Days of grace

Who went?

Hazel Bartlett, drama teacher, Cotham School, Bristol.

What course?

First Steps in Behaviour Management, which is run by Pivotal Education.

What did it do?

It showed how to prevent bad behaviour through use of sanctions and rewards. There was advice on body language, confrontation and making the most of your school's support system.

Why go?

Behaviour management had been one of the target areas of my performance appraisal.

Message, Motto or Mantra

Ninety per cent of all problems can be solved by praise.

Hand-outs or hands-on?

The day was packed with activities. We did role-play with some Year 11s from a local school, who had been disruptive when they were younger. It was great to acquire insight into what they expected from their teachers.

Something I liked

It was very civilised. The course took place on a canal barge in Birmingham and we went to a really nice restaurant for lunch.

Something I learnt

Before you can change the behaviour of the class, you may have to change your own.

Has it made a difference?

I've found that sending positive comments back to parents has transformed pupils' behaviour.

The verdict?

Empowering. The course leader was excellent. And they send you a new tip every week by email

Coming soon?

The First Steps course will be repeated in the summer term, in London and Manchester. Cost pound;195 plus VAT. There is also an advanced course.

Inset days can be arranged on demand.

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