Behaviour Data

(PART 1)

Reasons For

& What To


“Behaviour Data” PART 1

(Reasons For & What to Collect)

DATA! When I hear the word data I cringe – well I should say I used to cringe.
But I have since come to realise that if done effectively and in a manner that appeals to a wide audience it becomes a powerful tool to enable goal setting and measure success and areas for improvement.

When we begin a new initiative, we are often so excited to get started and to see results, that we forget to take time to identify what is really going on. Collecting data gives us the opportunity to identify what is ‘actually happening’. We typically have a good sense of what this is, but effective data collection provides us with an insight into areas we may have missed or can provide us with the evidence we need to justify to our staff the need for improvement and allow for a targeted approach. An example of this is as follows:

“I began working with behaviour with my staff and decided to start by providing a map of our school to allow the staff to identify hot spots that they thought were the site for behavioural issues. They were also asked to identify what behaviours took place in those areas. I then asked the student body to do the same. It was not until we put the collated information from these two activities together that we realised the significant difference between what we thought was happening and what was ‘actually happening’. This information brought our attention to these areas in the school immediately, but also allowed us to target our initiatives towards both the concerning behaviours and to the way we approached the areas as a staff.”


Another essential element to collecting data is the need to collect genuine information from a variety of sources. This includes all staff (including non-teaching), parents, students and community members. It is also critical to use a variety of techniques for doing this, as repeated surveys (for example) often only collect a limited amount of responses and input. Instead if we get creative with our approach, we can actually reach a wider audience, therefore ensuring more accurate data collection.


But most critically (for me), has been to make data collection interesting and even sometimes fun. I find if I can utilise strategies that I would normally adopt for student lessons or consensus processes I can make the process more engaging. Data is an essential part of the process, if we are going to base decisions on real patterns and information. We just need to become a little more creative in the way that we approach it.

When collecting behavioural data in preparation for a new initiative or change I would recommend the following as effective techniques:


1.   Hot spot map of school – staff/students


2.   Follow up with a more detailed look at hot spots
     – Identify location/behaviours/triggers/timing


3.   Data for outside & inside classrooms
      – I would recommend starting with outside the classroom as it seen as less                            threatening for teachers.


4.   Inside Classroom (ask teachers to identify)
    – Common behavioural issues
    – Current behavioural records kept
    – Current reward/discipline system use


5.   Analyse data already available (analyse using above categories)
     – SIS
     – Detention records
     – Classroom records of behaviour


6.   Once developed use “Think Sheets” that students have completed to identify (this               helps to identify trends individually and at a school level)
     – Type of behaviour
     – Where did it happen
     – Personal trigger for behaviour
     – Personal goal or alternative to behaviour


7.   When collecting information from staff I always share the information back to them in       a collated manner (with no names  attached) as this allows staff start using new               ideas and approaches to behaviour immediately in a subtle manner and                             through their ‘own’ initiative.


In next week’s blog post I will share examples of each of the data collection strategies that I have mentioned above, and will explain how to utilise each.

If you have any questions about behavioural data or how I can work with you to implement this or other areas in your setting, please send me an email at

As always, please feel free to share my blog post with friends and colleagues and contact me with any questions.

Have a great day! 🙂

Renee Knapp



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