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Showing posts from January, 2017

Sharing is caring: why centralised detentions might just save your sanity

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Train spotters have their niche, I have mine. Over the last ten years I must have been in over 150 schools to look at their behaviour systems. What started off as a few consults became a habit. I get asked to work with schools that want to tighten up, reboot or buff their policies and practices. Sometimes it’s a check-up, and sometimes it’s an autopsy. It’s always a privilege.
I’ve found that some strategies are highly contextual, and some graft nicely on to a wide set of circumstances. It’s not often you can recommend a strategy blind to a school, because as Dylan Wiliam says ‘Everything works somewhere and nothing works everywhere.’ But if we’re smart we can try to establish as many best-bets, highly-probables and ‘this works a lot’ as we can. Like an aspirin, most people feel better, and a few feel worse. But we still prescribe aspirin.
And one of the most successful strategies I’ve seen used by schools, and especially by schools that have very effective school behaviour systems,…

School swap Korea: Fast as lightning, but a little bit frightening

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Welcome to South Korean education and School Swap: Korea Style, the focus of an unusually good documentary presented by the Sunday Times’ Sian Griffiths.

I say unusually, because schools on telly have a lineage like Argentinians with German surnames- there are bits in the past you want to forget deliberately. Belters like the aforementioned Educating Essex which managed to make school procedure watchable, but also forgettable stunt telly like Jamie’s Dream School*, which was hugely watchable but had as much to do with real teaching as…well, as this program’s theme song Kung Fu Fighting (an American song about a Chinese martial art) had to do with Korea. That was the most impressive example of ‘stuff it, that’ll do’ I’ve seen since we were reassured that Brexit did indeed mean Brexit.

But that was the only bum note in a program that kept its premise simple: what was it like for a British teenager to study in a Korean classroom? They dug up three great kids from Wales and re-potted the…

Leadership: reboot your school's behaviour for 2017

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To mark the start of the new year and the Spring term, I wrote a short introduction recently for teachers to consider how they could approach refreshing the behaviour in their classrooms. In summary, it went a little like this:
1.Any behaviours that can be made into routines, should be2.Communicate these to your class, explicitly and clearly.3.Practise the behaviours until they become habits4.Patrol the boundaries of these behaviours with micro-interventions5.Sell the benefits

In this post I want to talk a little about the same issue for school leaders. I’ve been working with schools on behaviour for years, and one thing that struck me early on was that while there was a great deal the individual teacher could do to make a difference to in-class behaviour, how the school itself was run made an even bigger difference to behaviour outcomes. When I used to run the behaviour advice column for the TES the second most common woe was- maybe surprisingly- based around issues teachers were hav…