Essentials: A Blueprint For Impactful Whole School Training

Essentials: A Blueprint For Impactful Whole School Training

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Ever invested time and money in whole school behaviour training for your staff - only to find it didn't have the impact you hoped it would? So it didn't result in success for your students AND the teaching staff in your school?

In this week's Essentials episode, we reveal our step-by-step blueprint for embedding effective programmes of behaviour and SEMH training in your school - in a way that empowers your staff to meet the needs of all your students.

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Click here to hear all of episode 19.

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Show notes / transcription


And in terms of specific behavioural special needs, maybe you'll want to think about understanding what's meant by behavioural special needs and addressing some of the myths around why some children can't just behave like everybody else, you might want to identify the underlying causes of misbehaviour, and think about focusing on those. So tackling the causes rather than the symptoms of poor behaviour, and always striving to look for the why.


Welcome to the school behaviour secrets podcast. I'm your host, Simon Currigan. My co host is Emma Shackleton and we're obsessed with helping teachers, school leaders, parents, and of course, students. When classroom behaviour gets in the way of success. We're going to share the tried and tested secrets to classroom management, behavioural special needs power school strategy, and more. All with the aim of helping your students reach their true potential. Plus, we'll be letting you eavesdrop on our conversations with thought leaders from around the world. So you'll get to hear their latest evidence based strategies before anyone else. This is the school behaviour secrets podcast. Hi there, Simon Currigan here and welcome to another essentials episode of school behaviour secrets. In these mini essentials episodes we share some key information or strategies from an earlier episode that we feel will make a real impact on the teachers and students in your school and will actually make a difference to what happens in the classroom or condensed into easy to consume 10 minute episodes. In this essentials episode my co host Mr. And I walk you through three key elements to help you establish a years worth of effective school behaviour training that will lead to genuine change in your score. This is actually a five step process. And today we're going to join the conversation at step two.


Step two is to audit your status, current strengths and weaknesses. We want to build something specific to your school training plan that's generic won't work. If it was designed to fit another school with different kids, different teachers, different families, all of whom are at different places in their journey. You can't just Nick someone else's plan and say that we'll do this is why cookie cutter policies don't work when you just pick up a policy and drop it into another setting. Whether you're focused on behaviour learning or something else, that kind of approach just doesn't work, you can't expect to take an approach that works in a different setting, and to expect it to work without adapting it to the individual needs of your school.


So to get the information we need, we need to run an audit or an assessment. And the point of that is we're going to work out the current strengths and weaknesses of our teaching staff and actually any of the other staff who work with the kids, people like lunchtime supervisors and sports coaches, who actually may deal with the bulk of behaviour issues outside at lunchtime or before or after school. So it may even be worth including staff members from your before and after school clubs if they're run by your school.


So audit your staffs knowledge and confidence with behaviour management, just like we do with the children, find out where they're at, and then we can start building from there. A great way to do this is to ask them to complete an anonymous survey, where you ask them about what elements of behaviour and social emotional and mental health issues they feel confident with and where they feel like they might need some more support. worth bearing in mind though sometimes staff might not know what they don't know if this is the case, you'll need to be specific with your questions, perhaps referring to specific areas of behaviour or special needs and asking about those.


So you've run your survey this is going to give you information about what your teaching staff believe now these beliefs might not be accurate, they may contain false assumptions. So what we need to do is combine the results of the survey with our own observations. We need to get into classrooms and observe classroom practice. See how the current behaviour policy is being implemented. To see if our teaching staffs ideas about how they teach and how they use the behaviour policy matches up with policy with real practice in the classroom with real kids.


And don't fall into the trap of making assumptions about your staff. For instance, it would be easy to assume that newly qualified teachers are fresh out of university and they've just had tonnes of training and mentorship on this. But that might not be the case. People also bring their own life experiences to the table two. I worked with a newly qualified teacher years ago who was actually brilliant at managing pupils with autism. She admitted that although she'd had very little training about autism them on her teacher training course, she actually has an autistic brother. So she'd grown up living her whole life with autism and learning how to accommodate her brother's needs. Conversely, for newly qualified teachers, a survey of initial teacher training students published by the UK Government revealed that more than two fifths 41% of teachers rated their initial teacher training in managing behaviour as poor or very poor. Many of the schools that we work with ask us how they can support their newly qualified teachers. So don't assume also that just because a teacher is very experienced, that they will be very knowledgeable about managing pupils with behavioural special needs, that simply isn't always the case.


We also need to think about staff turnover, you know, how many people have left year on year, we can't assume that just because we had training on autism three years ago, that that knowledge is still present within our staff, people leave for all sorts of reasons. And over time, as those people leave, they take that knowledge with them. People also just forget their training because they're so bombarded with information, especially nowadays, and that creates skills gaps, so your audit needs to consider staff turnover, don't make assumptions. Also in your audit, look at your pupil data and look at trends concerning behaviour and exclusions. Are you getting more cohorts of children with specific needs, like autism or domestic violence or attachment, because we'll need to make our plans adapt to these changing demographics. Our families change over time, so our plans have to change over time, otherwise, they won't be relevant.


So at the end of your audit process, you'll have identified a list of training needs, and now you're ready to write out a whole school training timetable. With dates, we'll write a one year programme, including a mixture of whole class management, training, and training around specific conditions around special needs. You'll need to get this balance right because teachers skills that classroom management level and behavioural special educational needs might get regular updates and reminders about good practice. Otherwise, those ideas get buried in the avalanche of other information that they have to absorb. And don't be afraid to build in time to recap or revisit themes. Just like when we teach concepts to the children, we don't just say, well, we've done counting, and then never revisited again. Very few people learn everything they need to know about a concept in one session, or at one time. So


in terms of whole class management, you want to look at areas like setting up a positive environment that encourages on task behaviour and learning, establishing ground rules and consistent routines.


Look at whole class strategies for promoting positive behaviour, things like rewards and consequences systems, praise ratios, the clarity of teacher instructions and use of questioning, incorporate ideas around managing low level disruption, and make sure that teachers are clear about which behaviours need to be addressed right now, and which may better be dealt with later on so as not to ruin the flow of the lesson and switch everybody else off, maybe look at something around using body language effectively. We've talked a lot in our other podcasts about getting the balance right between aggressive and passive, and the importance of being intentional with facial expressions, gestures and tone.


Another aspect that's often overlooked is how we use support staff effectively in a way that focuses students on their work and minimises disruption. As teachers, we rarely get trained on how to manage the other staff in our classrooms. So giving teachers basic management techniques, getting them to be confident talking to teaching assistants and learning support assistants about the role they want to take in a lesson is really important. And being proactive in terms of behaviour, and learning to form positive relationships with students and parents. I know you've heard us say, forming positive relationships over and over in these podcasts. But it's so important,


we will keep on banging that drum, I'm afraid. And in terms of specific behavioural special needs, maybe you'll want to think about understanding what's meant by behavioural special needs and addressing some of the myths around why some children can't just behave like everybody else, you might want to identify the underlying causes of misbehaviour and think about focusing on those so tackling the causes rather than the symptoms of poor behaviour, and always striving to look for the why or to ask what has happened to this child to make them behave this way, not just treating the symptom or putting a sticking point So over the problematic behaviour,


also understanding about how specific conditions like autism, which you might hear referred to as ASD, or ASC Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, attachment disorder, or conditions like foetal alcohol spectrum disorder can affect pupil behaviour and then writing simple behaviour plans that are focused on removing barriers to learning and encouraging more positive behaviour in the classroom.


So once you've had a think about your themes, get a timetable for the year and break it down into chunks of six to eight weeks. If you're in the UK, half terms are a good way to chunk the year. In each chunk, decide the overall topic that you want to cover. It's always a good idea at the start of the year to think about whole class classroom management as a theme, as teachers are meeting new pupils and classes for the first time. And getting systems and relationships right at the start is crucial. We can put specific dates in later in the process.


And that's all we got time for on this week's essentials episode where we've covered three elements from a five step process to embedding effective whole school behaviour training in your school. If you want to hear the whole conversation, head back to Episode 19. To find out everything you need to get an effective training plan up and running for the staff in your school. Definitely worth a listen. And if you've enjoyed listening today, please remember to rate and review us It takes just 30 seconds. And when you do it prompts the algorithm to recommend school behaviour secrets to other listeners. And that helps us grow the podcast and reach other teachers, school leaders and parents who would find this information helpful. And while you've got your podcast app open, do remember to hit subscribe so you never miss another episode. Thanks for listening and I look forward to seeing you next time on school behaviours

(This automated transcript may not be 100% accurate.)