Top Tips for Behaviour for Learning


Date: 4th May 2020

Author: Gill Millett


As a teacher, you need to secure a learning environment that puts value on positive behaviours that maximise the learning in the classroom. In this blog, I have listed my top tips for behaviour for learning.

1.School Behaviour Policy

Use this policy as it can be highly effective but it is paramount it is used consistently. It is best to avoid jumping to consequences straight away and explore other options first.

2.High expectations

You need to be clear about your rules. Make them simple and avoid having too many. Try to give a reason for your rule too so the pupils understand. When pupils meet your high expectations, pay them compliments and do not reward minimum standards.

3.Recognition board

Put names on the recognition board for learning attitudes, effort and meeting high expectations. Aim to get everyone’s name on the board to get a sense of belonging in the classroom.

4.Positive relationships

Most difficult behaviour issues emerge from attachment issues at home so building positive relationships with these pupils are vital. Pupils want to feel important and valued. Meet and greet at the door with a smile and show an interest in their work and them as a person.

5.Emotions

Your attitude and behaviour towards pupils are important. Try not to react in a negative and emotional way.

6.Primary behaviours

Address primary behaviours before you act on secondary behaviours.

7.Take-up time

Give pupils take up time to choose to respond in the right way.

8.Parental involvement

Contact parents and other adults and send positive praise.

9.Ask for help

Seek help from other colleagues who may be successful with particularly difficult pupils.

10. Do your homework

Get the background knowledge of pupils you are teaching.

11. Confidence

Present yourself as a confident teacher. Use commanding language rather than making requests.

12. Non-verbal communication

Body posture, eye contact and non-verbal communication are all important skills and these can be honed outside of the classroom.

13. Dress code

Professional dress establishes authority, can communicate responsibility and reflect an individual’s personality.



The importance of MFL in the curriculum


Date: 4th Feb 2020

Author: Marie Dermy


All students, regardless of their age, their academic ability, their race, background and wealth should be given the opportunity to learn a foreign language at school.

However, sometimes it feels like Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) does not have the importance it should have in the curriculum or in parents’ and colleagues’ priorities.

Parents often comment on the need to learn a foreign language if the student is unlikely to go and live there. They also sometimes question its importance when English literacy levels lag behind.

MFL is important because we actually teach much more than just Spanish or French. When we teach MFL, we teach literacy, reading, spelling and speaking skills along with English grammar.

We boost students’ confidence in speaking aloud and reading aloud. We teach students to write complex sentences and we show them the different types of clauses that will get them to the highest grades, how they link and in which order they should go.

In MFL, we teach them to:

  • Look for patterns
  • Look for word parts and understand the words through suffixes and prefixes and
  • Think about words which sound/look the same
  • Check to see if the word is right by using a dictionary, books or displays
  • Looking for cognates and links between English and the target language

What about SEN students? I believe that all students in Year 7 and 8 should be given a taster of it and given the option to do it at GCSE level. In Year 7, students come in sometimes feeling like they are already behind in every subject but they shouldn’t feel like this in MFL since all students start from the very beginning.

Learning a language will open all students’ minds to a new culture, improve their ability to cope with a new system and a different way of doing things. It will give them time to make links with their own language and understand their own mother tongue.

If you ask me what my job as an MFL teacher entails, I will most certainly tell you that I am a not only a teacher of English and Spanish grammar, writing and reading skills. I also teach confidence in speaking skills, understanding of the British culture and how it links or differs from other cultures and, most importantly, I am a teacher of open-mindedness.

I believe MFL teachers teach children to be citizens of the world and that is the most important part of our job.



Marie Dermy

Marie Dermy

MFL Subject Expert

Marie completed her degree in English Literature, History, Grammar & Phonetics from University Nanterre-La Defense near Paris in 2009. She subsequently worked as a Foreign Language Assistant in Kent for two years before doing a Master’s degree in French as a Foreign Language in 2011.

After completing her MFL teacher training at The University of Portsmouth in 2011, she worked at The Weydon School in Surrey for five years before joining Park Community School in 2017. She has completed her NPQML course and is now second in the MFL department offering vast experience to The Solent SCITT having mentored 10 SCITT/PGCE students in her career.

Gill Millet

Gill Millet

SCITT Trainer | Cert Ed, AST

Gill is a very experienced Teacher of 42 years in the Secondary Sector. Initially trained as a PE Teacher in 1975, she has been Head of PE Department and has experience in teaching History and English and Performing Arts. She has qualified as an Advanced Skills Teacher and an ITP /OTP facilitator. Her Training has included qualifications in Coaching and Teaching and Learning.

In the latter years, Gill has been involved in coaching teachers in schools that have 'Required Improvement' and for the last 3 years has been working with The Solent SCITT training the next generation of teachers.