The authors both have extensive experience of behaviour management for children with emotional and mental health difficulties and in schools in challenging circumstances. The schools where Baker is executive headteacher are both currently rated as outstanding. They have also won a range of national awards and recognition for their compassionate and collaborative approach. Simpson has also achieved national recognition for his work as a science teacher and is currently in his third headship. Chapter titles include:Operating without sanctions; Understanding and meeting basic human needs;Learning and behaviour;Trauma, and Wellbeing
Each chapter follows a similar format, opening with an overview and closing with a number of key learning points and a reflective activity. This activity is structured to inform moving forwards with a plan of action, rather than just to connect the content of the chapter with the reader’s own experience. By explaining how their approach works in practice, the authors point out, for example, how confrontational behavioural management techniques are ineffective. They also explain that they also damage relationships with students, impair the learning process and may have even more serious consequences for those who have experienced trauma.
Their positive approach advocates the use of authentic praise and a focus on students who make good choices. They also recommend strategies for avoiding being drawn into arguments. This is an excellent book that radiates with its authors’ compassion and common sense.