a way that’s immediate and engaging?

Therese Hoyle is one of the UK’s leading trainers on improving playtime and lunchtime behaviour. In this episode, she reveals the secrets of using playground games to dramatically improve the quality of playtimes and lunchtimes in schools.

What Empathy Actually Is (And How To Teach It)

Developing empathy is a key skill our students need to function in school. It helps them bond with their peers, work as part of a group and function successfully in the classroom.

But what do we actually mean by empathy - and how do we help our pupils develop it? In this episode, we look at the different layers of empathy, how theory of mind (and perspective taking) develop, and share some practical strategies for supporting students in your school.

The Zones Of Regulation: How To Help Kids Manage Strong Emotions With Leah Kuypers

Many kids experience difficulties managing strong emotions, whether those emotions are related to anger, anxiety or something else. And often, that lack of regulation spills over into challenging behaviour, or gets in the way of their learning.

In this week's interview, we speak to Leah Kuypers, author and creator of the Zones Of Regulation. She shares practical and effective ways of helping pupils become more aware of their emotional state - and then engage with positive regulation strategies in the classroom.

How Trauma Impacts On Pupil Behaviour (And How Teachers Can Help)

If you’re working with a child who has difficulty regulating their emotions, over-reacts to situations, or finds it hard to concentrate, then it might be they were affected by early trauma in their life.

In this episode, we explore how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) actually change the way the brain functions, resulting in highly anxious or dysregulated pupils. And, of course, we cover concrete strategies you can start using to support pupils affected by trauma in your classroom.

How To Support Children Affected By Their Parents' Mental Health Needs with Helena Kulikowska

Many children are affected by the mental health needs of their parents - whether that impact is emotional and having to become more self-sufficient at an early age. And some even find the roles of child and adult have swapped, and they’ve become the carer for their parent.

So how do we help them cope with that emotional pressure and succeed in school? Helen Kulikowska from the charity Our Time shares her practical advice for supporting pupils affected by this issue.

How To Help Students Use Social Media (Safely) - With Claire Orange

Many teachers and parents are worried about the effects of social media on their children. Whether that's negative comments, becoming obsessed with friend counts, dealing with trolling or chasing likes, the world of social media is piling up new pressures on our students.

In this week's episode, we speak to Claire Orange, who is an expert and author on social and emotional learning. She explains how social media use is affecting our pupil's emotional development and shares practical ideas for helping children navigate social media safely.

How To Create Positive Whole School Behaviour Change with Gavin Oattes

Creating positive whole school behaviour change can feel like swimming upstream. But what if there was a basic formula for achieving success?

In this episode, we speak to Gavin Oattes, who’s worked with some of the biggest organisations in the world on personal development. He reveals the process he uses with schools to drive positive change - starting from the school’s core values all the way through to student behaviour change in the classroom.

How Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Affects Student Behaviour

FASD (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) is a condition that’s estimated to affect as many as autism, can lead to emotional and behaviour issues in the classroom, but can be very difficult to identify. So how can we recognise - and support - children with the condition?

In today’s School Behaviour Secrets, we explode some of the myths about FASD, look at the surprising facts and figures about drinking in pregnancy, and share how you can support pupils affected by this issue in your school.

How Sensory Needs Impact On Emotional Regulation with Lindsey Biel

If you’re working with a pupil who has difficulties with their emotions and behaviour, there may be an issue with their sensory processing. Sensory needs aren’t exclusive to children with autism - and they actually impact on a wide range of children in our schools.

In this week’s episode, we speak to expert, author and occupational therapist Lindsey Biel. She explains how sensory needs affect emotional regulation - and shares practical, effective support strategies that could make a real difference to the lives of children in your classroom.

3 Overlooked Factors That Cause Challenging Student Behaviour

Sometimes it can be hard to pin down what causes students to behaviour in a challenging way. Which means that our support strategies are unlikely to be effective - and those behaviours persist (or get worse).

In today’s episode of School Behaviour Secrets, we share 3 overlooked factors that can cause challenging classroom behaviour. We explain what they are, how to recognise them and how to address them successfully to help your students get back on track.

Breaking The Chain Of Inter-Generational Offending And Imprisonment with James Ottley

Huge numbers of kids are affected by imprisonment - and most schools will have at least one family where a mother or father is in the criminal justice system. But how do we reach children affected by this issue - and help them break the chain of inter-generational offending that is all too common?

James Ottley from Children Heard and Seen is an expert in supporting pupils and families affected by prison - and in today's episode, he explains how the issue affects children, how to form trusting relationships with them, and he gives us practical strategies for offering kids emotional support.

This episode is sponsored by Team Satchel.

How To Tackle 'Mean Girls' Bullying

Mean Girls behaviours (or to use its correct name, Relational Aggression) is a common form of bullying where the group turns on one of its own members. It's emotionally damaging and it doesn't just affect girls - boys can be victims too.

In this episode of School Behaviour Secrets, we explore exactly what relational aggression is - and give you concrete strategies for tackling the problem in schools.

This episode is sponsored by Team Satchel.

7 Tools For Classroom Management Success with Pamela Tseu

Is your aim not just for your students to behave better in class - but want to behave? Not just for the promise of a reward - but because it's the right thing to do

Pamela Tseu is an expert in classroom management and she's developed 7 teaching tools to make this happen. In this episode, she explains what those tools are, and how to start using them in your classroom.

This episode is sponsored by Team Satchel.

Why Anger Management Programmes Don't Work

Trying to support your students with anger issues - but feel like your intervention isn't making the progress your pupils deserve? Then it's time to identify the obstacles in the way of your group's (and your pupils') success.

In today's episode, we look at the factors that prevent anger management programmes from having an impact, and review the evidence about how well they work in schools - so you have everything you need to set your anger management programme up for success.

This episode is sponsored by Team Satchel.

How The Best Schools Implement Early Intervention with Jayne Wesler

For children with special needs, early intervention can be the difference between succeeding in school and reaching their potential - and disengagement, struggling academically and poor social emotional outcomes.

In this episode of School Behaviour Secrets, we interview Jayne Wesler (who’s spent her career supporting students with SEN) about what the best schools do to get early intervention right for their students.

How Rewards Crush Student Motivation In The Classroom

Motivation in the classroom is easy, right? We dangle rewards in front of kids and they’ll change their behaviour to get the rewards.

But what if that idea is wrong? What if using rewards actually diminishes children’s motivation in the long term?

In today’s episode of School Behaviour Secrets, we explore the surprising science of reward systems… so you know exactly how to increase pupil motivation in your classroom.

How To Implement Restorative Practice In Your School with Janine Dodds

Looking for a way of moving away from rewards and consequences in your school, towards a fairer system where everyone has a voice?

In her school, Headteacher Janine Dodds has done just that - and in today’s show, Janine is going to talk us through her schools journey in introducing and embedding restorative practice - including her experience of getting staff and parents on board.

What Every Teacher Should Know About The Anger Cycle (And Why It Matters)

Knowing what to say and do when a child becomes angry (or highly anxious) can be difficult. One wrong move and the child’s emotions can seem to explode!

The secret to de-escalation is understanding the anger cycle - the biological changes that lead to the fight-flight-or-freeze responses that are so difficult to manage in school. In this episode of School Behaviour Secrets, we look at the key stages of the anger cycle - and how to adjust your response for each one, so you approach de-escalation calmly and successfully.

How To Support Pupils Affected By Imprisonment (with Sara Turner from Ormiston Families)

When a child has a family member go into prison, the impact on their emotions (and their behaviour) can be huge. Yet there’s very little training for schools on how to support those pupils.

In this episode, we interview Sara Turner from Ormiston Families, who has practical experience of supporting young people affected by imprisonment. She explains the struggles those children go through - and strategies that help students manage their emotions in school.

5-Steps To Effective Whole School Behaviour Training

Putting together a training programme related to behaviour and SEMH that actually makes a difference in the classroom is hard! And no one wants to invest time and money in training that won’t work.

In this episode of School Behaviour Secrets, we give you a simple, 5-step process for planning out your SEMH training programme across the entire year - so it has real impact on the teachers and students in your school.

A 4-Step Framework For Better Classroom Behaviour And Relationships (with Kevin Hewitson)

The best way to influence the behaviour of the most challenging students isn’t with with rewards or consequences - it’s through relationships. But how do you form relationships with kids who are resistant (or wary of) adults, or actively avoid engaging with teaching staff?

In this episode, we interview Kevin Hewitson, an educational consultant and author with over 40 years teaching experience. He guides us through his 4-part framework (PBCF) for breaking down those barriers - and explains how to get disaffected kids re-engaged with their school work.

The Top 5 Classroom Management Skills Every Teachers Should Know

Want to know the top 5 essential classroom management skills every teacher should know? The 5 skills that lead to whole class success, healthy adult:pupil relationships and on-task behaviour?

In this episode, based on 1000s of lesson observations, we reveal exactly what those skills are - and how to start using them in your classroom. All with the aim of creating a positive learning environment for you and your students.

Teaching Strategies for Pathological Demand Avoidance with Ruth Fidler

Teaching pupils with PDA (pathological demand avoidance) can be draining and frustrating. The key to success is understanding what’s driving your student’s resistance to demands.

In this episode, we interview Ruth Fidler, expert and author on the subject of PDA. She reveals the best way of supporting children with PDA in the classroom - and explains what kinds of strategies are effective (and what to avoid).

The 11 Key Questions That Make Or Break Behaviour Interventions

Want to make sure the behaviour plans you write for your SEN students are successful? Then picking the correct target behaviours is essential - because a plan that focuses on the wrong areas isn’t likely to succeed.

In this episode of School Behaviour Secrets, we share 11 questions that will laser focus your interventions on the target behaviours that really matter. We explain what those questions are, why they’re important, and how to use them. Don’t write another behaviour plan until you’ve heard this!

Why Attachment Theory Is Wrong (And We Should Let It Die) With Dr. Jerome Kagan

Attachment theory has received a lot of attention in education over the last 20 years - but is it just plain wrong? Are attachment interventions used in school built a foundation of sand?

In today’s controversial episode, distinguished professor and author Jerome Kagan explains why we should let attachment theory die, why the evidence to support it is so poor, and what we should be doing to help our students instead.

A (Fast) Explanation Of The Difference Between ADHD And Autism

Want to understand - in simple, clear terms - the real difference between ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ASD (autism spectrum disorder)? Especially as more children are entering are classrooms with a diagnosis?

Understanding how these two conditions affect students is key to helping them manage their emotions and behaviour. So in this episode we’ve condensed and simplified everything you need to know, giving you the knowledge you need to support the pupils in your classroom.

How To Measure The Impact Of Your Behaviour Interventions

Here are two key questions that are surprisingly difficult to answer about behaviour interventions in school: 1) Are they having any impact? 2) Are they providing value for money?

In today’s episode, Dr. Rob Long explains how to objectively measure whether your interventions are effective using the SNAP-B profile. He’ll also explain how to use SNAP-B to select the right intervention strategies, so we address the underlying problems driving the pupil's behaviour.

4 Reasons (Some) Kids Get Angry So Quickly

Some children seem to jump from calm to angry at the flick of switch - while others seem to be able to manage strong emotions perfectly well. What makes the difference between emotional success and failure?

In this episode, we’re going to look at 4 factors that cause some children to struggle with anger - so you can finally understand their behaviour (and help them self-regulate effectively).

ADHD: What One Parent Wants All Teachers To Know

It’s hard to imagine the classroom experience of kids with an ADHD diagnosis - because they often find it hard to articulate how it feels (and how it affects them).

In today’s episode, we speak to John Booth, who not only has a son diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, but also received a diagnosis of ADHD himself in his forties. He speaks honestly and openly about how ADHD affected his schooling (and his perception of himself as a learner), and the struggles involved in successfully parenting a child with ADHD.

Do Gratitude Diaries *Really* Improve Pupil Resilience?

The web is full of articles about the power of gratitude journals to improve our resilience and mental-wellbeing? But how much of this is true - and how much is wishful thinking?

In this episode, we look at whether the evidence stacks up with children of school age. Are gratitude diaries a tool for improving our children’s mental health and emotions - and does any of the scientific research support the internet hype?

How To Help Children Overcome Attachment Injuries

When a child’s early bonding experiences with their parents goes wrong, the result can be extremely challenging behaviour in school, difficulties with social interaction and problems with emotional regulation.

In today’s episode, our guest Catherine Young explains how to use her evidence-based M-MAT process (multi-modal attachment therapy) to heal the 'attachment injury' driving those behaviours and manage their emotions more successfully.

6+1 Common Mistakes In School Behaviour Policies

Want to know which 6 mistakes hold back behaviour policies from having the whole-school impact school leaders are looking for? So your school can finally get the whole school consistency that really drives improvements in behaviour?

In this episode, based on our experience of looking at hundreds of policies, we talk through what makes a good behaviour policy, highlight the pitfalls that undo many schools, and explain how to get your policy right first time.

How To Transform Behaviour At Breaktimes (Without Wasting Time Or Money)

While student behaviour is often good in class, it often deteriorates once pupils get outside - leading to arguments and low-level behaviour that have to be sorted out in the following lesson.

In today’s episodes, we talk to Tim Davies about how to transform the systems and environment in your school (without spending a fortune!) to improve pupil behaviour and relationships at break time.

Do Whole Class Reward Systems Actually Work?

In this episode, we dig into the questions: do whole class reward systems actually make any difference? Do they act as a motivator… or are they quietly demotivating the students in our classroom?

By the end of this episode, you’ll have all the information you need to assess the effectiveness of the systems in your classroom - and the key advantages (and limitations) of using class-wide extrinsic rewards.

How To Succeed With Restorative Practice In Your School (with Sara Hagel)

Tired of playing referee when your students fall out or have long-running disputes? Wish there was a better way of resolving conflict in your classroom (or school)?

There is - it’s called restorative practice - and in today’s show, Sara Hagel from Peacemakers is going to walk us through how to get a programme of restorative justice up and running successfully in your school.

The 4 Attachment Styles In Children (Explained)

Want to understand how each of the 4 attachment styles affects how students behave in the classroom? How a child’s early years influences their ability to form relationships with adults (and even whether they feel relaxed and confident in the classroom)

In this episode, we’ll: walk you through what each the attachment styles actually means; look at the difference between an attachment difficulty and attachment disorder; and finally join the dots between attachment theory and every day classroom practice.

Teaching Self-Regulation Skills In The Classroom (with Dr. Stuart Shanker)

Ever wondered what *really* causes children to have difficulties with their behaviour? Or the difference between self-control and self-regulation?

In today's episode, we interview Dr. Stuart Shanker, expert on the impact of stress on human behaviour - and learn how reframing kids' behaviour means we're more likely to find solutions to challenging behaviour in the classroom.

3 Assertiveness Techniques To Improve Your Classroom Presence

Being assertive in the classroom can have a huge impact on both your whole class management and your ability to manage behaviour incidents. The secret is to be intentional about your body language, your tone of voice and exactly how you word your instructions.

In this episode, we show you how to do just that. We give you 3 techniques you can start using today to look and sound more confident in your classroom. The result? Teaching feels easier, your lessons are more productive and your relationships with students improve.