4. Getting pupils into the classroom - Perspective 2 (Alison)









What's this?

It is important for a positive and prompt start to lessons that pupils enter the classroom in an orderly and calm way. Establishing a clear and consistent routine for this across school ensures that pupils understand exactly what is expected of them. Where routines have not been established, pupils can enter the classroom in an unruly way, resulting in a loss of teaching and learning time, as staff struggle to make instructions heard and pupils extend social behaviours into the learning environment.



  1. What do you think Alison means by 'being hard' on the class and what is she hoping to achieve by this?
  2. Describe the problem behaviours that Kath noticed with her class when she arrived late for the lesson. How would you have reacted to each of these behaviours?
  3. How did Kath's responses to pupils' behaviour: - ensure a smooth and efficient start to the lesson? - escalate or de-escalate the situation? - contribute to the emotional climate in which learning and teaching was about to take place?
  4. What do you think Kath's understanding and beliefs are about how pupils develop behaviour skills?
  5. Within your school, what do you think are pupils' views on 'good' and 'bad' teachers? How do you know? How might you find out?
  6. What sanctions would be used in your school for pupils who 'answer back'? How does this fit into a hierarchy of consequences for inappropriate behaviour?
  7. What might be the expected outcomes of punishing a whole class for the behaviour of one or two pupils?
  8. What are the most severe consequences used in your school (with the exception of exclusions) and what impact do they have on: - pupil behaviour and attendance? - staff-pupil relationships? - pupil-pupil relationships?
  9. In your school who is responsible for supervising detentions? How are detentions monitored? If you were to analyse detentions in your school over, say, the last two terms, what do you think you might discover?
  10. How might the head teacher, David Howe: - be more explicit about the ways in which he expects staff to develop positive relationships in this school? - ensure he has the full support of staff in this whole-school approach?
  11. What routines seem to apply for lining up in the corridor? How is this situation addressed in your school?
  12. Is shouting at pupils a typical feature of staff behaviour in your school? If this is the case, what do you feel are the advantages/disadvantages of using this as a strategy for promoting positive behaviour and good attendance? If this is not the case in your school: - what alternative approaches are staff using, and how successful are they? - what is the impact on pupils' behaviour if shouting is a technique used by a minority of staff?
  13. Kath finds that shouting helps her to manage the behaviour of the class in the short-term. What alternative ways of achieving longer-term success might the consultant suggest to Kath?
  14. What impact on learning might you expect for pupils who are feeling resentful, unfairly treated and disengaged?
  15. What impact on attendance might you expect for 8PT as a class? What impact for individual members of the class, for example Peter?
  16. Explore the differences between primary and secondary behaviours - reflect on Kath's responses to behaviour in the corridor. Which secondary behaviours could have been tactically ignored or dealt with later? Why do you think these behaviours occur?
  17. What advice would you give to a newly qualified teacher about preventing or managing confrontation?



Routine, Learning Environment,

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Topic Area

Getting pupils into the classroom


Key Stage, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Secondary

Type of Resource

Media Resources, Video

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