Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the Ambition School Leadership's online course, Challenging Behaviour: Strategies for Helping Young People. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 18 seconds I find it all to sit down and like.. wow! I find people to the ADHD get really easily distracted and it’s hard for them to remain focused. I reckon ADHD’s given me a bad reputation for myself and it’s just not fair really. I don’t like it when people say I’m being naughty. People think ADHD is just an excuse. I think one of the sort of difficulties in a classroom environment is just having that engagement throughout. They quite often don’t listen, they want to do their own thing. I can’t concentrate on anyone else like, when I’m not on my ‘meds’ do my own things, I won’t listen to anyone.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds I’m constantly looking at ways of like bridging the gap between their focus elsewhere the learning task at hand. You think their settled and starting the task and they ask you a random question and you realise they actually haven’t been listening and they’re not really aware of what they’re meant to be doing. It stops me from learning and I start messing around Sometimes I find a hard to concentrate on my teachers. I always wind everyone else up and start fights. It’s harder to make friends because I’m different to everyone else. Well, I hate taking me ‘meds’ because it makes me feel sick.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 seconds In order to start the lesson I have to first of all try and calm the pupils down, that is the biggest challenge in my classroom, to be honest. A student can be concentrating really well, the next moment they’re very disruptive and then they’re trying to get back on track they’re learning again. When I get in an argument and then it gets serious with my mates, it’s hard to like stop. Youngsters working out, recognising that some of those behaviours are actually inappropriate. Having a number of pupils off task at the same time and how to settle the class as quickly as possible. It does raise your stress levels considerably but there’s always a way of dealing with it.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 seconds You can be discussing a topic, question it and then all of a sudden one of the pupils shouts outs a completely random question and sometimes that can, that leads you off in a nice direction but other times it can slow down the pace of your lesson a little bit. Additional atten- attention disorder

What is the impact of ADHD in the classroom?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder that is characterised by a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Our understanding of this neurobiological condition has been fraught with controversy; parents and professionals alike are confused by apparently conflicting research and by opinions coloured by political views on issues as diverse as upbringing, intelligence, deprivation and the vested interests of pharmaceutical companies. Despite the overwhelming scientific research, many people still do not believe in the existence of ADHD but see the symptoms as a result of other factors such as poor parenting.

A currently developing school of thought sees people with ADHD as having an impairment of the brain’s executive functions (functions which exercise control over other brain activity) which affect the way they are able to learn, store and retrieve information. Left unsupported, such people may experience significant negative impact on their academic performance, wellbeing and future life chances. The types of behaviour that are often associated with the condition can have a profound impact for all in the classroom and therefore merit particular attention when considering behaviour management and modification strategies.

This step will ask you to reflect on the types of behaviour that are commonly associated with students who have ADHD. The video shows a number of students from a Social Emotional Mental Health (SEMH) school in the United Kingdom and a variety of practitioners describing some of the behaviours that have impacted on their teaching. The video is designed as a prompt to help you reflect on experiences you have had in your setting with your students.

Further steps will provide insights into the causes and common effects of ADHD. We will then ask you to consider the potential usefulness of strategies designed to support pupils with ADHD and reduce the instances of unhelpful behaviours. You will be invited to select the strategies that you think will work best for you and your students.

Use the comments section below to reflect and record the impact of students with ADHD in your setting and expand upon this using the ‘Reflections on ADHD’ section of your Week 3 workbook.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Challenging Behaviour: Strategies for Helping Young People

Ambition School Leadership