Behaviour Management for
Primary NQTs
Mark Holdaway
Associate Trainer
(Brighton & Hove Pupil Referral Unit)
Session Four:
Building and maintaining
positive relationships
Aims of the session
We will explore:
• how we develop positive relationships with children
• the use of praise in developing and maintaining
positive relationships
• why it is more difficult to build and maintain positive
relationships with some children than with others
• solution-focused strategies for proactive behaviour
and will build on:
• a proactive checklist for positive behaviour
The key to promoting positive behaviour
Three main difficulties:
• Large numbers of children with whom
teachers have to develop relationships
• Multiple role of the teacher
• Some children are actively suspicious and
You need to have a positive relationship
Relationships develop naturally
They can be positive or negative
Maintenance may come naturally
May need to be planned
Relationships take time
Involve others – staff, parents/carers, etc
Keep a healthy ‘bank balance’
Tips on using praise
• Aim for a ratio of 8:1
• Start the lesson by praising specific things
from last session
• Be genuine
• Make praise specific – relate to the 5 Rs
• Choose carefully when to give it
• Praise what matters to children as well as
what matters to you
Tips on using praise (cont…)
• Keep going even if children don’t acknowledge
your praise – it works on the inside
• Don’t ‘qualify’ praise
• Acknowledge any effort the child has made –
praise is a consequence of that effort
• See the child individually and tell them what
you observed
• A quick positive note or phone call home can
work wonders
I don’t like this child!
What separates them out in terms of:
• their behaviour towards you
• their behaviour towards peers
• their attention span
• their academic success
• how they feel about themselves
• their support from home
• their ability to do what they promised?
Our own feelings
• Annoyed
• Angry, provoked
• Hurt
• Defeated, discouraged
In this session we have:
• considered the importance of positive
• shared ideas for building positive relationships
• considered why and how to use praise
• discussed why it is more difficult to build and
maintain positive relationships with some children
than with others
• discussed why ‘labelling’ children happens and
how it can perpetuate negative behaviour
• applied solution-focused strategies to a
classroom issue

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