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Module 4: Behaviour Management

Aims and purpose

Aims and purpose

Our aim is to create a culture with high levels of behaviour, to benefit both staff and pupils, by establishing a calm, safe and supportive environment, conducive to learning and thriving. Poor behaviour can lead to anxiety, bullying, disruption and distress resulting in student absence and lost learning time. It can also affect the wellbeing of teachers and may be a reason for leaving the profession. 

Creating a positive culture starts with directors, and principles modelling and teaching their communities the principles of good behaviour management. Students who behave well should be recognised. Pupils who do not behave well, will need extra support. The support they receive should be prompt and predictable, and be focussed on changing their behaviour. Adjustments may be needed for pupils with a disability. In serious instances, or when behaviour is unlikely to change, a student may need sanctions leading to exclusion as a last resort. 

Good behaviour looks like students and staff who are ready, kind and safe. These are our three rules. All poor behaviour is either not being ready, not being kind, or not being safe. All students and staff should know the three rules and only refer to them. They can do this when pointing out positive examples of the rules, or reference them when there is poor behaviour. Staff cannot make up new rules, or have separate rules for their classroom. In this way staff are consistent, creating a predictable environment for students struggling to behave. 

Leadership and management

Leadership and management

Good behaviour in students starts with adults modelling good behaviour themselves. Staff should model being ready, kind and safe, so mirror neurons in children’s brains can fire and allow for the copying process to commence. Those positive pathways should be reinforced with adults recognising good behaviour in students as much as possible. They should catch students doing the right thing. If staff can model good behaviour and catch students behaving well consistently, a culture based on positive behaviours can form. 

Leaders should ensure all new staff are well inducted into the behaviour management approach. They ensure that all staff are good role models in their own behaviour, and in following the SKOLA behaviour blueprint, a summary of our behaviour management approach. They provide training through the summer and share examples of how situations were handled as they happen. Finally they should intervene with meetings with staff or students when things go wrong and the possibility of sanctions or exclusions need to be considered.

Pupil Support

Students are inducted into school with clear explanations of the school rules and what happens if they are broken. Students are supported by the directors of studies if they need additional support due to additional needs.

Child-on-child abuse

Low level child on child abuse is breaking our second rule, to be kind to each other. Staff pick up on low level bullying in order to create a positive culture of kindness and respect. More serious abuse may be violent and dangerous and is unsafe. 

SKOLA behaviour blueprint

Consistency is a founding pillar of good behaviour management. All systems used in the school are therefore summarised on one page, known as a behaviour blueprint. The blueprint summarises the rules, adults behaviours, routines and sanctions used in the school. It also refers to key components of child-protection and health and safety needed to keep a community safe. Our mission, as well as our values are also highlighted. A culture is ‘the way we do things around here’. The blueprint makes that explicit at induction and is referred to in meetings and CPD sessions during the summer school.


The three rules cover all behaviours possible in a school. Some behaviours cover two or even all three rules. It is important to relate any behaviour in the school to one, or more of these three words either as a way to teach the behaviour to the students or as a starting point for correcting that behaviour. A staff member that does something that breaks all three rules (position 4) will be excluded. If a student does something that is an example of two or more dispositions, for example is both kind and safe (position 3) that should be recognised. 


Positive behaviours can be thought of as excellent dispositions, something that students do time and again and should be recognised. Instances, when a student behaves poorly, is a poor behaviour, something that was linked with a situation and something that does not define that student. 


Adult Behaviour

The behaviour of adults completely dictates the behaviour of the students in schools. Ensuring the staff are well trained and model good behaviour, by following the rules is the key component in creating a positive learning environment. In addition staff should remain calm at all times, and ensure they notice good behaviours within a class before poor behaviours. 

Calm voice

Students are copying machines and as such need role models from whom to copy behaviours until they become dispositions. Adults need to model calmness in all situations and be consistent in their behaviour management. To do this they follow the blueprint. 

1st attention

Students who behave well are often ignored by staff. Generally, and unless life is threatened, staff should take their attention to students who have done just as they have asked before turning their attention to students who have not. Recognise their effort in following directions openly and initially. Follow up with the students that didn’t follow your directions in private, secondarily. 

Adult Behaviour

Positive cultures are built on school wide routines which make more time available for learning on task. They speed up repetitive moments of a lesson and should be explicitly taught and practised. Here are some routines that are school wide.

Meet & Greet

Welcome students into the classroom in the same way each time, with a hand wave, fist pump or greeting. A starter activity could be set up so students arriving first get hooked into what the lesson might be about. 


Have a routine for de-escalating an emotional situation in a classroom. Low level escalation can be stopped by standing next to a student and having a quiet word. When things get higher having a routine for de-escalation is  

  1. I notice you are upset.

  2. I can see it’s because of something I did

  3. Can we take a moment so we can work this out


End and Send

Finish lessons in a similar way before the end of the lesson. This may be a quick quiz to check that what you have been teaching has been learnt. Leave on a high, ensuring any issues have been dealt with before you go. 


All adults have a duty of care towards children, especially in a school. The 4Rs summarise the key elements of protecting children from abuse from adults. The Safeguarding Policy goes into greater depth on this section.


All staff must read the safeguarding policy for more information on the types and signs of abuse. Report any concern to the DSL, even if you just suspect something small without any proof, or historical abuses or abuse that happened in different places like in their native country.  



Listen quietly, carefully and patiently to a disclosure. Do not judge, investigate or interrogate. Ask Open questions in a way that is appropriate to their age.  


Reassure the child has done the right thing by telling you, that they have done nothing wrong and that it must have been difficult to do.  Tell them that you are going to tell some people whose job it is to protect children. If the situation is life-threatening then call the police. They do not have to tell another member of staff.


Make some brief notes and write them up in detail as soon as possible. Keep original notes and record the facts: date, time, place. Record the words used by the child, including swear words or slang.


Refer all disclosures to the Designated Safeguarding Lead only. Staff can contact the local area designated officer directly if they feel that the school is not following up correctly or the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) Helpline 0808 800 5000. 

Health and Safety

Every event in a school should refer to health and safety guidance. The school is supported by Croner with health and safety reports and training. In essence, situational risks should be evaluated and reduced to an acceptable level of risk, or not proceeded with. 

Crossing the road is dangerous, and should only be attempted at traffic lights, with a staff member at the front and one at the back, with the students crossing in pairs, and there being enough time for the section of students to get across before the lights change. These are the mitigating factors that allow us to cross roads. 

There should be a first aider and first aid kit with every group and when staff and students are travelling together specific plans should be made depending on the activity. All staff should go through a safer recruitment procedure which includes a valid DBS check. 


Sanctions do not change student behaviour. The over-reliance of sanctions, like detentions, in relation to behaviour management in 70% of schools in this country is destroying the positive cultures those schools purport to want. SKOLA does not issue detentions. 

Rule reminders

Instead, schools looking to create a culture based on respect and responsibilities should do everything they can to avoid using sanctions. The best way to avoid issuing a sanction is to follow a 5 step sanction list which begins with two reminders of the rules and how they have been broken and why that rule needs to be followed. 

The Script

The script is repeated by all staff and in some more extreme schools known by the students as well. It is completely reasonable and looks to bring the student back on-side. It starts with the magic words, I’ve noticed… (that you are struggling to settle today, for example). It reminds the student that this is the third time the teacher has had to speak to them, having followed the sanction list, and tells the student again what rule is being broken and why that is important. The teacher reminds the student of a time when the student was on task and behaving well, in order to take the student’s mind to a positive, receptive state. They then give the students a choice, to continue to break the rules or to follow the rules and get back on task.  


If the script doesn't work then the relationship with the student and the staff member has broken down. A meeting is the only way to restore that bond. The teacher can arrange to meet with the student and discuss what is going wrong and how to put things right. 

If that doesn’t work then the teacher will need to inform their line manager who will meet the student and look to resolve the issue. If that doesn’t work, the line manager will inform the principal or director and a meeting with the parents is needed to establish what can be done. At this point there is a possibility of exclusion with future week’s fees refunded. 

Meetings with students and parents are tricky. If possible principles embodied in the restorative justice movement need to be used to fix a broken relationship. The five pillars of restorative justice are Relationship, Respect, Responsibility, Repair and Reintegration (link). 

The five questions that are helpful in a restorative meeting are:

  1. What happened?

  2. What have your thoughts been since?

  3. What are your feelings?

  4. Who has been affected and how were they affected?

  5. What are everyone’s needs when it comes to what should happen next?

  1. I’ve noticed…

  2. Third time…

  3. Rule reminder

  4. Remember +ve

  5. Choice…


Behaviour in schools: Advice for headteachers and school staff. DofE (September 2022) (link)

When the Adults Change, Everything Changes. Paul Dix (June 2017)

The Pivotal Curriculum for behaviour. Pivotal Education (2018)

Restorative Practice. Mark Finnis (2021) Paul Dix Paul Dix

Linked to

Code of Conduct

Health and Safety Policy

Employee handbook

Risk Assessments

If you are a support staff and you have already done First Aid training or will do the training course before the summer with SKOLA or a different centre, you can start your quiz now:

If you are a teacher, please revise Module 5:

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