Jump to main content
Search
shortlist register contact us menu
Behaviour management strategies for primary teachers

Behaviour Management Strategies for Primary Teachers

Date posted : 12 October 2018

Whether you’re a Early Career Teacher or have decades of experience working with primary pupils, behaviour management is always a challenge. This is particularly the case at the start of the school year when a fresh crop of pupils arrives in your classroom. 

For teachers, effective behaviour management underpins almost every teaching and learning success. Indeed, primary schools with behaviour judgements ranked ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ have better outcomes in maths and English at KS2 than schools with 'satisfactory' or 'inadequate' behaviour judgements. 

While Ofsted reports show that English schools are largely orderly, well-behaved places, even low-level disruption in schools can be disastrous for both students and teachers. This makes it essential that teachers and teaching assistants have strategies up their sleeves to ensure behavioural standards are maintained. Let's look at four of the best approaches:

1. Use the CASPER approach

The CASPER approach is a handy tool to help you remember key steps and ideas when approaching and dealing with behaviour management. It can be used before taking any action:

  • Calm: Appear calm, even if you don’t feel it. Take a breath and stop to think
  • Assertive: Maintain your authority and remember you’re in charge. Maintain eye contact
  • Status preservation: Reprimand pupils in private to remove them from their peer group
  • Empathy: Try to understand how the pupil is feeling. Avoid asking challenging questions
  • Respect: Always show children respect, even if they are being disrespectful. Reinforce your expectations by modelling appropriate behaviour

    2. Establish a countdown routine

    Show pupils you’re prepared to give a little by using a countdown system to call for attention. 

    Rather than abruptly stopping classroom conversations, instead, count down from 10 to give pupils a chance to finish what they’re doing and be ready for the next instruction. 

    This is a polite and fair way to establish silence and attention, and acknowledges that some children may need a few seconds to get ready. Pupils may join in on the count down and you can use praise to reinforce the importance of adhering to this rule.

    3. Reward and reprimand

    There’s a reason why the carrot-and-stick approach is used in industries and professions the world over: it works. 

    Research shows that education is not exempt from this: schools with good standards of behaviour use a balance of rewards and sanctions to motivate and penalise pupils. 

    Before implementing any new reward or penalty systems, check with your school to ensure your approach is consistent and in line with policy. 

    Detentions, removal from classroom and exclusion from social or ‘treat’ activities can all be used to deter students from inappropriate or unruly behaviour, while those who demonstrate good behaviour can be rewarded with praise, stickers, small treats and opportunities – for example, handing out resources to the classroom or acting as a teacher ‘helper’ during a lesson.

    4. Set clear expectations

    Pupils have less of a chance to misbehave if they know exactly what is and isn’t acceptable in the classroom.

    In order to create a well-managed, structured classroom environment that caters to a range of different learners and attention spans, you must put in the effort to establish rules, guidelines and expectations. 

    Not only should you map out ‘house rules’, you should also be clear on the repercussions of not following the rules – and the rewards for those pupils who are consistently well behaved. A good set of primary classroom rules may look like the below:

    • We listen to each other and only have one person talking at a time
    • We are quiet by the end of the 10 second countdown
    • We put our hands up before speaking
    • We don’t touch each other or each other’s things unless we are invited to
    • We take care of our belongings and the classroom belongings
    • We use kind words to each other
    • We finish our work on time
    • We say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’
    • We keep our classroom tidy
    • We always try our best

      Find your next primary teacher job

      At Teaching Personnel, we help teachers of all levels achieve their career ambitions. Find your next primary teacher job now or contact us to see how we can help.

      List #1

      Related posts

      Tackling Absenteeism: Turning the Tide with our Attendance Mentors Programme

      Teaser

      Educators

      Content Type

      TP-Posts

      Publish date

      DD05YY

      Summary

      Poor attendance has been an issue across the UK since the pandemic. According to recent statistics, pupil absenteeism in England soared to 22% by 2023. This equates to over 125,000 pupils missing

      Teaser

      Discover how our Attendance Mentors Programme tackles pupil absenteeism in the UK. Learn how tailored support and proven strategies can boost school attendance and academic success.

      Read more
      Navigating Exam Stress: How to Help Your Learners

      Teaser

      Tips and Advice

      Content Type

      TP-Posts

      Publish date

      DD05YY

      Summary

      As the academic year peaks, the pressure of exams can overwhelm pupils. Many teachers believe that tests and exams have the biggest impact on students’ mental health. With GCSEs, SATs, and A-Levels

      Teaser

      Read more
      How to Make Teaching an Attractive Career Choice

      Teaser

      Tips and Advice

      Content Type

      TP-Posts

      Publish date

      DD04YY

      Summary

      The teacher recruitment crisis is a priority for school leaders across the country. In the 2021–22 academic year, 4000 teachers retired, and 9% of the teaching workforce resigned, marking the highes

      Teaser

      Read more
      Your Easter 2024 Payroll

      Teaser

      Educators

      Content Type

      TP-Posts

      Publish date

      DD03YY

      Summary

      Planning for the Easter break? The Teaching Personnel payroll team wants to make sure you get paid on time. This table outlines the Easter 2024 payroll date, along with the corresponding deadline

      Teaser

      Read more
      Adam Davies

      by

      Adam Davies

      Adam Davies

      by

      Adam Davies

      Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Working as a Supply Teacher
      Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Working as a Supply Teacher

      Teaser

      Supply Teaching

      Content Type

      TP-Posts

      Publish date

      DD01YY

      Summary

      Table of Contents 1. Why do people become supply teachers? 2. What does it take to become a supply teacher? 3. How can I find work as a supply teacher? <!-- b--> 4. How shou

      Teaser

      All your common questions about supply teaching answered

      Read more
      Alex Schulte

      by

      Alex Schulte

      Alex Schulte

      by

      Alex Schulte

      Navigating the Challenges of SEN Provision: A Call to Action in 2024

      Teaser

      Educators

      Content Type

      TP-Posts

      Publish date

      DD01YY

      Summary

      Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision in schools is a critical aspect of education that demands attention in 2024. According to the Department for Education, over 1.5 million pupils in England

      Teaser

      Dive into the critical world of Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision with eye-opening statistics and real challenges faced by schools. Discover the importance of tailored support and the impact on learners.

      Read more
      Recruitment and Retention for MAT Leaders

      Teaser

      Multi-Academy Trusts

      Content Type

      TP-Posts

      Publish date

      DD11YY

      Summary

      Laura Williams is an education leadership coach with fifteen years of leadership experience in education across business, operations, HR, finance and governance. She is a former Business Manager, CO

      Teaser

      Read more

      by

      Scott Owen

      by

      Scott Owen

      Addressing Bullying: Transforming "Banter" into Respectful Dialogue

      Teaser

      Educators

      Content Type

      TP-Posts

      Publish date

      DD11YY

      Summary

      Creating a safe and nurturing environment for pupils is paramount in the age of evolving social dynamics. One issue that has gained significant attention in recent years is the distinction between

      Teaser

      Addressing the fine line between banter and bullying. Learn how seemingly harmless 'banter' can take a dark turn into hurtful bullying and the impact it has on students' well-being.

      Read more
      Adam Davies

      by

      Adam Davies

      Adam Davies

      by

      Adam Davies

      view of young girl with glasses from behind working on school work
      Teaching Personnel and Ark Curriculum Plus Delivering Mathematics Mastery

      Teaser

      Educators

      Content Type

      TP-Posts

      Publish date

      DD11YY

      Summary

      Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson addressed the Labour Party conference in October, where she announced plans to reform primary maths. Currently, one in four children leave primary school

      Teaser

      Discover how Teaching Personnel and Ark Curriculum Plus are revolutionizing primary math education in Leeds, Liverpool, Preston, and Sheffield.

      Read more
      Teacher in shirt and tie supervising students at desks taking exams in a school hall
      How to Prepare Pupils for Their Mock Exams: A Guide for Educators

      Teaser

      Tips and Advice

      Content Type

      TP-Posts

      Publish date

      DD10YY

      Summary

      Mock exams are a crucial milestone in a pupil's academic journey, serving as a practice run for the real deal. As educators, you play a pivotal role in helping pupils navigate through these trial ex

      Teaser

      Our educator's guide offers tips to prepare students for mock exams, helping them gain confidence and perform well.

      Read more
      company logo
      Search