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Attention please...

Any lesson

All ages

There's a saying that "all actions serve some purpose for the actor", and special needs pupils who constantly interrupt and disrupt are doing it for a reason - many of them simply crave attention.

Here is a simple yet effective activity that allows pupils to talk, receive attention and achieve academic progress.

Set a timer (ideally a giant one projected on to an interactive board) for approximately 20 seconds and ask pupils to recount their learning to their peers.

This demonstrates clear learning outcomes, increases self-esteem and promotes speaking and listening skills. Try modelling the activity first - you'll find it can be quite a challenge.

This tip emerged from the Open University Course E804 Managing Behaviour in Schools (

Jeff Hipkin is a special needs teacher at Marland School in Devon

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