Professional Development for Quality Teaching


Circle of Friends

Published: Jul 2020
4 mins


A secondary teacher shows how she creates a support network, a circle of friends, to tackle challenging behaviour and promote inclusion in Year 7, including providing pupils with practical advice.

Gemma Meiklejohn, director of inclusion at the Merchants Academy, Bristol, works with a group of Year 7 boys who for one reason or another have become alienated from their peers.

She teaches the boys practical ways to support each other, in particular Mark, an SEN pupil who is autistic, by introducing a circle of friends system to provide back-up.

Gemma also works with a challenging group of Year 7 girls to help them replace their current negative behaviour with a positive friendship model.

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