Should School Routines Have a Definite End Date?

March 28, 2023
Teacher with a group of students in a corridor in red uniforms

Should routines have a definite end date? One term, two terms? Or should they change as soon as teachers or learners become complacent? (Paul via Twitter)

If you try to pursue any one routine for too long, then it does become tired and students can become complacent about it. Make sure your routines are a high expectation and if you are working with older students as functional routines (bring your pen, put your bag under your desk etc.) are not enough.

Year 11 students are far beyond that. That kind of work should have been done right at the beginning so we would focus the routines on learning attitudes and make sure you are setting the right, and high, expectations.

We would suggest teaching one routine at a time. Concentrate on this one routine so heavily that after three weeks the students know the routine and are almost fed up with hearing about it! Then you can then move onto another.

Of course, you want to embed the routine, but you do not wish to labour it. Something has gone terribly wrong if you are still trying to develop the learning attitude 10 weeks after you have begun. Your focus would not have been sharp enough.

The timeframe does, however, depend on how often you see the students. If you see students three times a week, you will want to change the focus of the routine every 3-4 weeks so that during a term you can get three different routines/learning attitudes embedded.
Visit our pages for more information on the Classroom Culture programme, our Hearts & Minds INSET, or how your school can get a Behaviour Health Check.

Schedule a Consultation