Activity

1.1: What you will learn, and video introduction to the Block

1.1a: What you will learn

Time allocation

5 minutes (10 minutes with video)

Instructions

  • Look over the statements covered in this Block.
  • Watch the video, which introduces what you will learn in this Block and why it is important.
  • Take your reflections, and any questions you have, to discuss in your first mentor session.

In this Block, you will learn the following:

Learn that
1.1 Teachers have the ability to affect and improve the wellbeing, motivation and behaviour of their pupils.
1.2 Teachers are key role models, who can influence the attitudes, values and behaviours of their pupils.
1.3 Teacher expectations can affect pupil outcomes; setting goals that challenge and stretch pupils is essential.
1.4 Setting clear expectations can help communicate shared values that improve classroom and school culture.
1.5 A culture of mutual trust and respect supports effective relationships.
7.1 Establishing and reinforcing routines, including through positive reinforcement, can help create an effective learning environment.
7.2 A predictable and secure environment benefits all pupils but is particularly valuable for pupils with special educational needs.
7.5 Building effective relationships is easier when pupils believe that their feelings will be considered and understood.
Learn how to
Demonstrate consistently high behavioural expectations, by: 
1d Seeking opportunities to engage parents and carers in the education of their children (e.g. proactively highlighting successes).
1e Creating a culture of respect and trust in the classroom that supports all pupils to succeed (e.g. by modelling the types of courteous behaviour expected of pupils).
1f Teaching and rigorously maintaining clear behavioural expectations (e.g. for contributions, volume level and concentration).
1g Applying rules, sanctions and rewards in line with school policy, escalating behaviour incidents as appropriate.
1h Acknowledging and praising pupil effort and emphasising progress being made.
Develop a positive, predictable and safe environment for pupils, by: 
7a Establishing a supportive and inclusive environment with a predictable system of reward and sanction in the classroom.
7c Giving manageable, specific and sequential instructions.
7d Checking pupils’ understanding of instructions before a task begins.
7e Using consistent language and non-verbal signals for common classroom directions.
7f Using early and least-intrusive interventions as an initial response to low level disruption.
7g Responding quickly to any behaviour or bullying that threatens emotional safety.
Establish effective routines and expectations, by: 
7h Creating and explicitly teaching routines in line with the school ethos that maximise time for learning (e.g. setting and reinforcing expectations about key transition points).
7i Practising routines at the beginning of the school year.
7j Reinforcing routines (e.g. by articulating the link between time on task and success).
Build trusting relationships, by: 
7k Liaising with parents, carers and colleagues to better understand pupils’ individual circumstances and how they can be supported to meet high academic and behavioural expectations.
7l Responding consistently to pupil behaviour.

1.1b: Video introduction to the Block

Time allocation

10 minutes with 1.1a

Instructions

Watch the video.

Video transcript

Welcome to Block 1. Block 1 is about creating an effective climate for learning for your pupils.

It is natural for behaviour management to preoccupy new teachers. Poor behaviour makes it hard for pupils to learn. As a teacher, the feeling of not being in charge of the lesson can be really demoralising. You will inevitably contrast what you do with more experienced colleagues, but it can be hard to identify the strategies they use to develop a positive climate for learning. It can be easy to assume that you either have ‘it’ or you don’t. 

The good news is that this doesn’t need to be the case! A positive learning environment is carefully crafted through specific teacher planning and actions, and everyone can do this. In short, you need to teach your pupils how to behave in your classroom, setting clear expectations and reinforcing these with consistent routines. Over time, this will help pupils understand how to take responsibility for their behaviour, through self-regulation, monitoring their own actions, and making the right choices. In this type of environment, pupils will feel more supported and secure, and you will be happier in your job.

When you know what to look for, you will see two different aspects of behaviour management. One is the multi-faceted skill of dealing effectively with instances of misbehaviour. This is a skill which improves with experience, but it’s also something that is dependent on knowing your pupils well as individuals. The second, more desirable, aspect is the proactive orchestration of classroom conditions in which poor behaviour is less likely to happen. 

To help with this, your goal should be to develop positive relationships and a culture of respect and trust with your pupils. Get to know your pupils, learn their names, talk to them about how they are learning and tell them what you expect of them. Give them the chance to learn how to behave well, and model this yourself. Your school will have policies and practices to support you and these should be followed from the outset. However, systems and policies alone cannot create a positive learning environment. Your actions, your behaviour and how you respond to your pupils are key. 

The teachers we remember the most are those who were fair and consistent in how they treated us. They are also the ones we knew had high expectations of both our behaviour and what we could achieve. They inspired us to do more, do better and produce our best. 

You are responsible for creating and managing the climate within your classroom. Your actions can influence the way your pupils behave, the way that they feel about your lessons and the results they achieve. This Block has been designed to support you in securing the kind of positive climate for learning which will have a direct impact on your teaching and your pupils’ learning. It will help you do all of the things we have just described: develop and reinforce rules and routines, support you in establishing positive relationships with pupils and show you ways to set and maintain high expectations.

Creating a culture in which pupils want to work hard and actively resist temptations to misbehave will benefit both your workload and wellbeing but also your pupils’ attitudes, wellbeing and motivation. It is not something that can be established instantly but instead something that is consciously crafted over time. However, if you consistently teach and model your rules, routines and expectations and embed these securely, a positive climate for learning will follow before too long.