5-11 years
 Use rules such as Good Looking / Good Listening / Good Sitting
/ Good Waiting. Remind the children of these often. Praise children
when they remember to follow the rules. Rules can be in the form of an attention code
e.g. traffic lights (green = free talking; amber = only talk to adults; red = no talking, must
listen to adults.)
 Make sure you look at the child you are speaking to.
 Ensure you have the child’s attention before giving an instruction e.g. say the child’s name
first and wait for him/her to look or touch the table in front of the child; clap your hands to
gain attention before speaking
 Ensure class layout and teacher’s position enables every child to both see and hear the
 Minimise distracting background noise both inside and outside the classroom.
 Minimise visual distractions, especially behind the teacher.
 Try to keep children’s desks free of clutter
 Introduce resources to ensure child’s seating is suitable e.g. foot rests if they can’t reach
the floor
 It may be helpful to pair less able children with more able ones for some activities.
 Some children find fiddler toys/blutac helpful to focus their attention. Give them clear
guidelines on how these are to be used.
 Provide permanent access to instructions and key vocabulary e.g. on board, worksheets,
prompt cards.
 Make activities interesting and fun. Provide varied experiences during
activities – use different textures, weights, sizes, shapes and colours
of objects.
 Alternate between listening /quiet tasks and more active ones. Make frequent use of Brain
Gym exercises to allow energy release breaks between activities e.g. star jumps,
stretching etc.
October 2012
 Use natural gesture and visual cues e.g. objects, pictures, visual timetables etc to help
retention and recall of information.
 Slow down your delivery and pause between instructions. Allow time for slower
responding pupils to process instructions/questions
 Use short simple sentences with familiar vocabulary and avoid ambiguous language.
Break long instructions into short steps.
 Be prepared to repeat or rephrase messages.
 Ensure the previous task is completed before giving instructions for new one.
 Gradually increase the length of time you expect the child to work for.
 Set time limits for children to complete tasks (make these more than achievable to start
with). Use a sand timer
 It may be necessary to give the child some 1:1 time to ensure that s/he is attending and
carrying out the task.
 Don’t expect a child to listen and write at the same time.
 Encourage active listening skills where the child asks when s/he has forgotten or not
understood a message/instruction.
October 2012