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positive learning enviroment

By jade_sadler Oct 24, 2014 3207 Words
To be effective in analysing and evaluating strategies I will require to establish and maintain a positive learning environment (PLE) within my lessons, I will first establish what constitutes a PLE through my own understanding including further research. I will then go on to analyse and evaluate the strategies I will use, focusing on the overarching ideas of behaviour management (BM) and expectations, safety and assessment. I will link these to the Teachers Standards (TS) throughout. A PLE, echoing the words of Jacques and Hyland (2007,104), has attractive displays based on childrens work is tidy has a purposeful atmosphere when children are working promotes childrens self esteem. This is by no means a definitive list explaining how to create a PLE, but addresses the important strategies I will use to create a PLE and discuss throughout this essay. Behaviour for learning (BFL) must be addressed when discussing how to create a PLE. Both are high on the agenda of myself as a trainee teacher, the government and teaching unions. The government has given the role of shaping BFL to the head teacher of individual schools who is required by the Department for Education (DfE) (2014, 4) to produce a school behaviour policy effective as a strategy for establishing and maintaining a PLE, which sets out procedures to promote good behaviour, self-discipline and respect prevent bullying ensure that pupils complete assigned work and which regulate the conduct of pupils. These concepts must be included within each schools behaviour policy to create an established expectation of behaviour within the school. Looking at the behaviour policy of Toftwood Junior School (TJS), the school motto is Be proud to shine (TJS,2014,2), this has been developed by the children into a code of conduct summarised by the words Learn, Safe, Happy, Respectful (TJS, 2014, 2), echoing the requirements from the DfE for BFL. The TJS behaviour policy is vast and encompasses an amalgamation of ideas including behaviour management and expectations, reward systems and inappropriate behaviour management which will equip me as a trainee teacher to establish and maintain a PLE within my lessons. Teaching unions to an extent, agree with the concepts outlined above from the DfE. Their interest in BFL also aligns itself with the protection of pupils learning and teachers careers. In the National Union for Teachers charter Learning to Behave A Charter for Schools (no date,3) Any behaviour that prejudices teaching and learning within schools is unacceptable For some teachers it can be the trigger for leaving the profession. Young people who exhibit unacceptable behaviour diminish their own chances as well as those of their peers. Thinking how BFL must be established through a government led school behaviour policy and how it affects the jobs of teachers, pupils and their learning through teaching unions it becomes clear how BFL must first be established before a PLE can exist. This is why I will begin with addressing BM and expectations for a PLE within this essay. In accordance with TS7 of the Teachers Standards (TS), teachers are to Manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment (DfE,2011,12). Therefore BM as a strategy for a PLE is of utmost importance. TS7A highlights the need for clear rules and routinesin accordance with the school behaviour policy (DfE,2011,12) rules and routines create and shape the learning environment the way I want it to be. Having experienced how classrooms operate with and without a set rules and routines those with established classroom rules having a quicker and more resolute way of dealing with inappropriate behaviour I understand their need as a BM tool within the classroom. I have also found through covering classes with a set of classroom rules on the wall, when asking the pupils my expectation of their behaviour, they are quick and well equipped to respond. I will begin my teacher training creating a set of rules and routines with the pupils in agreement with Cashdan and Overall (1998,199) that Routines will work better if there is a shared and agreed understanding about them better if the children have helped to set them up. Through creating a set of rules and routines with my pupils, there will be a classroom behaviour expectation which reflects the school behaviour policy, promotes positive behaviour and a feeling of security for the children of what to expect and what my expectations as a teacher are of them. As per TJSs behaviour policy Children know the consequence of breaking the rules (TJS,2014,3). TS2E supports this process which will encourage children to take a responsible and conscientious attitude to their own work and study (DfE,2011,10) to own their behaviour. Classroom rules and routines are extremely useful to maintain a PLE they have been constructed together and can be referred back to throughout the year to reinforce positive behaviour. BM strategies to aid and enforce classroom rules and routines are in great supply from differing praise and rewards systems, to strategies of dealing with inappropriate behaviour which are vital in constructing BFL and a PLE. TJS has a long list in its behaviour policy to support BM rewarding positive behaviour includes merit marks, stickers, golden time and many more which I can utilise as strategies for BFL for a PLE. I have observed one strategys use throughout Year 3 at TJS of the brick move which highlights good and inappropriate behaviour. It is a BM strategy, which leads to golden time on a Friday afternoon where children can play with toys and sports equipment of their choice a reward for working hard throughout the week. The brick move reward strategy is similar to that of a traffic light system using more jumps from start to finish. This strategy can be used in a number of ways, moves forward for correct behaviour expectations and praising courteous behaviour as expressed in TS7A, but also moves backwards to highlight inappropriate behaviour. One of the most effective uses I have seen and used of the brick move strategy is its use for positive discipline and reinforcement of behaviour. TJSs behaviour policy for dealing with incidences of inappropriate behaviour includes tactically ignore, acknowledge on-task behaviour and privately and openly encourage positive behaviour (TJS,2014,4) all focus on deferring negative behaviour and reinforcing positive behaviour through a brick move. I have used this within classes, rewarding the pupils showing expected behaviour and have found it very effective as a BM tool. I know positive discipline is a fantastic aid to establishing and maintaining both BHL and a PLE and agree with Rogers, positive discipline ismore than ones use of language it is about creating the best environment and social climate for teaching and learning. (Rogers,2007,52). The TS state the classroom should be a safe and stimulating environment for pupils, rooted in mutual respect (DfE,2011,10). Teeming with ideas, this extract requires breaking down into three parts safety, stimulation and respect. I will address these in the next paragraphs to discuss strategies I will use to create a PLE. Abraham Maslows Theory of Human Motivation (1943) is an influential theory when thinking about the importance of safety within a classroom to establish a PLE. Maslow spoke about a hierarchy of needs required by humans to succeed in fulfilling their potential something which has been debated time again by those working in schools. Maslow states There are at least five sets of goals, which we may call basic needs. These are briefly physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization. (Maslow,1943). It is widely agreed that Maslows basic needs must be met for a PLE to be established, children learn more effectively when they feel better about being in this group and coping with this work, when fundamental needs are being met. (Rogers,1998,226). Gershon discusses strategies for a safe atmosphere within schools in his publication The classics are hard to beat (2012), including, clear expectations around behaviour, supported by consistent sanctions. I have already discussed BM through rules and routines these are also fundamental to feel safe children know what to expect, therefore feel secure. Its also necessary for children to know what to expect from myself as a teacher, It is important for teachers of all ages and experience to be clear about exactly who they areand what they expect from their pupils. (Dixie,2007,8). When I first covered classes, I didnt introduce myself or state any expectations of rules or behaviour BM was difficult and I was inconsistent with it I know the children didnt feel they were in a safe or secure environment. Through observing lessons, it became clear an established expectation and consistency from teachers was expected by the children this is what I will aim to project throughout my teacher training, Young people want certainty from the adults in their lives. They need you to create and enforce boundaries to give them a feeling of security. (Cowley,2010,9). Creating a safe environment within a classroom to establish a PLE requires using the strategy of inclusion. Inclusion provides a feeling of safety and security through the idea that children feel comfortable in the knowledge that as a teacher I will ensure that they have full access to the curriculum, Lessons should be planned to ensure that there are no barriers to every pupil achieving (DfE,2013,8). As a teacher, I am required to ensure Inclusion means enabling pupils to participate in the life and work of mainstream institutions to the best of their abilities, whatever their needs (Dixie,2011,14), which suggests to create a PLE inclusion must be linked with differentiation to create a safe environment. Differentiation maintains TS1B children are challenged within their own abilities and I should set high expectations for every pupil and plan stretching work for pupils whose attainment is significantly above the expected standard (DfE,2013,8). Inclusion and differentiation as strategies to establish a PLE is a huge and varied group of ideas, from SEN to GT children, deploying support staff effectively through focus groups and one-to-one help as needed by TS8C, they are key tools which will able me to create a PLE through engaging appropriate support systems. I will address ideas of stimulation within the classroom within the next paragraphs. As explored earlier, its important for children to feel safe and secure within a classroom to establish a PLE my classroom will need to be a space that provides pupils with adequate light, heat and seating space and the opportunity to drink fluids, will helpyour pupils feel safe, secure, happy and ready to learn. (Dixie,2011,31). This refers to Maslows idea that basic needs of a person must be met a PLE established, before they can fulfil their potential. The layout of a classroom is also important for BM to create BFL and a PLE throughout wider reading I know there are many ways to structure a classroom I have thought about all as a strategy to create a PLE and believe putting desks in groups in my Year 3 training year will be most effective. I will use rewards systems through table points, differentiate levels and set targets more effectively by grouping children of a similar ability together I will also be arranging my classroom so that I can get to each student quickly and easily without disturbing or moving others. (Dix,2010,5). Positive stimulation for a PLE also comes through the effective use of displays within a classroom they are an invaluable tool and strategy for a teacher to promote positive messages that can be transmitted through the medium of effective classroomdisplays. (Dixie,2011,31). Classroom displays, if used effectively, suggest to pupils academic ideals, a positive attitude towards work and a reinforcement of an authority of rules, they can as TS2E states Encourage pupils to take a responsible and conscientious attitude to their own work and study (DfE,2011,10). Displaying established classroom rules and routines will provide me as a trainee teacher, a tool and strategy to refer back to throughout the course of the year to ensure positive BFL to maintain a PLE. Stimulation within the classroom is also created through displays of childrens work by putting their work up on the wall I will be displaying exemplary work to be followed, bettered and create high expectations which children want to attain as per TS1. I will be setting targets for them to aspire to where They feel valued, they feel a sense of belonging, which in turn makes them feel happier about school. A happy child is a child who is less likely to cause disruption. (Dunn,2012,49), therefore a valuable strategy to create and maintain BFL and a PLE. Respect is the final part of the extract from the TS I will look at, the idea that The development of a positive classroom climate depends on this relationship being two-way, your respect for pupils should be reciprocated in their respect for you, (Kyriacou,1998,70). Respect must be mutual for a PLE to exist, as per TS7D At its heart, good behaviour management is about good teacher/student relationships. (Cowley,2010,17). I know as a teacher I am required to be knowledgeable about my students as stated by TS2B through educational means by having appropriate expectations and planning the correct level of work, but also understanding that behaviour always has a reason and is quite often routed in the history of the child. I also believe that respect leads to a PLE through consistent and fair teaching which takes us back to BM and children knowing what to expect and what the teachers expectations are. Establishing a PLE through respect should also be taught in the classroom, Students have to learn to accept that they are responsible for their behaviour and its effect on others and the classroom environment. (Rogers,2008,153). Through being a respectful classroom, you can see that BFL becomes positive, which in turn creates a PLE. To close, I will address the idea of maintaining a PLE through utilising assessment effectively. Formative assessment as a strategy for PLE can be seen in learning objectives, learning expectations, targets and many other means. Formative assessment links joins the idea that in creating high expectations for pupils, a PLE will be established as set out in TS1 and the National Curriculum Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious. (DfE,2013,8) Targets also help your less able children feel a sense of achievement. (Cowley,2010,50) thus embedding the concept of a PLE. As set out in TS2C, formative assessment can be used as a strategy to guide pupils to reflect on the progress they have made (DFE,2011,10). Both self, peer and teacher assessment through feedback, are amazing tools to create a PLE through giving the responsibility of learning to the children, therefore Maslows idea that the creation of self esteem (through assessment) as a basic need allows children to fulfil their potential, The need to foster pupils self-esteem as learners is fundamental to establishing a positive classroom climate, (Kyriacou,2008,73), therefore, The purpose of self- and peer-assessment is to help children to have a better understanding of assessment and therefore what constitutes progress and success. (Dunn,2012,39). Teacher feedback for a PLE in TS6D, explains that once respect has been established as discussed earlier, it becomes easier to engage formative assessment through teacher feedback, Feedback of success at a challenging task is particularly effective in stimulating future motivation. (Kyriacou,1998,102). Once a class has motivation and stimulation, TS2E states that pupils will take a responsible and conscientious attitude to their own work and study (DfE,2011,8) once this is established, the environment they are working is one that is positive, not only as a PLE but with positive behaviour too. To conclude, I believe it is extremely difficult to pin-point all strategies I will require to establish and maintain a PLE within my lessons because I will be continuously learning and developing. As discussed at the beginning of the essay and after addressing the ideas within, BM and expectations, safety, expectations and assessment are the overarching ideas which I will need to keep in mind when it comes to being a trainee teacher when establishing and maintaining a PLE, Our challenge is to provide a safe, caring, positive environment for learning to flourish, and this can be used through the use of clear, fair.and consistent systems in the classroom. (Dunn,2012,50). I know that if I utilise strategies discussed within this essay when I begin my SDS course, I will be equipped to utilise the TS, National Curriculum, school behaviour management policy along with many other factors to my advantage in creating and maintaining a PLE. Bibliography Adams, K Behaviour For Learning in the Primary School. Glasgow Bell and Bain Ltd. Cashdan, A (ed.) and Overall, L (1998) Teaching in Primary Schools. London, Cassell. Cowley, S (2010) Getting the Buggers to Behave. London, Continuum International Publishing Group. Dix, Paul (2010) The Essential Guide to Taking Care of Behaviour (second edition). Harlow, Pearson Education Limited. Dixie, G (2007) Managing Your Classroom. London, Continuum International Publishing Group. Dixie, G (2011) The Ultimate Teaching Manual A Route to Success. London, Continuum International Publishing Group. Dunn, D (2012) How to be an Outstanding Primary School Teacher. London, Continuum International Publishing Group. Gershon, M (2012) The classics are hard to beat. TESS. Available at HYPERLINK http// http// (Accessed 30 July 2014). Great Britain. Department for Education (2014) Behaviour and Discipline in Schools Advice for head teachers and school staff. Available at HYPERLINK https// https// (Accessed 29 July 2014). Great Britain, Department for Education (2013) The nationalcCurriculum in England Key stages 1 and 2 framework document. Available at HYPERLINK https// https// (Acessed 4 August 2014). Great Britain. Department for Education (2011) Teachers Standards Guidance for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies. Available at HYPERLINK https// https// (Accessed 30 July 2014). Jacques, K (ed.) and Hyland, R (ed.) (2007) Achieving QTS Proffessional Studies Primary and Early Years. Glasgow Bell and Bain Ltd. Kyriacou, C (1998) Essential Teaching Skills. Cheltenham, Nelson, Thornes LTD. Maslow, A, H (1943) A Theory of Human Motivation. Available at HYPERLINK http// http// (Accessed 30 July 14) National Union of Teachers (no date) Learning to Behave A Charter for Schools. Available at HYPERLINK https// https// (Accessed 29th July 2014) Rogers, Bill (2007) Behaviour Management A Whole-School Appro
ach. London, Paul Chapman Publishing, A SAGE Publications Company. Rogers, B (2008) You Know the Fair Rule Strategies for making the hard job of discipline and behaviour management in the school easier. Great Britain, Pitman Publishing (now Finiancial Times Prentice Hall. Toftwood Junior School (2014) Behaviour Policy. Available at HYPERLINK

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