How can I ensure a smooth start to the new academic year?

2nd September 2016 at 01:00
These five strategies will help your pupils to settle in

1. A clean slate

One of the most invaluable things that you can do for children is to give them a fresh start. Although you may have prior knowledge of a child – their behaviours and previous history – don’t let this define their start in your class.

2. Build relationships

Those first few days will allow you to establish whole-class boundaries and high expectations. Take the time to develop relationships, as these will be your trusted tool throughout the year. Show a genuine interest in your children and make time for discussions.

3. Be informed

Some of your children may have individual behaviour plans and there may be specific strategies to use and trigger points to be mindful of. It’s important to discuss these pupils and their needs with your Sendco, as well as the pupil’s previous class teachers, to support the transition.

4. Use positive praise

Be specific in your praise with all children. Ensure that the team members working with your class are all aware of sharing praise, whether it be a smile or a verbal comment. Nobody can resist a smile!

5. Meet the parents

Finally, make sure that you have introduced yourself to parents. Their support is crucial to successful learning for the year. Be approachable and make yourself available at key times.


Tracey Lawrence is assistant headteacher and specialist leader of education in social, emotional and mental health at Danemill Primary School in Leicester.

Want to ask a question?
Send your queries to Tracey @behaviourteach and join her for a weekly Twitter chat on Mondays during term time from 8-8:30pm by following the #behaviourchat hashtag.


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