Behaving Together in the Classroom provides teachers with frameworks and processes to help them identify, understand and support the issues children bring to the classroom. Using a clear five step formula, the book explores the perspectives of children, to guide teachers as they support them within the school environment.

The book explores the nature of emotional health and well-being and the real implications of this on the way children are seen to act within the school. Rather than punishing unwanted behaviour, the book begins with the assumption that behaviour is our innate form of communication, that should be supported rather than controlled. It recognises the network of relationships within a school’s community and provides helpful resources to support a child’s inclusion in school life, including: 


  • Case studies highlighting the potential complexities of children’s lives

  • Perspectives on a range of educational contexts, including Pupil Referral Units and schools outside the mainstream

  • Clear definitions explaining frequently used technical or medical jargon 

  • Reflection points to develop teaching practice and confidence

Behaving Together is a key reflective tool for teachers and those interested in the pastoral care of children.  

What others have said about the book;

"In an educational landscape in which the complex matter of understanding and managing the emotions of sometimes difficult humans is reduced, by some, to the merely bureaucratic, this book feels like going into a sauna in which you can flush away the toxic legacy of the zero tolerance bigots and the ‘know-nothings’. It sees the world and working with children through eyes of love rather than dehumanising them into factory outputs from whom absolute obedience is required. Its through-line is that we should seek to influence behaviour rather than to control it through “restrictions, punishment and isolation”, and it is written by someone who has been one of the children she writes about and who has done the hard years in challenging classrooms. Its reserved and even delicate academic tone suits the seriousness of the undertaking: it is a quiet book from a practitioner who understands that sometimes quietly noticing things is the key to working with children whose lives cause them to struggle. And it contains hugely useful frameworks and ideas that will help you to understand the behaviour of your more challenging students. Reading it would make any mainstream teacher a better professional. I felt cleansed by it."  Phil Beadle, Teacher and Author

"Sarah has a wealth of experience that she has gained whilst ‘walking the walk’. Her knowledge and skills have been honed from working directly with children and young people, and listening and respecting their thoughts and ideas. This book is full of practical strategies outlining collaborative approaches to supporting positive behaviours, and will be a hugely valuable resource, not only to read from end to end but also to dip into when we need some extra help to make a difference to the children we work with."


Cath Kitchen, BSc, MSc, NPQH, NLE, CEO of The Skylark Partnership

"‘Behaving Together' is an important book for anyone who is in a teaching or support role. Drawing on her substantial experience of working in Pupil Referral Units and Alternative Provision, Sarah Dove provides a helpful and wide-ranging overview of the factors - personal and organisational - that can affect pupils' behaviour. By viewing learners' actions within the context of a relationship, Sarah provides practical strategies where adult and child work in partnership to understand, address, change and prevent negative behaviour. A particularly effective tool which appears frequently throughout the book is the use of quadrant grids as self-evaluation tools. I recommend 'Behaving Together' to anyone who works with children and young people, whether one-to-one or in groups."  Steve Waters Founder and Director: Teach Well Alliance

"In ‘Behaving Together’ Sarah Dove has set out to tackle one of the most challenging areas of school life: behaviour. Through a series of frameworks, she gives educators a shared language and analytical tool that helps school staff see beyond behaviour to understand its cause. This book does not advocate for a punitive response to behaviour that challenges, but asks school staff to think “How can we work together to improve things?”


Sarah Dove articulates a set of highly effective steps for supporting pupils that move from focused noticing around behaviours, through understanding the reasons for escalating behaviour, to responding to the individual’s needs, communicating these and working towards preventing behaviour incidents in the future. She encourages school staff to adopt a research-informed approach to helping pupils manage their own behaviour. A series of illustrative case studies based on lived experiences that Sarah has had as a teacher and consultant, highlight the author’s understanding of the issues she discusses. Never didactic or prescriptive, ‘Behaving Together’ offers school leaders, teachers and support staff a set of tools that can be used to improve a school’s response to behaviour that challenges. " Aileen Morrison, Headteacher , St Matthias Academy AP