Understanding Behaviour for Learning:
Behaviour for Learning emphasises the correlation between the way in which children learn and their social knowledge and behaviour.
It is generally accepted that there are three interlinking relationships present in learning:
Relationship with Self – Pupils need to feel confident as learners and believe that they are able to succeed in order to engage with the learning process.
Relationship with Others – Pupils need to feel supported and positively challenged by teachers and peers in order to engage with the learning process.
Relationship with Curriculum – Pupils need to feel their learning is meaningful in terms of relevancy to their lives/personal context and in terms of progress in order to engage with the learning progress.
Behaviour for learning is underpinned by four cornerstones of influence: family, services, culture and community and policies.
Creating Your Notice Board:
As we saw in our Reward Chart Round-Up, notice boards work best when they are interactive. Displaying a school or classroom behaviour policy is a good idea but core relationships need to be developed via student engagement.
A behaviour for learning notice board acts as a focal point for the development of these relationships. It should centre around one of more of the three core relationships and should either develop / change over time to keep it relevant and in the pupils’ awareness, or allow regular interaction.
Self esteem is a fundamental human need and children respond well to positive reinforcement and praise. A behaviour notice board should not tally or keep a record of negative behaviours. Consequences and sanctions are important but it is essential to give students a regular ‘clean slate’. Recording positive behaviours publican is an excellent tool for reinforcing these behaviours but systems such as leader boards, progress ‘races’ and merit tallies can be counter-productive when a child feels they are too far behind to ‘catch up’ or compares themselves unfavourably to other pupils.
This ‘caught being good’ board is a fantastic example of focusing on the positive and can be restarted on a daily basis as pupils earn lollipop stick stars for behaviour that is clearly described on the board itself. The owl display on the right empahsises that behaviour is a daily choice and can be changed several times a day as pupils display different behaviours.
All teachers know about SMART targets – positive reinforcement should follow the same rules as setting targets. Rewards should be for Specific behaviour; ‘good’ behaviour is too vague and does not allow the pupil to recognise what they did right. Rewarding behaviour should also focus on what is realistic and achievable for that child rather than a utopian ideal of what a pupil’s behaviour should look like.
This ‘Super Improvers’ board is great because it celebrates how far a pupil has come, recognising that not all pupils start from the same place and progress is not a level playing field. The ‘Wall of Champions’ on the right celebrates achievement by writing the specific behaviour or action that is being recognised on a sticky note along with the pupil’s name, allowing them to understand exactly what they did that made them a ‘champion.
Mix It Up:
Change your board regularly to keep pupils’ attention on it. Changing a display can be hard work if it means removing damaged backing paper but our fabulous rainbow felt boards are so bright they don’t need backing paper and your notice board elements can be attached with Velcro and reused year after year with new classes.