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Autumn week 5

Mentor materials

Low-level disruption

Select a development area

Consider the development areas for this topic (below). Then make a note of the area you plan to zoom in on and when you plan to visit so you can observe your teacher in this area. Familiarise yourself with the focused development areas. You will select one later when you observe your teacher.

Development area 1: Making behavioural expectations clear

Focused development area

  • Teacher decides with a colleague the behaviours they expect of pupils and communicates and demonstrates these visible behaviours to pupils, linking them to the school’s culture and values.
  • Teacher looks for and reinforces positive behaviours by acknowledging them in pupils.
  • Teacher reminds pupils of their behavioural expectations to pre-empt low-level disruption.

Development area 2: Least intrusive anonymous reminders

Focused development area

  • Teacher monitors the class to ensure pupils are meeting behavioural expectations
  • Teacher signals non-verbally to pupils that they should change their behaviour
  • Teacher uses anonymous whole-class, verbal reminders to support pupils to change their behaviour so that it meets expectations if a non-verbal reminder has not worked.
  • Teacher stops talking mid-sentence if a pupil interrupts in order to signal that they will not continue until the interruption has stopped.
  • Teacher gives pupils adequate time to act upon their reminder, checking and responding to their behaviour in line with the school’s behavioural policy.
Example precise target: Teacher signals non-verbally to pupils that they should change their behaviour
  • Not doing it at all: As soon as you spot a pupil(s) who is beginning to go off task, move closer towards where they are sitting (maintaining an appropriate distance) and use your proximity to show them they are accountable for changing their behaviour.
  • Doing it but needs some improvement: As soon as you spot a pupil(s) who is beginning to go off task, use a non-verbal signal to communicate what they need to do to meet behavioural expectations, e.g. move your hand as if writing to signal to the pupil(s) that they should continue to write.
  • Doing it well and needs some stretch: When you are speaking to the class, use non-verbal signals to communicate to a pupil(s) that they should remain focused on you without interrupting the flow of your teaching, e.g. move towards them or use eye contact or a non-verbal signal to indicate that they should be listening to you.

Development area 3: Least intrusive named reminders

Focused development area

  • Teacher uses a quick, quiet reminder to a named pupil.
  • Teacher gives the pupils adequate time to act upon their reminder.
  • Teacher reverts back to the original tone and register and gets straight back to teaching, as soon as the pupil is back on task.


Consider the following questions based on a short (approximately 15 minute) observation of your teacher.

What was your teacher’s previous target? Are they meeting it? How do you know?

  • Thinking about the development area you have selected for this topic, what is your teacher already doing well in this area? Which focused development area best aligns with what your teacher needs to get better at? What one precise target (bite-sized action) might you work with them on during your mentor meeting?
  • Reminder: You can choose to stick with this previous target if they have not made enough progress. When moving on to a new precise target, you can select one from the table above or, if this doesn’t fit your teacher’s needs, you can write your own.

How will you model the target to your teacher to show them what good looks like? What questions will you ask to check your teacher understands the model? For example, ‘How it is different from your current practice?’ and ‘What impact might it have on your practice and pupils?’

Reminder: Your model should help your teacher develop their ability in some of the following:

  • Use early and least-intrusive interventions as an initial response to low-level disruption.
  • Apply rules, sanctions and rewards in line with school policy, escalating behaviour incidents as appropriate.
  • Reduce distractions that take attention away from what is being taught.
  • Establish a supportive and inclusive environment by giving pupils opportunities to follow instructions.
  • Respond consistently to pupil behaviour.
  • Teaching and rigorously maintaining clear behavioural expectations (e.g. for contributions, volume level and concentration).

Next, meet with your teacher to work through the ‘feedback’ stage of instructional coaching.