Attention please...

8th June 2007 at 01:00
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

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today