The Behaviour and Culture Programme

Part of the Great Teaching Toolkit






This programme will help you to lead the development of supportive environments for learning in your school or college, and give you the tools to ensure all colleagues can maximise every opportunity for learning.

Explore why and how environments and behaviour affect learning, what great leaders and teachers do to optimise them and implement techniques to be confident that your collective approach to behaviour and culture is evidence-based.


What will you learn?

Great teachers create environments of high challenge, high expectations and high trust. Students they teach feel that it’s ok to have a go and they’re motivated to learn; they know that there are explicit rules, expectations and consequences for behaviour, and that their teacher is aware of what is happening in the classroom.

Great leaders understand how the behaviour and culture in a learning environment makes a difference to both their colleagues’ lives and those of the students they teach. They understand the factors that influence student behaviour, why some students find effective learner behaviours hard to achieve and maintain, and how whole school / college habits and systems can actively support learning for all students.

In this course, you’ll learn how to use the evidence base in behaviour and culture to achieve four leadership goals:

  1. to develop and secure your own knowledge and mental models of effective behaviour and culture for learning;
  2. to connect theories of behaviour and culture in learning to your own and your colleagues’ practice;
  3. to review and optimise your behaviour and culture policies and practises; and
  4. to help your colleagues create supportive environments and maximise students’ opportunities to learn culture by creating and sharing an implementation plan for practice and policy development in your college or school.

You’ll learn about the influence on behaviour of factors such as home circumstances, culture, prior attainment, conformity, identity, aspirations, mental health, socio-economic considerations, and SEND. Drawing on the practical wisdom of Tom Bennett, you’ll learn how practical classroom techniques and whole-school habits can help to create a supportive environment and maximise the opportunity to learn for every student.

You’ll walk the walk of evidence-based behaviour and culture, helping you to lead your colleagues on their own journey to enhance their practice. You’ll be able to use your knowledge of the relevant research evidence to inform decisions about classroom teaching practices, student self-regulation strategies, behaviour policy development and staff training.

Curriculum outline

In the first term, you’ll develop your knowledge of the evidence base about supportive environments and maximising the opportunity to learn, building the foundational knowledge and mental models needed to put theory into practice. In the term that follows, you’ll plan, explore how to use the evidence as a basis for decisions of practice, developing your understanding of the active ingredients of techniques and practices such as reward systems and sanctions, and the levers you can use to promote and maintain good habits for learning.

You’ll then move on to applying what you’ve learned to the task of reviewing and optimising an existing behaviour or culture policy or practice that you and your colleagues identify as needing improvement.

In the final term, you’ll bring together everything you have learned about creating supportive environments and maximising the opportunity to learn, and create an implementation plan to help you lead the development of these areas of great teaching over the coming months and years.

What else is included in the Toolkit?

The Behaviour and Culture Programme

Assessment Lead Programme

The Behaviour and Culture Programme

Science of Learning Programme

The Behaviour and Culture Programme

Toolkit Instruments

The Behaviour and Culture Programme

Creating a supportive environment

The Behaviour and Culture Programme

Maximising opportunity to learn

The Behaviour and Culture Programme


The Behaviour and Culture Programme


The Behaviour and Culture Programme


The Behaviour and Culture Programme


The Behaviour and Culture Programme


The Behaviour and Culture Programme

An evidence-based approach to Great Teaching