How to best manage behaviour in a primary classroom


Managing behaviour is a major part of being a primary teacher, especially when you have a new intake of pupils each year.

From newly qualified teachers to primary teachers with years of experience, how behaviour is managed will have a significant impact on how pupils learn and succeed.

To help deliver improved outcomes, here are just a few of the techniques that primary teachers may want to consider.

The need for clear expectations

It’s important to establish a clear set of rules and expectations for the classroom environment so that pupils understand what is and what isn’t acceptable.

Given that young pupils will have different attention spans and ways of learning, the expectations that a primary teacher sets will need to allow every individual to thrive.

Those that follow the rules can then be rewarded, while those that do not can face the repercussions of doing so.

Rules could be something as simple as keeping the classroom tidy or always saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, alongside asking pupils to raise their hands to ask questions and not to shout out.

A primary teacher can also encourage pupils to look after everything that is in the classroom, to be kind and considerate to each other, and to always try their best.

Balance reward with rebuke

Finding a balance between rewarding work and delivering sanctions when necessary is key to keeping pupils motivated.

Of course, any approach should be in-line with the wider school policies, but primary teachers may want to consider rewarding pupils with small treats, stickers, praise and opportunities.

At the other end of the spectrum, unruly or disruptive behaviour could be met with detention, classroom exclusion or even omission from class treat activities.

Classroom countdown

Trying to get the attention of the class can be tough, but counting down from five or ten gives every pupil time to finish what they are doing.

This should help a primary teacher to avoid shouting over the class, as long as every youngster knows that they must be quiet when the countdown reaches zero.

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