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Ministry of Education.

Support Material

Information sheet: Checklist for promoting positive behaviour and learning

This information sheet combines best practice elements from the Positive Behaviour for Learning School-Wide framework and the Incredible Years – Teacher programme. It also draws on information from Te Kotahitanga (a research and professional development programme that looks at raising Māori achievement) and Tātaiako (which outlines cultural competencies required of teachers to help Māori learners achieve). 


Care and learning expectations

  • Teachers have high expectations (that are achievable) for all children and young people and show them they believe they can succeed.
  • Teachers show children and young people they care about them.
  • Teachers greet each child or young person every day when they arrive and ask after them by name. They are greeted in their own language.
  • Teachers listen, have empathy and have positive regard for others.


Behaviour expectations

  • A small number (three to five) of positively and clearly stated expectations or rules are defined and communicated to the children or young people.
  • Behaviour expectations are developmentally appropriate and achievable for the children or young people.
  • Behaviour expectations are clear, positive and visually displayed in the centre or classroom.
  • Behaviour expectations are directly taught. When children or young people have difficulty with a particular expectation, and associated social and emotional skills, it is immediately re-taught, practised and reinforced.
  • Children and young people make a written or verbal commitment to follow the behaviour expectations.
  • Children and young people can state the behaviour expectations.



  • Routines are explicit and directly taught. If children or young people have difficulty with a routine, it is modelled and immediately re-taught in a simplified way.
  • Schedules and routines for handling transitions are predictable.
  • Children and young people spend most of the time engaged in active learning.


Attention, encouragement and praise

  • The teacher uses at least four positive interactions for each instance of corrective feedback.
  • The teacher gives children and young people who are engaged and following directions frequent attention, praise and encouragement.
  • Incentives are earned by children and young people to motivate them and increase positive, appropriate behaviours.



  • The teacher reminds children and young people about the behaviour expectations when incidents occur.
  • Consequences are fair, reasonable and make sense in the context in which the behaviour is occurring.
  • Consequences are delivered in a calm, matter-of-fact manner.
  • Children and young people are reminded of their choices in a calm, positive manner before behaviour escalates.


The physical space

  • The room has sufficient space and access to materials to support teaching activities and smooth transitions.
  • Instructional areas have clear, visual boundaries for children and young people.
  • The teacher(s) can see all children and young people when scanning the room.
  • Inattentive and easily distractible children or young people are close to the teacher’s desk/near the teacher(s).
  • The teacher is visible to the children and young people and moves throughout the room.


The classroom programme

  • The curriculum programme provides opportunities for learners to engage in tasks likely to enhance their self-awareness, interpersonal and social awareness, self-regulation and management, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.
  • The classroom programme supports social relationships through shared activities, peer tutoring, cooperative learning, acknowledging the accomplishments and cultures of all learners.



  • The teacher(s) greet each child or young person by name when they arrive.
  • The teacher(s) gets attention before giving instructions.
  • Transitions between activities or rooms are directly taught and are practised.


Supporting Māori children

  • Positive relationships with children and young people, their parents, whānau, hapū and iwi are at the centre of everything that teachers do.
  • Ko te ākonga te putake o te ako – the learner is at the centre of the teaching and learning.
  • Teachers show integrity, sincerity and respect towards Māori beliefs, language and culture.
  • Me mahi tahi te kura, te whānau, te hapū, te iwi, me te hapori – school, whānau, hapū, iwi and community will work together.
  • Parents, whānau, hapū, iwi and the community have opportunities to have a say in what goes on in the classroom or centre.
  • School or centre staff are visible in the local Māori community/at local Māori community events.
  • Teachers provide contexts for learning where the identity, language and culture of Māori learners and their whānau is affirmed.
  • What the child or young person brings to the class or centre is respected and their experiences are recognised.
  • Teachers and school staff learn Te Reo and encourage children and young people to speak Te Reo in the classroom or centre.
  • Children and young people learn about things they are interested in and things are made relevant to them.
  • There is a number and range of teacher-child interactions.
  • The teacher uses some instruction (a mixture of process and transmission).
  • The teacher recognises appropriate behaviour.
  • The teacher responds to child-initiated interactions by giving academic feedback and feed-forward.
  • The teacher spends less time interacting with the whole class and more time with individuals and/or groups.

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