Best Practice

Behaviour: Fight the flames, not the smoke

When it comes to poor behaviour, it is far more effective in the long run to focus on the unmet needs behind the behaviour. Rose Webb offers a list of prevention strategies and quick wins


Difficult and challenging classroom behaviour is an unpleasant experience for any teacher. A zero-tolerance approach to transgressions sounds sensible, but it can be counterproductive.

Challenging behaviour is, for any child and young person, the smoke that pours from the fire. It is a way of communicating an unmet need, so working on identifying and addressing the emotions that can be manifested in such behaviour, rather than focusing on the behaviour itself, will ultimately deliver a greater impact.

We all know that young people’s mental health and wellbeing has taken a battering during the last year and a half, with successive lockdowns depriving them of the rich social and educational experiences they need.

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