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Give Yourself a Break



Behaviour expert Sue Cowley observes James Bird as he teaches a Year 4 science lesson on solubility, providing advice on varying pace and encouraging group work, in this classroom management and pedagogy resource.

Sue coaches James through a hidden earpiece, telling him not to react to every nuance of fluctuating noise level and perceived off-task activity. This allows James some breathing space during the lesson and lets the children take on responsibility for managing their own behaviour, at Greenholm Primary in Birmingham.

Sue suggests engaging the class by getting one or two pupils to introduce the opening experiment, because they all want to help. She also advises James to vary the pace of his teaching by lowering his voice and waiting for silence.

As the lesson progresses James is advised to draw back from intervening at every opportunity, letting the children get on with their group work. Sue also encourages James to stand back, catch his breath and observe, and he's pleasantly surprised at how well his class sticks to the task.

Published : Feb 2010

15 mins


Manage That Class with Sue Cowley


Primary Teacher


Primary Science

Whole School Issues

Primary Behaviour

Classroom Management


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