Good Behaviour Game
The Good Behaviour Game (GBG) is a classroom behaviour management strategy for primary school children between Year 2 and Year 4. It is designed to reduce aggressive or disruptive behaviour, particularly among children with behavioural difficulties, and to create an effective learning environment. The underlying principle of the programme is that children, grouped into teams, will influence and help each other to “win” the game and meet behavioural objectives. At the beginning of the school year, children are placed into teams which are balanced for gender, ability and behaviour. They are taught four class rules, and the game is played for designated periods of 10 minutes, three times a week. Each team is rewarded with small prizes when all of its members behave well during the game but not if the team breaks more than four rules. As the year continues, the game is played for increasing lengths of time and across different curriculum activities.
Teachers new to the programme undertake an initial two days of training and a subsequent one-day booster session. They are also supported with mentoring from GBG coaches, who visit on a fortnightly basis to observe lessons and provide feedback.
The Blueprints For Healthy Youth Development review rates the Good Behaviour Game as a promising programme for impact on a range of outcomes including behaviour, drug use and mental health.
The Education Endowment Foundation (2018) ran a project investigating the effectiveness of the Good Behaviour Game. The study found no evidence that the intervention improved pupils' reading skills or their behaviour (concentration, disruptive behaviour and pro-social behaviour). The study found a mean effect size of +0.03 for primary reading.
The Education Endowment Foundation evaluation found tentative evidence that boys identified as at-risk of developing conduct problems at the beginning of the project benefitted from the Good Behaviour Game. For these children, small reductions in concentration problems and disruptive behaviour were observed.