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Expect the best from children

With more than 100 extra-curricular activities to choose from, pupils at Wood Green high school hardly have time to misbehave.

Pupils at the sports college in Sandwell, West Midlands, take part in activities ranging from skiing to the Beijing international music festival.

The school - whose motto is "persistent, insistent, consistent" - has been singled out by inspectors as an example of success in managing pupils' behaviour.

Dame Edna Bibby, headteacher, said the 1,450-pupil school has a strong ethos of mutual respect and high expectations of children's behaviour. But she insists there is no magic wand to improve behaviour.

She said: "We work in an area of considerable social disadvantage but we have never accepted that poor behaviour is a result of deprivation."

While Dame Edna says the school does no more than should be expected of all schools, it is ready to go the extra mile for pupils.

When staff had a problem with a group of boys misbehaving they talked to them and their parents and found out they were interested in remote-controlled cars. So they set up a club.

The need to keep pupils engaged is a favourite theme of Dame Edna.

"You have to get the curriculum and teaching right first otherwise pupils vote with their feet.

"One of the ways they do that is through disruptive behaviour," she said.

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