Ani Magill, Headteacher at St John the Baptist School, Woking, has compiled almost 400 tips that could help you to improve your school. They are split into 5 groups: leadership; learning and teaching; achievement; behaviour; general.
Ani would like to remind you that you shouldn’t view the tips as a panacea for school improvement – they are simply ideas that have worked at St John the Baptist. Bearing this in mind, here are her behaviour tips 290-300…
290. Ensure its 4:1 in favour of rewards – have a very simple way for staff to reward students that takes less than five seconds. Eg email rewards@… send a list then a member of the support staff writes home in praise of each student.
291. When a new child joins the school mid-year, ring home after one week and again after two weeks to make sure they have settled in properly.
292. Never remove a child’s fig leaf in public.
293. Use assemblies for core positive messages. Never give blanket negative messages in assembly and make sure the children leave feeling good about themselves. Find unusual individual achievements to celebrate – the more ‘off the wall’, the better.
294. Language is very important – never blame the children. Use positive language and be relentlessly optimistic. Promote belief – “this is what we believe in…”
295. Ensure rewards are appropriate. Everyone likes praise but cool year 9 boys hate being singled out in assembly, though like priority for lunch, a visit to Chelsea FC or doughnut days.
296. Make a big deal of attendance in assembly – do a PowerPoint presentation with a bar chart and the bars creeping up to the sound of the X-Factor music, finally announcing the winner.
297. If you really want to get rid of trainers, buy a supply of those horrid blue plastic shoes you can get at the swimming baths to put over any trainers worn to school.
298. Never do blanket admonishments in assembly – nothing demotivates more. Have rules about assembly, only positive messages etc.
299. Ensure that all FSM students are in a club or do something to feel involved.
300. Be explicit in telling teachers that behaviour in their lessons is their responsibility and they must sanction children themselves before passing it on. If there is poor behaviour in most of their lessons the problem is the quality of their teaching, not the students. It is important that this message is driven home regularly.
SSAT’s High Performance Leadership programme (in conjunction with NASA, HSBC and Phillips) launches on 17th October.
365 Ways to Improve Your School
Ani Magill, Headteacher at St John the Baptist School, Woking, has compiled almost 400 tips that could help you to improve your school. They are split into 5 groups: leadership; learning and teaching; achievement; behaviour; general. Read the entire series below: