University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Negative No-Nos

Negative No-Nos

Key Points

This strategy is to help you support the toolkit student when they have had a negative interaction with a peer at school, helping the student to feel in control. There are other strategies in this module that focus on building positive peer relationships, this one is about managing and learning from the negatives

How is this tweaked for flex?

Children who flex is designed for may both struggle to reflect, and need tasks broken into one small step at a time to work through. This strategy encourages reflection and progress towards a positive social situation, broken down into one action at a time

  • Negative interactions between the toolkit student and their peers can be challenging to manage
  • You can use this with the student immediately or shortly-after a negative peer interaction, involving the peer as well if possible
  • It could also be adapted for negative interactions with adults at school
  • We have provided some written 'hop scotch' templates, but you could do this outside on the playground with chalk
  • When the toolkit student has had a negative interaction with another student, talk to them about what the problem is and how it came about, noting this on the first step of the 3 or 5-step hop-scotch templates
  • Involve the other student is possible
  • Ask them what they wanted to happen with this interaction, and note this as the end point on the hop scotch template
  • Problem-solve with the students the actions they will need to take and what they will need to say to each other, in steps to get from the negative situation to the positive one. For each step, think “what would this look like” to help the students understand exactly what to do 
  • Ask the students to work on the first step together, and as they complete each step give them specific positive feedback about what they are doing well, using a small reward or activity as a reinforcement if appropriate. The praise ideas and phrases template has some suggestions
  • This strategy may be difficult when a student simply ‘doesn’t want’ to interact with the toolkit student, and understanding that different people have different wants or needs can be a challenge
  • Use the reflection template to note when this strategy is working well, and the challenges that come up
  • Looking at what the challenges are in the peer interactions that occur, explore the other strategies in this module