University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Catch them out (being good)

Catch them out (being good)

Key Points

This strategy is to support you to give the toolkit student more positive feedback. Use frequent, specific praise so that they know what they are doing right

  • Classroom guidelines
  • One-off that can be reused
How is this tweaked for flex?

Children who flex is designed for get a lot more negative attention than positive overall, and this strategy aims to rebalance this. They may only be able to reflect on if they’ve done something good or bad with what they hear in that immediate moment so immediate responses are really useful 

  • Introduce a new idea with your students: pick up the positives. Follow the ideas for games in the game overview to start off thinking in positive ways (there are accompanying notes for teachers)
  • Whenever a student or staff member in class picks up on something positive someone else has done, and communicates this, both people can be rewarded  (one for doing something positive, and the other for noticing it).
  • Customise the game class rules to formalise this if you like
  • Rewards should be immediately reinforcing to the toolkit child; something they enjoy doing or having. However, if playing as a class you could also build up to larger rewards over longer timescales
  • It's important that you play this game too, working hard to catch your students out doing good things
  • Positive feedback works best when it is specific and labelled, look at the flip it’ sheet to give you some examples and ideas
  • This will work best if the toolkit child gets immediate positive reinforcement when they are doing something good
  • Use the reflection template to problem-solve and think through how you will remember to keep using this strategy
  • If you need it, there is a problem solving template