Strategies to support

Strategies that could be used to support a social, emotional or mental health need.

Persistent challenges or disruptive behaviour can be difficult to manage and lead us to feel deskilled as practitioners. As such, it is important to be as proactive as possible so that we can establish a safe environment in which children and young people can build positive relationships, and develop their social and emotional skills. We recognise that all behaviour is a form of communication, and where there are concerns over externalising or internalising behaviours, the strategies given below may be helpful. While this list is not exhaustive, in order to be accessible, the strategies are subdivided by behaviours you might see in the classroom.

In addition to the strategies above which are taken from the ‘Ordinarily Available Inclusive Practice (OAIP) guide, the child or young person may also benefit from:

  • clear boundaries and routines, changes of routine explained and discussed with children with time to prepare for them
  • weekly timetables to monitor behaviours
  • explicit teaching of rules, values and routines i.e. ‘Rule of the week’
  • visual timetable clearly displayed – appropriate for the age of children or young people in the class
  • appropriate behaviour is noticed, praised and rewarded – the reward system is personalised
  • consistent script
  • calm or safe space (agreed with the child)
  • key worker who can build a relationship with the child or young person (meet, greet and debrief)
  • opportunities for positive social interactions, including turn taking and sharing
  • modelling, by adults, of behaviour that shows patience, respect, good humour and calmness
  • tasks may need to be differentiated by level, outcome, pitch, pace and grouping to match learning needs, concentration level, interest and motivation
  • language of emotions displayed clearly, both in words and pictures, to assist with the development of emotional literacy – accessible to the age in the class
  • there should be strategies to focus on emotional needs – these may include strategies such as Circle Time, Circle of Friends, Thrive
  • pastoral Support Plan (PSPs) or Individual Behaviour Plan (IBP) may be used
  • parent carer involvement in programmes is particularly desirable – all agencies should work together to ensure that this is achieved wherever possible with discussions at termly Early Help review Meetings and link to Solihull, Early Help Plans etc.
  • baseline recording of particularly difficult or significant behaviours should be made in order to carry out an ‘ABC analysis’ (Antecedents, Behaviour and Consequence) to inform interventions and evaluations.
  • the student may need an individual risk assessment
  • analysis of Fixed Term Exclusion data to identify effective strategies to minimise repeat incidents resulting in targeted support for individuals
  • robust systems for recording and analysing serious behavioural incidents
  • multi-professional assessment and support which may include the Early Help process
  • referral to Early Help
  • zones of Regulation
  • Therapeutic Thinking Strategies
  • managed move for a fresh start
  • SENCO to do further assessments as part of APDR process
  • referral to Speech and Language Therapy Service if any concerns regarding the child or young person’s speech, language and communication skills.

Further training:

Information on the West Sussex Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)

This information has been collated from professionals working within West Sussex. Whilst these resources have been identified as useful to those using them, the information above should not be viewed as 'preferred' or exhaustive list.