For Improvement

Choosing Behaviour Expectations For Improvement

Wow! I’m sure everyone is feeling as rattled and overwhelmed by all that the last 6 months has brought. It is hard to comprehend all that has happened and changed in the world recently. As you would have noticed, I have been a little absent from my blogging recently. I have been taking time to support my colleagues, parental community and students at school. I have also been taking time to guide my children through online and back to school learning and I have been taking valuable time to spend with my family and close friends. I hope everyone has been coping and managing in these challenging times! My thoughts go out to everyone who is still navigating lockdowns, loss and never-ending change.

I feel the time is right now (for me) to get back to where I left off (ie. Implementing Behaviour Initiatives effectively). Student Wellbeing and Behaviour has certainly been at the forefront of our minds as educators during these uncertain times. Just to recap, so far in this Behaviour Blogging Series I have outlined the following strategies that I find to be effective when trying to implement Behaviour Improvement & Initiatives:

  1. Implementing Behaviour Initiatives Effectively in Schools – an overview
  2. The Importance of an Effective Working Team (and how to set one up)
  3. The Use of an Implementation Checklist
  4. Behaviour Data and how to collect it
  • PART 1 Reasons For & What To Collect
  • PART 2 Samples & Techniques to Try When Collecting Data

Once these foundation steps are in place, it is time to identify the key behavioural expectations or focus areas that you want for you school. They need to align with your current or new school values and need to be based on recent data that has been collected and feedback gathered from staff, parents, students and the school community.

When choosing focus behaviours, it is important to limit your choices to 3 or 4 key behaviours that are the core of what you believe in as a school or learning context.

Eg.  “We want out students to be”





These focus behaviours need to be developed through a process of consultation and consensus. They need to behaviours that encourage your students to develop skills that staff and parents value as being important and essential to their success at the school and into their future.

I firmly believe that one of the behaviours should be related to mental health/wellbeing as this allows you to tie together key areas of behaviour and mental health. It is also important to have one academically focused behaviour and to have one or two other focus behaviours that represent what is important to your school community with regard to their values and expectations. Choosing behaviours that can align with all areas of schooling is really critical as it will allow you to change the culture of the school, rather than just ‘handling behavioural issues’.

Data will have given you an insight into choosing the focus behaviours, but there are a few other strategies that you can try when trying to narrow down your choices. These include:



Strategies For Selecting Behaviour Expectations

It is critical to take your time with this process to ensure buy-in from staff, parents and students. Your chosen behaviours will become the focus for school improvement so need to chosen carefully and thoughtfully.

Once you have your 3-4 Focus Behaviours chosen, it is time to start pulling them apart and developing a good understanding of what each of behaviour means.


In my next blog post I will explore how to develop a thorough understanding of each focus behaviour and guide you through creating a behaviour overview for your school. This will provide you with a starting point for the “Teaching of Each Focus Behaviour” which is critical to Behaviour Improvement and is often a missing element in many plans.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to implement Behaviour Improvement in your context, please subscribe to my newsletter (you will also receive a free guide to getting started on Behavioural Improvement in Schools or Strategies to Incorporate Mental Health Initiatives Into Your School).

You can get me to come to your school to work on Behavioural Improvement or run a one off session with staff or your Behaviour Team or you can simply email me to vent about any issues you are currently facing or successes you have achieved. I also have resources available on Teachers Pay Teachers @

If you have any questions about behavioural expectations or any other areas of interest, please send me an email at

or check out

for more detailed information about how we can work together.

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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Resources to Help Identify Behaviour Expectations

Download this FREE resource to utilise when identifying behaviour expectations for your context.  These strategies can also be helpful to keep meetings engaging and assist in decision making.

Behaviour Data (PART 1)

Behaviour Data (PART 1) Reasons For & What To Collect "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...

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