A behaviour problem is just a new skill to learn.

Dr Ben Furman recently led Kids’ Skills training in Lincolnshire, as part of the Local Authority’s strategy to promote inclusion through relational, strengths-based and solutions-focused support for pupils. This redacted child’s plan, from Brant Broughton Primary, was written soon after the training. With guidance notes beneath it, also produced by the school, it needs no explaining.Continue reading “A behaviour problem is just a new skill to learn.”

A primary school assembly on behaviour and fairness. Towards #traumainformed

As promised, a primary version of the secondary school assembly I posted last week. The content has been modified for a younger audience but the messages are broadly the same…designed to help pupils understand distressed behaviour and to have compassion for their struggling classmates, and to help those classmates begin to understand themselves. Also, to contribute towardsContinue reading “A primary school assembly on behaviour and fairness. Towards #traumainformed”

An assembly about behaviour and fairness #trauma-informed

Why an assembly on behaviour, fairness and trauma? Lincolnshire is one of a growing number of LAs promoting trauma-informed practice in schools, and leaders – some already well well ahead on this agenda – are extremely receptive to the conversation. However, a concern that is often articulated relates to ‘consistency’. How can we be both trauma-informed and consistent?Continue reading “An assembly about behaviour and fairness #trauma-informed”

Why exclusion worsens behaviour

Exclusion is our sanction of choice in England. When a pupil’s behaviour is deemed unacceptable, he or she is separated from the community;  internally or externally, for a fixed period or permanently. It’s standard practice, normalised here, accepted uncritically by most as the way to discipline pupils when they cross those ‘lines in the sand’Continue reading “Why exclusion worsens behaviour”

Consequences not working? Try this.

Dr Greene maintains throughout Lost in School that “kids do well if they can; if a kid could do well, he would do well.” (p54) Challenging behaviour occurs when the demands placed on a pupil outstrip her skills to respond adaptively. To enable the precise identification of lagging skills, Greene recommends his ALSUP (Assessment of LearningContinue reading “Consequences not working? Try this.”

The consequence of consequences

is unfairness. It’s as simple as that. But I will elaborate for the benefit of those who stuggle with an idea that for inclusive educators has always been blindingly obvious. Consequences are great when they work, but less great when they don’t work. And they often don’t work for the very children to whom theyContinue reading “The consequence of consequences”

Practical strategies for adults working 1:1 with insecurely attached pupils.

These strategies are taken in large part from Louise Bomber’s ‘What About Me?’ Whilst the book is specifically about attachment difficulties and how to help pupils overcome these within caring schools, it is important to note that the strategies can be applied more widely. In particular, many of the approaches will benefit pupils on theContinue reading “Practical strategies for adults working 1:1 with insecurely attached pupils.”

England’s exclusion epidemic

In July 2017, the Children’s Commissioner published  Vulnerability in Children  – a report that brought together a range of information from government departments, agencies and others to reveal “shocking statistics” about how many children currently  live in vulnerable situations; an estimated half a million, or a number equivalent to the entire population of  Manchester. FallingContinue reading “England’s exclusion epidemic”

How & why we must meet the attachment needs of adolescents in school.

WHY? Many studies confirm that secure attachment, the foundation of socioemotional wellbeing, is associated with higher grades and standardised scores compared to insecure attachment. Secure attachment is also associated with greater emotional regulation, social skills and willingness to accept challenges. (e.g. Bergin & Bergin, 2009) Because these effects tend to be greater for high-risk pupils,Continue reading “How & why we must meet the attachment needs of adolescents in school.”

Three reasons why every school should support No Pens Day

In his government commissioned review of services for young people with communication difficulties, John Bercow made a powerful case for early intervention by highlighting the “multiple risks” that children face when their communication needs are not met. These include “lower educational attainment, behaviour problems, emotional and psychological difficulties, poorer employment prospects, challenges to mental health and,Continue reading “Three reasons why every school should support No Pens Day”