Working with school
staff to improve
classroom behaviour

Dr Emma L Brown (Educational
Psychologist (Probationer)),
Emma Powell (Assistant Educational
Psychologist for Research)
Aberdeen City Educational Psychology
Adele Clark (Class Teacher)
Skene Square Primary School
January – April 2010
Report written Summer 2010


WOWW: Working with school staff to improve classroom behaviour and
Dr Emma L Brown (Educational Psychologist (Probationer)), Emma Powell
(Assistant Educational Psychologist for Research)
Aberdeen City Educational Psychology Service
Adele Clark (Class Teacher, Skene Square Primary School)

This project was conducted collaboratively with staff in a mainstream
Primary School in Aberdeen. The target class was a Primary one/two
composite, whose behaviour was proving challenging to teaching staff. The
Working on What Works (WOWW, Berg & Shilts, 2004, 2005) programme was
used over a period of ten weeks. Results demonstrated an improvement in
teacher ratings on a 10 point scale, for four targets set and rated by the class
teacher at baseline. These targets focused on creating a more positive ethos
in the classroom, with pupils working together, showing respect to teaching
staff and each other, and displaying good listening skills. Pupils set their own
targets at the end of week three of the project (being helpful, polite and putting
their hands up). Observations of pupils against these targets and their own
class-ratings, demonstrated improvements in each target set. During an
evaluation discussion pupils stated they had enjoyed the project, and reported
meeting their targets. Teacher ratings on the original targets at follow-up
evaluation (12 weeks after the project had been completed) found that pupils
had maintained the positive improvements, and in one case (showing respect
towards adults), they were rated higher than they had been at the evaluation
at project completion. The class teacher has integrated the principles of
WOWW into her practice and plans are in place to disseminate the approach
and results across teaching staff within the school.

1.0 Introduction
The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act (The
ASL Act, 2004) and The Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act (2000) have
resulted in the social, and academic inclusion of a wider range of pupils than
ever before, in mainstream classes in Scotland. Both Acts have impacted on
the role of the Educational Psychologist (EP) in terms of identifying,
assessing, planning for and reviewing these pupils alongside school staff and
other professionals. Gersch (2004) noted that today EPs are responding to a


1. Strachan. Rees. and emotional well-being of a class of Primary one/two pupils. 2008). explore their goal state.e. 2001). Stearn & Moore. and generally facilitate the client’s thinking about possible solutions (Ajmal. 2001. In particular it focuses on looking for exceptions to problem situations (i. 2004) approach. 1. An EP working in a solution-focused/oriented way will: acknowledge the importance of identifying the client’s strengths. Berg & Shilts. rather than analysing the problem itself (Ajmal. help them explore exceptions to the problem situation (to build on what is already working). Franklin. believing that change is constant and inevitable and that professionals should 3 . 2001).1 Solution Oriented Approaches Over the past decade. 2008. social. 2004). Moore & Hopson. parents. families and schools. a therapeutic approach developed by de Shazer and colleagues which focuses on change and hope. Kim & Franklin. young people. identify the first step towards the goal state. teachers. families. One particular approach used by EPs is Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT).very wide range of problems faced by children.2 Working on What Works (WOWW) The WOWW approach was developed by Berg and Shilts. 2001. This study describes the successful implementation of a solution- oriented approach which aimed to impact on the behavioural. other school staff and Local Education Authorities (LEAs). These statements could be made about an EP using the Working on What Works (WOWW. maintaining and building on existing good practice). 2009. working on what already is working (i.g. or the problem does not exist). investigate who can help them reach the goal state. EPs have become interested in adopting a focus on solutions when working with children. times when the problem situation is less problematic. based on the principles of SFBT (Berg & Shilts. investigating solutions to problems. A variety of studies have found that solution oriented/focused approaches can have a positive impact on children and young people in school settings (e. and perhaps this has resulted from changes in legislation toward the inclusion of all pupils.e.

“Tommy. For example. if the goal were to be to “show respect to each other” and the class scaled themselves at seven on a scale. thus taking the view that people have control over their future. observes the class. 2004). someone external to the classroom who is working from the fundamental principles of WOWW as detailed above). The approach is also underpinned by the belief that the future is negotiated and created. 2008). Pupils and the teacher are then asked to scale each goal they have set themselves on a scale from one – ten (Berg & Shilts. Kim & Franklin. the coach would ask what behaviour it would take to move to an eight or a nine (Kelly et al. I noticed that you raised your hand when you wanted to talk”). which has three key stages. Finally. looking for positive things to feedback to the pupils and teacher following the observation. Each pupil is given individual feedback about one thing the observer noticed during the observation (e. and it is important that students are thinking about 4 . Scaling is a class activity. WOWW is described as a practical tool to help solve everyday problems in the classroom (Berg & Shilts. It aims to build positive relationships between the teacher and pupils through collaborative goal setting and team working. and Berg and Shilts (2005) suggest that a good way to discuss goals with pupils is to ask them what makes it a good classroom. The first stage is referred to as the Observation Phase. the approach suggests that the solution is not always directly related to the problem. and thus highlights the importance in thinking creatively about solutions (Berg & Shilts. and build on this.always be looking for small. and lasts for three weeks (Kelly. They would then be asked what it would take for the class to move one point up the scale. Berg and Shilts (2005) outline the process of the WOWW programme.e. 2008). During stage Two (around weeks four/five) the aim is for the pupils and teaching staff to collaboratively set classroom goals. Berg and Shilts (2005) then state that time should be taken to give the teacher his/her feedback after class. 2005.g. The goals must be achievable goals. positive changes which can be built on to bring about bigger change (the “snowball effect”). 2004). During this initial stage the WOWW “coach” (i. also describe other methods for scaling such as smiley/unhappy faces). The period of observation/feedback should be around one hour.

For example.the behaviour of the whole class. Stage three of the approach involves regular scaling of classroom success and amplifying (Kelly et al. what is available suggests it has the power to influence positive change. noting that goals can be changed once they have been mastered. For example. The teacher may put the scaling goal on the board as a visual reminder to the class. Further there is no data regarding how pupils experienced the approach. rather than themselves. While this study reports positive findings. 18 th July 2010). and the teacher can adapt the scaling / positive discussion around goals as necessary. Berg and Shilts (2005) describe how a year long WOWW intervention resulted in positive changes in: pupil behaviour (some students thinking before they act. however. Berg and Shilts (2005) provide ideas about how to keep the approach fresh and challenging for the participants. the results are based solely on teacher perceptions on a five point rating scale. and their perception of positive change. 2008). noted that 5 . 2005) provide case studies of the WOWW approach being used with positive results in classrooms. in a pilot study of WOWW (with 21 teachers in 5 schools) WOWW resulted in an increase in teachers’ perceptions: of their classes as better behaved. and student’s pride in their work. being calmer and more on task). Kelly (personal communication.2. This should be the focus of the remaining WOWW sessions.1 WOWW – The Evidence There is a dearth of published findings with regard to the evidence- base of WOWW. they describe how one teacher made a “WOWW chair” as a reward for the one student who “WOWW-ed” her – this pupil was given special privileges by the teacher and the rest of the class. Kelly and Bluestone-Miller (2009) report that. 1. Berg and Shilts (2004. and increased the teachers sense that pupils would view themselves as better behaved. Further. It is questionable whether such a limited rating scale allowed teachers to give detailed ratings. when making a judgement about scaling. of themselves as effective classroom managers. During the weekly visits the WOWW coach focuses their observations on behaviour in line with the goals set by the class. Teachers should work with the pupils to scale themselves daily. respect toward the teacher (being polite).

making them more aware of how their behaviour affects others.3 The Current Study The current study emerged from consultation with a Head Teacher and Class Teacher (third author) around the behaviour and learning of pupils in a Primary one/two composite class. and the coaches were two teachers working for the Outreach Service. Pupils generally rated the sessions as positive and enjoyed hearing the feedback (both to themselves. 2009). and they now regarded their teacher in a more positive manner. helped move them out of a fairly negative mindset about the class). Positive feedback was provided to the teacher in the presence of the pupils. making them more focused. The teachers also reported that hearing feedback about themselves was positive.g. Evaluation data from teachers (linked to pre-intervention goals) revealed that WOWW had benefitted both their own practice (including helping to target. Bruce et al presented data from an evaluation of WOWW in seven classrooms. giving them a standard to aspire to). making them feel more valued. and provide. In addition the majority suggested their class had improved as a result of the programme (e. 1. appropriate praise. Finally all teachers reported they would recommend WOWW to another teacher. re-affirmed application has been made for a grant to conduct a clinical trial of WOWW in Chicago. listening. and the behaviour/attitude of pupils (e. Coaches worked in pairs in the classroom. and pupils taking on personal responsibility). Each project ran for 10 weeks. Thus the evaluation in Moray was largely positive. In Scotland Moray Educational Psychology Service (EPS) and Inclusion Support Outreach Service have been at the forefront of using the approach with local schools (Bruce.g. Mackintosh & McDonald. and to their teacher). improved relationships. with only one teacher reporting they found hearing this feedback embarrassing. It was agreed that the Class Teacher would value the support of the EP in improving behaviour and relationships within 6 . a deviation from the format suggested by Berg and Shilts (2005). and provided feedback collaboratively. working. behaviour. giving confidence to work with pupils to develop community.

A Behaviour Support Teacher also worked with the class for one hour weekly. The Head Teacher was supportive of the project throughout. The work also fitted well with the current drive across Aberdeen City to embed solution oriented practice into all classrooms. 2.the classroom. while contributing to professional knowledge of effectiveness of the WOWW approach.0 Methodology 2. the Class Teacher provided information about the areas she would like to see the project target. with the adaptations made by Moray being incorporated (teacher feedback in class. particularly between peers. They formed a Primary one/two composite class. where eight of the pupils had English as an Additional Language (EAL). At a planning meeting with the Head Teacher and Class Teacher. and was a key participant in planning the approach. It was further agreed that the WOWW approach would be an appropriate intervention to target the areas of concern in the classroom. with a focus on social skills. Pupil Support Assistant and a Depute Head Teacher who covered the class during the regular teacher’s non-class contact time. 2. and an Assistant EP for Research.1 Participants The pupils (N=25) who participated in this project were aged between five years one month and six years three months at the time the project commenced. This information was translated 7 . The coaches/facilitators were the school’s designated EP. intervention over 10 weeks).2 Process and Data Collection The approach followed the format set out by Berg and Shilts (2005). Adult teaching staff included the Class Teacher. The aims of this project were to positively impact on the behaviour and relationships within the particular classroom through collaborative working with school staff and pupils. and in supporting the Class Teacher throughout.

At the end of week three. The Class Teacher consolidated the pupils’ understanding and experience of using the goals and scaling over a two week period when the observation/feedback could not go ahead due to illness of the EP (Probationer). 2009). In line with solution-oriented scaling. which was just prior to the Easter holidays. The class discussed this in terms of what makes a hard working class. following feedback. the EP (Probationer) and Assistant EP for Research met with the Head Teacher and Class Teacher to evaluate the project. A discussion followed about what would help the class to move up the scale. 8 . The class scaled themselves daily for each goal. in collaboration with the Class Teacher. Iyadurai & Monsen. The Class Teacher was asked to rate the class. the Class Teacher introduced the class to the project and to the EP (Probationer) and Assistant EP for Research. the focus of observation and feedback was on the four targets set by the Class Teacher during planning (although the class were not explicitly informed of the themes/targets behind the observations). The Class Teacher was asked to reflect on the original four targets. This rating was based on her perception of the amount of time the target would be met in class at that time. on a scale from one to ten. During the initial period of observation (weeks one to three). for where the class were at the end of the project (Actual rating). At the end of the 10 weeks. After parental consent had been received for the project to go ahead.into four targets and recorded on a Target Monitoring and Evaluation (TME) form (adapted from Dunsmuir. and the Class Teacher reminded them of the goals regularly throughout the day. and agreed three targets which were then each scaled on a scale from one to ten (with some visual support). and/or the proportion of pupils in the class who would regularly meet that target. and to provide a rating on the 10 point scale. Brown. asked the class to set themselves goals to work toward. the teacher was also asked to provide information about where she would like the class to be on the 10 point scale when the project was completed (Expected rating). on each of the four targets set (Baseline rating). During weeks six to ten of observation/feedback the weekly sessions re-commenced. with the focus being on the class goals and scaling. the authors.

due to researcher error. the longer- term follow up rating for the class was not collected at the same time as the other longer-term ratings. It is important to note that. thumbs across. It was agreed at longer-term follow-up that perhaps the timings of observations (start of the school day and after lunch) did not provide the coaches with optimum opportunity to observe “being helpful”.Qualitative data was also gathered through semi-structured interview at that time.0 Results Over the ten week period the coaches noticed an obvious improvement in the class in regard the targets set by pupils. Long term follow up was completed 12 weeks after the project had ended. The rating system was used with pupils when the EP (Probationer) and Assistant EP for Research met with them one week after the Easter holidays (three weeks after completion of the project). It was agreed that evaluation with pupils would take the form of informal discussion and a rating system (which comprised of thumbs up. The following section describes the data collected through a variety of methods. The only possible exception to this related to “being helpful”. and had to look for these in a more focussed way.1 Teacher Ratings The targets set by the Class Teacher were: 9 . 3. with the Class Teacher again reflecting on where the pupils were in relation to the original four targets she had set for the project (Long Term Actual rating). The process of finding observations to feedback to individuals became faster over the period. where the coaches found it more challenging to find examples of goal-directed behaviour. thumbs down). and examples of goal-directed behaviour became more numerous. but rather was collected approximately 18 weeks after the project had ended (three weeks into the Summer holiday period). 3. Next steps were also agreed during that meeting.

At longer-term follow up (Long-term Actual). the Class Teacher ratings for each one of the targets increased from Baseline to Actual. Figure 1 also shows that. but had not quite reached the level expected by the class teacher at Baseline. Actual and Long-term Actual for Targets Set by Teacher As shown in Figure 1. the Class Teacher provided ratings for the class as a whole. for target one. Figure 1: Teacher ratings at Baseline. the class had met the expectations of the Class Teacher (Expected rating). These ratings are displayed in Figure 1. and in some cases (Targets one and two). At longer-term follow up the class were rated as exceeding the teacher’s expectations at the beginning 10 . Expected. For the remaining targets the ratings had improved.2. the class had maintained the positive improvements which were noted at evaluation (Actual rating). o Target 1: Create an ethos of the class as a team working toward positive goals o Target 2: Pupils show respect toward adults in the classroom o Target 3: Improve positive relationships among peers within the class o Target 4: Improve listening skills during whole class teaching As mentioned in section 2. had improved further. on each of these targets at four points in the process.

of the project in regard target one. Depute Head Teacher. The coaches then asked if any other person’s had noticed the positive impact of the project. When asked what had worked particularly well.2 Qualitative Information During the initial evaluation meeting the coaches asked the Class Teacher for qualitative information about the project using an informal semi- structured interview format. It was noted that the Head Teacher. and to the wall display she had made which named individual children who had worked particularly hard to meet the targets over the week. and the Pupil Support Assistant had noted that she was not having to respond to as much negative behaviour in the class. Furthermore she reported there is more togetherness about the class and they appear to be more willing to help each other out rather than tell tales. drama and gym). The Head Teacher had noted fewer difficulties in the playground and dining room for one pupil in particular and for the class in general in the playground. at times when the class have more freedom (e. It also helped the class identify what individual children are doing well. This in turn was said to have had a positive impact on the amount of quality time she can spend with the class. She also commented that having specific targets to work toward worked well. the impact was reported to be less.3 Pupil Evaluation 11 . Behaviour Support Teacher and Pupil Support Assistant had all noted improvements in the behaviour of the class as a whole. with all pupils appearing motivated to work toward their goals. the Class Teacher suggested the pupils had responded particularly well to the individual feedback from the coaches. 3. The class teacher noted that the project had benefitted every pupil in the class. as frequently/often as before. 3. However.g. The class teacher was asked to comment on what she had noticed in the classroom throughout the WOWW project. and meeting her expectations in regard target two. or in the playground. or individual’s within the class.

At that time pupils were asked to indicate non-verbally how well they thought the class had done in relation to the targets. At the end of the third observation session the class set themselves three targets: o To be polite o To be helpful o To put your hand up Figure 2 shows the ratings the pupils gave the class for each of these targets at the end of week three. and the majority of pupils voted 12 . It was stressed to the pupils that they should consider the class as a whole when giving their response. Figure 2: Pupil Ratings on Targets at Week 3 and Week 10. thumbs across if they thought they were meeting it some of the time and thumbs down if they thought they never met the target. A discussion was held with pupils three weeks after the project had officially ended. Pupils were asked to put their thumbs up if they thought they were now meeting the target all of the time. There were 25 pupils present. and at the end of week ten.

Class Teacher ratings demonstrated that the class had improved as a whole in regard the original targets set. For all targets the positive change had been maintained for a period of 12 weeks following completion of the project. Perhaps the difference in how pupils rated the class on each target (thumbs up. non-verbal. evaluation of the project demonstrated that they were able to identify areas of strength within the class (e. by telling the Class Teacher when they had noticed another pupil being polite/helpful or putting their hand up. so that the Class Teacher could note it on the poster. 4.g.g. The pupils also noted positive change in regard the targets they set themselves at week three of the project. They stated that learning about the targets had helped them (i. and that she had been “letting us do fun things”.for each target. thumbs across. Table 1 shows the percentage of pupils who voted in this way for each target. While the class had not achieved the teacher’s expected ratings in regard some targets. what it means to be helpful/polite). Thumbs Thumbs Thumbs No Up Across Down Response Putting Your Hand Up 33 59 0 8 Being Helpful 56 32 8 4 Being Polite 88 12 0 0 Table 1: Percentage of Pupils Voting by Target Pupils were then given feedback from the EP (Probationer) and Assistant EP for Research. areas which they still had to work on (being helpful). The pupils’ final. One pupil also stated that they had helped each other with the targets (e. they had made real progress in comparison to ratings at baseline. They also commented that the Class Teacher had helped them. thumbs down) suggested that the pupils were thinking of themselves 13 . stating that the poster on the wall had been helpful. Pupils were then asked what had helped them to meet their targets.0 Discussion Overall the evaluation of the WOWW approach has been positive.e. being polite) vs. summarising the positive changes they had observed since the project commenced.

It was noted that there was a 14 . the researchers note that when they returned. thus keeping them at the forefront of their minds). pupils rated themselves daily on the targets. rather than the class as a whole. Perhaps this point relates to the class teacher’s reflection about the amount of consolidation work which needed to be done in between weekly visits. Thus it appears that the WOWW project offered a unique contribution to resolving issues around classroom behaviour. 4.1 Reflections on the Process During the evaluation meeting.e. She suggested that the two week absence of the EP (weeks four and five) may have meant that the project did not move on as quickly as it might. nine respectively. However. These may include the work of the Behaviour Support Teacher and/or the natural maturation of the pupils over the 10 week period. several points are worthy of reflection here. while it could be argued that the pupils may have naturally matured in regard to the target behaviours. five (putting your hand up) six (being helpful). It was reassuring to the authors that the pupils were realistic in their observation that there are areas where they need to continue develop. the Class Teacher was asked to reflect on what could have been done better in regard the project. during week six of the project. it is worthy of note that the Class Teacher had tried a variety of approaches in the five months prior to the project commencing. Or alternatively it may have been that they were thinking of particular individuals who were not consistently meeting the targets. While this may be an accurate reflection. to eight. while recognising their success. While this project achieved the aims agreed at baseline. the researchers reflect that it is likely that the WOWW project could explain at least a significant proportion of the improved ratings for a number of reasons.when giving the rating. Further. eight. Thus the pupils had made progress in relation to their targets despite the absence of the coaches. the pupil’s ratings on their targets had moved up the scale from five (being polite). These include the ongoing nature of the project (i. which were impacting on learning. The authors reflect that others factors may also have contributed to the impact of the WOWW project on the targeted areas. with minimal impact on whole class behaviour.

It was reassuring to the researchers and class teacher that the pupils were realistic in their observation that there are areas where they need to continue to develop. it was time consuming on the part of the teacher. baseline ratings). At the longer-term evaluation. the Class Teacher reflected that it had been challenging to keep the momentum of the project going after the project had officially finished and the pupils knew the EP and Assistant EP for Research would not be visiting again. the pupils’ final evaluation of the project demonstrated that they were able to identify areas of strength within the class (e. While this undoubtedly added value to the approach in this project. The fact that the pupils chose slightly different targets to those of the teacher could have caused some tension in the project. The additional non- verbal body language of these pupils at the time the ratings were being taken suggested that they were “joking around” (i. areas which they still had to work on (being helpful).e. The EP (Probationer) felt it important however. such as a poster to display the names and actions of pupils who had worked particularly hard to meet a target during the week. being polite) vs. thumbs down) suggested that the pupils were thinking of themselves when giving the rating. However she commented that having the targets to refer to had helped to refocus the class when they returned after the Easter break.g. this was to provide data for evaluation (i. and this meant introducing new aspects. On reflection. while recognising their success. perhaps demonstrating the benefits of the project were ongoing. thumbs across. Perhaps the difference in how pupils rated the class on each target (thumbs up. Only two pupils (8%) reported that the class were never good at meeting the target of “being helpful”. these targets gave coaches the opportunity to 15 . to agree initial targets for the project with the class teacher for two reasons.e. rather than the class as a whole.need to keep the project fresh throughout. However. Secondly. grinning at each other and exchanging “cheeky” glances). Or alternatively it may have been that they were thinking of particular individuals who were not consistently meeting the targets. the researchers acknowledge that it would have been beneficial to obtain the same non-verbal data when the targets were initially agreed during week three. Firstly.

“putting your hand up” and “being polite” could relate to “pupils show respect toward adults….structure their feedback to the class e. future scaling was more straightforward and successful.class as a team working toward positive goals” and “improve positive relationships among peers…. the pupils found it challenging to grasp the concept of scaling. I could tell you were listening to the teacher because you were looking at her and sitting quietly with your legs crossed and your hands in your lap”. where initial observations are general.g. it should be noted that for young pupils. “Being helpful” could relate to “….” One further point worthy of reflection relates to the challenges encountered with the use of scaling with such a young age group. “well done Scott. assessment and intervention. While Berg and Shilts (2005) suggest ways of adapting scales for use with a wide range of pupils. and a sad face with a thumbs down next to 0. Thus it could be said that the researchers scaffolded the class toward target areas. in addition to the Assistant EP for Research had signed up for ten hours of working with the class spread over ten weeks. however. in 16 . It was felt important. 4. providing specific feedback to raise awareness of good practice in regard to listening/working together/being respectful/being friendly. and the class teacher noted that she needed to revisit this in a number of ways to consolidate the pupils’ understanding. and those identified by the class teacher. The time was in addition to the regular visiting pattern of the EP (Probationer). The researchers tried to make the scale more accessible by incorporating a smiley face with a thumbs up next to 10. Thus the EP (Probationer).. and perhaps pupils with additional support needs. particularly for these younger children. to structure the observations. some consolidation work may need to be completed to reinforce the concept. This meant that there was some overlap between the targets identified by the pupils..” and “improve listening skills…. However.”. The researchers make no apologies for this slight diversion from the standard WOWW procedure.2 Impact for the EP The time commitments on the part of the EP (Probationer) and Assistant EP for Research were significant. Once the concept was grasped. as this project was agreed to be out-with the core functions of consultation.

especially during their initial observations and feedback sessions.addition to additional time for meetings to plan/evaluate the project. This is something which without the help and support of the EP (Probationer) and the Assistant EP for Research would have been difficult to achieve in the classroom. and the support from the Head Teacher. On reflection. These sessions were fundamental to the positive results achieved and enabled the children to become more aware of their behaviour and how each could individually improve. From the outset the EP (Probationer) aimed to create a collaborative project based on the assumption that positive change was achievable. 4. Due to the age of the children and terminology used during discussions with the EP (Probationer) and the AEP the children had to be supported in the classroom to develop their thinking and help them to identify three targets which would have a positive impact on the overall behaviour of the class. this commitment was made on the basis of one of the solution-oriented principles upon which the WOWW approach is based: No sign-up.3 The Experience of the Class Teacher The following section was provided by the Class Teacher and represents her experience of the project The Class Teacher was involved in every step of the process from initial discussions through to implementation and evaluations. The EP (Probationer) and the Assistant EP for Research provided support throughout. and required diary flexibility on the part of all involved. were significant factors contributing to the success of this project. Giving the children individual feedback allowed them to listen to each others comments and highlighted and modelled the positive behaviour expected of them in the classroom. Allowing the pupils to choose their own targets. no change. After the initial observation sessions the children were then asked to think about setting classroom targets. 17 . this positivity. and providing individual feedback ensured that they were signing up to the project. This proved to be a costly time commitment. However.

The knowledge and understanding to use the principles of WOWW with other classes is now with the Class Teacher to be used throughout her teaching career. The children responded very well to this and although it was time consuming it worked well as the children responded to seeing their names displayed on the classroom wall.The next stage involved the children rating themselves on a scale of 0 to 10 with regards to each target and again the children found this difficult and needed support. the EP (Probationer) asked pupils to indicate (via thumbs up. Overall this experience was a very positive one for both the children and Class Teacher.4 The Experience of the Pupils During the evaluation session with pupils. the WOWW principles continued to be implemented in order to refocus the children’s attention to positive classroom behaviour. 4. The children were also able to give reasons for the rating and explain how they could improve. thumbs across or thumbs down) how much they had enjoyed taking part in the project (“enjoyed all the time”. However this was well worth the time and effort. The ten week project had ended just before the Easter holidays. “enjoyed some of the time” and “never enjoyed it” respectively). To retain the children’s interest and positive attitude towards the project the children were involved in discussion on new classroom targets. These were recorded as positive individual feedback in a poster form. However as the targets were discussed and scaling was carried out on a daily basis the children soon began to understand the process and were able to rate themselves realistically with very little support. When the children returned to school. with 16% saying 18 . The EP (Probationer) and the Assistant EP for Research played an extremely important role with their weekly visits to the class however the Class Teacher was fundamental to the success of the project as a lot of additional time was spent during the week discussing the targets and scaling with the children. Eighty-four per cent of pupils stated they had enjoyed the project all of the time.

In particular the Class Teacher agreed to continue reviewing the targets on a daily basis. who had EAL. However. As previously stated. smiling and saying hello. that one Primary one pupil. Thus. greeting them by name. Next session the class will be split into new class groups thus it will not be possible for a direct continuation of the project. Finally.they enjoyed it some of the time. This was supported by researcher observations – the pupils always appeared happy to see them in the classroom. The Class Teacher also intended to continue with the WOWW poster in class. to ensure that information about “What Worked” (i. At the longer-term evaluation meeting it was agreed that the ongoing reference to the targets had helped settle the class after the Easter break. that pupil has said “please” and “thank you” when asked about his dinner choice in the morning. 4. The researchers reflected throughout however. including those with EAL. it would appear that WOWW can be a beneficial intervention for all pupils. the Class Teacher suggested that it would be worthwhile to involve parents in positively reinforcing the targets at home. the class found the experience of WOWW to be positive. and since that session. and although the class had now set new targets.e. not only those who had most room to develop the target areas at the beginning of the process. verbal and visual 19 . target setting/scaling. This suggests that overall. However. appeared to be less engaged in the process. and did not respond to the positive modelling of his peers in the way other pupils did. and the class teacher noted an increase in his positive interactions in class since the project. and the new Class Teachers. the EP (Probationer) intends to liaise with both the original Class Teacher. but to also introduce a positive reward system for the whole class specifically related to working hard. during the last observation session. the Class Teacher suggested that all pupils had benefitted from the project. but set new targets in collaboration with the class as they became confident in maintaining their positive performance on the initial targets. they were maintaining their positive performance on the initial targets.3 Next Steps At the initial evaluation meeting some next steps were collaboratively agreed.

and the majority of pupils stated it was enjoyable for all the time. can have in the classroom. 5.0 Conclusion In conclusion. the authors reflect that it was a good example of early intervention. It is also the intention of the EP (Probationer) and Class Teacher to disseminate the findings from the project to all school staff to demonstrate the impact which working in a solution-oriented way. and relationships of pupils within the Primary one/two class. Although the project was time consuming. All staff involved in the approach found the experience enjoyable. 20 . pupil involvement) is shared. the WOWW approach had a positive impact upon the behaviour. and thus may have a longer-term impact on the teaching and learning of that group of pupils. albeit using a particular approach.positive reinforcement.

I. I... S. Brown. (September. & Shilts. Iyadurai.. Mackintosh. & Bluestone-Miller.. L. 17. S. In Y. Milwaukee: BFTC Press. C. Franklin. Edinburgh. & McDonald. 2009). Kelly. Evidence based practice and evaluation: from insight to evaluation. Educational Psychology in Practice. Solutions in Schools (pp. (2005). & I. Bruce. (2009). L. J. E. Rees (Eds. 53-70. 35-38. Children & Schools. The Psychologist. Classroom Solutions: WOWW Coaching. & Monsen. London: BT Press. 21 . R. Classroom Solutions: WOWW Approach. Gersch. Children & Schools. Working on What Works (WOWW): Coaching teachers to do more of what’s working. New York: Oxford University Press. Kim. Educational Psychology In an Age of Uncertainty. 25. WOWW.. Berg. K.). References Ajmal.S. & Franklin. J. (2004).S. & Shilts. Moore. Kelly. 30. I.K. K. Working on What Works. Milwaukee: BFTC Press. 10-29). Berg. L..L.. Introducing Solution-Focused thinking. 15- 26. Scotland. & Hopson. (2004). 31. S. Ajmal. Workshop presented at the Annual Conference for Educational Psychologists in Scotland. M. 142-145.. (2009).S. J. C. (2008). M. (2008). Y. Dunsmuir.K. Effectiveness of solution-focused brief therapy in a school setting. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy in Schools: A 360-Degree View of Research and Practice..

In B. Kim. 162-181). G. Kelly. I. Woolfson. Frameworks for Practice in Educational Psychology (pp. & Moore. A Systematic Solution-Oriented Model. Solution-focused brief therapy in schools: A review of the outcome literature. (2008). 45-59). (2009). 464-470.S. Rees (Eds. Rees. Developing secondary solutions: Educational psychologists and schools working together. From the impossible to the solution. S. 22 . C. L. Rees (Eds. J. 31. London: BT Press. & I. Boyle (Eds. London: BT Press.).. Ajmal.). (pp. (2001). Children and Youth Services Review. Solutions in Schools. Ajmal & I. (2001). Stearn. Solutions in Schools (pp. In Y. H. Strachan. In Y. & J. 163-174). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. & Franklin.).

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.