Glenfield Park School

Learning for Life

Telephone(02) 9827 6120

Behaviour Management Strategies

Behaviour management strategies implemented at Glenfield Park School help students to manage their own behaviour and make better choices. For more in depth information, view our Glenfield Park School Behaviour Support and Management Plan (2023) here

Some of the strategies that are used at Glenfield Park are:

Classroom Management 


Students often have a difficult time transitioning from one place or activity to another. This is because some students have difficulty with multi–steps directions and have cognitive challenges.

There are several things that can be done to make transition times easier for staff and students.

  • The transition can be presented verbally, auditorily or visually
  • Preparation strategies - Cueing individuals before a transition is going to take place
  • Visual timer to “see” how much time remains in an activity before they will be expected to transition to a new location or event
  • Visual transition activity strategy allows the students to see how many more tasks to complete before they need to transition
  • Using music, songs or a predictable noise to signal time for transition
  • Practice skills with the students and provide descriptive feedback on how the student use those skills


Create structure through visually represented routines

Visual time schedules allow students to develop an understanding of time, to internalise upcoming events, increase on task behaviour and facilitate successful transitions.

  • A whole class visual timetable should be large enough for all students to access from their seats. It should be consistently placed in the front of the classroom
  • The routine for each day should be discussed with the class each morning and referred to throughout the day. Completed lessons can be indicated by removing the visual


Behaviour Specific Praise Ratio 4:1

Praise is a powerful tool for educators and should always be delivered to every student at a ratio of at least 4 positive praises to 1 criticism. When used effectively in the classroom, it can increase the social and academic performance of students, as well as improve classroom climate. General praise can be reinforcing for some students, but the most powerful praise is specific to a student’s behaviour. It improves student behaviour by letting students know exactly what they are doing correctly.

Specific personalised and individualised praise examples:

  • Thank you for keeping your hands to yourself, Ana
  • Well done on working quietly, Hayley
  • Good Job! Jaime, I like that you are sharing your materials with Mohammed
  • Way to go at taking turns in group discussions, Bailey
  • Laura, excellent use of our new vocabulary word


Brain Breaks

We use brain breaks at Glenfield Park School for many benefits including reducing stress, anxiety and frustration. They help children to focus and be more productive. They can also help with self-regulation.

One way to use brain breaks is to ask a student to complete one, two or three tasks (depending on the child’s ability) and then they will receive a reward (brain break). The use of either visual pictures or words written on a whiteboard of what is expected to be completed by the child, before they get their brain or reward. If there are a few things to be completed, we tick off the completed items as we go, so that it is less overwhelming for the child and they can visually see the progress they are making towards the brain break.

The length of the brain break can be decided between teacher and student. You might agree on five, ten or fifteen minutes and use a timer to time it. Or, you might decide that when you get five scores in football or basketball, for example, the brain break is over. It is very important that everyone is aware of the decision on the length of the brain break and what is expected of them during the brain break. Expectations must be high.

Some brain breaks we like to use at Glenfield Park School are:

  • Yoga (Cosmic Kids on YouTube)
  • GoNoodle
  • Dancing and Action Songs (Just Dance on YouTube)
  • Calming music
  • Mindful Colouring
  • Deep Breathing/Mindfulness
  • Playdough or Sensory toys
  • Sport (Football, basketball, soccer, tennis, running, walking, trampoline, bowling)
  • Card games (Uno, snap)
  • Board games (Monopoly, Heads Up, Connect 4, Jenga, Guess Who, puzzles)
  • Classroom games (I Spy, Stop the Bus, Simon Says, Wink Murder, Heads Down Thumbs Up, Musical Chairs, Kahoot, Charades)

Brain breaks help to keep the students attentive and motivated, as they know that something fun is coming up soon. Some students may need a brain break every fifteen minutes; other students may need one every hour. It is important to figure out your own students’ needs and adjust to them.



Mindfulness is a strategy that is implemented in classrooms at Glenfield Park School. Mindfulness practice occurs on most days after lunch for approximately 15- 20 minutes. When the students enter the classroom, relaxing music is played, accompanied by a calming video on the interactive whiteboard. The students have the option of; choosing a mindfulness colouring activity, grabbing a beanbag to lay down and watch the relaxing video or to sit and play with their sensory toys.

This does not appeal to all students as some come back to class full of energy after just taken their lunchtime medication. These students are aware that this is ‘quiet time’ and are given the option of remaining in class or going to our breakout space to throw a ball against the wall. 

This works well as it gives students time to process anything that may have happened during lunch, prepares them for their next learning activity while also giving them a daily routine.


Student Regulation Strategies


To assist in the co-regulation of students who are struggling to regulate their reactions/emotions (usually when triggered) can involve various types of responses, including, a warm calming presence and tone of voice, verbal acknowledgement of distress, modelling of behaviours that can modulate arousal, and the provision of a structured environment that supports emotional and physical safety, have students simply walk with you and mimic your speed and stride as a de-escalation strategy. As the co-regulator we pay close attention to the shifting emotional and physiological cues of the children, while also regulating their own emotional state.  As a co-regulator we can demonstrate attunement and provide supportive, consistent responses in the midst of arousal, to assist children in developing a growing capacity for self-regulation. 

The reason this strategy is so important to teach our students is often people who have been impacted by complex trauma often struggle significantly with self-regulation throughout life, and complex trauma treatment calls for a focus on co-regulation in the therapeutic relationship. As a co-regulator it is our job to monitor when 'they' feel triggered and assist in fine tuning the moment-to-moment regulatory needs of the child. 

Related content