Managing behaviour in the classroom
Research has found that when carefully crafted seating charts designed to help teachers organise students into appropriate learning groups and minimise behaviour issues are employed in the classroom, teachers are twice as successful at engaging students and increasing the attainment of those with a lower ability. Pete Hallam, assistant head teacher at Bedminster Down school in Bristol talks about the strategies he uses to manage behaviour in the classroom including the use of Class Charts from Contact Group and Edukey, an online system for managing classroom seating and behaviour.
Bedminster Down School is a mixed gender secondary school with academy status, located in the south of Bristol. We have 850 students, two thirds of whom qualify for pupil premium funding and 16% are classed as having special educational needs (SEN).
We believe that there is a clear link between behaviour in the classroom and pupil progress.
The start of the school year is a great time to establish high expectations of good behaviour for learning. It is important to start the year off positively as this sets the tone for the coming terms. Getting to know pupils names and something about their previous attainment is crucial at this stage. For this reason we decided to implement a new system for seating plans in September 2013.
We wanted a system that was easy to implement and for teachers to manage. After some research we chose Class Charts from Contact Group, an online system for organising class seating and monitoring behaviour.
The system includes student data such as photos, previous test scores, information about pupil premium or SEN. This enables our staff to create seating plans and to organise their classes to take into account the specific needs of children. The system can also be used to log and monitor behaviour in an easy to use and useful way.
Seating arrangements are important because some students work better in certain groups. We arrange some groups by ability so that teachers can set tasks at the right level. In other classes we have mixed ability groups where students who understand a concept explain it to those that are struggling – strengthening their own understanding at the same time.
It is also important for teachers to develop good relationships with their students and class charts helps this process at the start of the year by allowing the teacher to get to know individuals quickly.
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