NIHR
University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Pausing for Thought



Pausing for Thought

Welcome to the main page for the Pausing for Thought module. This module is all about supporting the toolkit student to think before they act, and hopefully over time reduce impulsive behaviour.

Browse and select the strategies in this module below:

Regulation station

This strategy is about creating and using a visual guide for the student to indicate their emotional state, and to guide you and them on how to increase or decrease their energy appropriately. We think it is useful for several modules in this toolkit. This strategy can be used with the whole class or the toolkit student individually

  • Everyday use with toolkit student
  • Classroom activity

Box of tricks

This strategy is about scaffolding the student to use a range of strategies that can help them focus. The student will create a box of tricks full of ideas, which they can then choose from to help with the task that they need to achieve in class

  • Everyday use with student
  • Gathering lots of ideas in one place

Looking back through time

Students who struggle with attention, hyperactivity or impulsivity may struggle to have insight or reflect without your support. This strategy will guide you to help your student reflect on difficult situations and plan to do something differently next time

  • Everyday use with toolkit student
  • Classroom activity

Splat (putting it behind me)

This strategy is to support the student in moving on after a disagreement or conflict

  • Everyday use with toolkit student
  • Classroom guideliens

Turn taking

This is a small group activity that is designed to teach key skills that can be used in everyday situations. It’s about taking turns, as the name suggests!

  • Classroom activity
  • Everyday use

No thanks!

This strategy is about understanding what things in the school and class environment make an individual student more likely to do something impulsive or become upset, and making adjustments around these

  • Personalised to toolkit student
  • One off that can be re-used
  • Science

Safe harbours- adults I trust

This activity is for you and the student to identify which adults in the school they already trust and like. This is useful so that you can scaffold them to seek out one of their trusted adults if they run into difficulties when you are not physically present.

  • Personalised to toolkit student
  • Everyday use with toolkit student (after initial set-up)

Fizzy Feelings

This strategy is about starting to get a handle on impulsive behaviour. This may be one that takes some work to get in place but hopefully will be worth the effort!

  • Personalised for the toolkit student
  • Science
  • Everyday use with toolkit student


How did we make these strategies?