University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Flip it

Flip it

Key Points

This strategy can go along with Catch them out [being good]. It’s about understanding how things can be re-worded to support positive language, why this is important, and some practice for you to become a pro at flipping negatives into positives!

How is this tweaked for flex?

Children often get a lot of negative feedback, from themselves and from others around them. To improve their experience of school, it is really important to use as much positive language with them when you communicate- this strategy helps you turn neutral or negative comments into something positive

  • This strategy involves praise, which only works when you are specific about what you are praising- we call this specific labelled praise- be specific about what you say, be clear (label) the behaviour that you are talking about, and say something positive (praise) to your student about it
  • We know that you might intend to do this all the time, but it gets challenging when you are managing lots of students all at once!
  • So this ‘flip it’ activity is to give you some ideas of how you can turn potential negatives in to positives before you communicate with the student
  • After a day, a few days, and a week, use the reflection template to note some examples of things you have said, and how the student reacted
  • Talk to a colleague, your SENCo or head of year about your new praise comments and how they are impacting your students