School Room- the 2009 Notes and slides for Educators

 ruMAD2? Key Points

  • ruMAD2- Are we all making a difference?
  • This is a North East Regional project supported by TDA to help build Aspiration, Resilience and Optimism (ARO) in children, young people and their families.
  • This is an invitation to have fun, make a difference and feel good.
  • It combines elements of the ruMAD Australian Youth Foundation materials, research about ARO (Aspiration, Resilience and Optimism) and Canadian Language of Engagement expert, Shelle Rose Charvet.

Curriculum Opportunities 

• This is an invitation for all leaders and staff to review how we engage everyone into learning and working together.

 Embedding the Links

  • Many leaders are most stressed by dealing with difficult pupils, staff and parents.
  • This tool helps find what motivates people and helps them find success in line with school priorities.
  • It is based upon research of ‘what works’ and can help all staff in school to help inspire every child, colleague and parent.
  • The Performance Management process should help you make a difference for C&YP.
  • There are at least 25 occupational standards which requires Heads, teachers and support staff to have high expectations, to support and ‘keep the belief’ in all C&YP, and to motivate them to be aspirational, succeed and overcome barriers. 
    This process can be used to help you with your MAD ideas- look for common ground with the school’s priorities during Performance Management. Ask for the resources and training to help you make a difference for C&YP. Performance Management example question : ‘What’s important to you about your work and why? 

Developing Psychological Capital 

  • If our children and young people (C&YP) really believed they could make a difference for themselves and others, what else might they do as they get older?
  • Is it true that making a difference for others helps develop greater ‘self esteem and self-efficacy’ than just making a difference for ourselves?

The ruMAD2? Map in Eight Stages

ruMAD2? is simply a plan, do and review model- real success comes from the questioning techniques.


  • Listen, repeat back and try getting the ‘YES’ using their pattern.
  • If something is important to someone they are more likely to be motivated by it.
  • What’s important to you is the best way of finding how to motivate someone else and ‘get on at their bus stop’.
  • It is the best question to ask to help them formulate an aspiration for themselves.
  • Framing the first question is the hardest part- some examples are....... What’s important to you about learning about characters in Ancient Greece or the Holocaust? What’s important to you about your future, the planet, going into Year 7, learning about fractions, your topic theme...etc?
  • Frame the initial question to help shape and focus the scope of the likely range of the responses. Try and choose a starting point where you think children will have an opinion, from within their own experiences.
  • When you ask ‘what’s really important’ this helps get even more to the heart of what they will be motivated by.
  • When you ask ‘why is it important’ you can hear the direction of their motivation, and make sure that your response is in rapport with both their ‘criteria’ for motivation as well as the direction. (NB The patterns are context specific- in other contexts the direction may vary).

For example...

  • Q- ‘What’s important to you about Mothers Day Card?’
  • A- ‘I want her to be happy’ (Criteria)
  • Q-’Why is that important?’
  • A- ‘I don’t want her to be sad’ (Away From)
  • Motivating responses using the child’s ‘Criteria’ and ‘Away From’ could be something like:- ‘ We don’t want that to happen (Away From), we can make a card to make her very happy (Criteria), don’t we? ‘ 
    (Watch for child’s YES) Slide 7: Summary Language Key Points
  • Asking children and adults what’s important to them and help them achieve what they want is about motivation.
  • Getting them to do what you want them to do could be manipulation unless you have asked what’s important to them. 

Stage 2 MAD IDEAS Key Points

  • What is the difference you want to make?'
  • Make sure the difference to be made for others is clear.
  • Explore and generate ‘success criteria’ with C&YP.
  • Example: Mother’s Day Card- discussion on what type of card would make the child’s mother happy and avoid being sad. 

Slide 9: Together we are More

Illustration from Chillingham Road Primary School, Newcastle: No Outsiders Project (Diversity & Equalities) where children worked together to make a difference in their community.

Stage 3 : TOGETHER WE ARE MORE Key Points

Get on at their bus stop. Look for common ground or goals.
Ask the same question to others to find common ground to go forward together. 
This is about change not charity. Sometimes charity may be too distant to give direct feedback and evidence to C&YP that they can make a difference.

Knowing that they have made a small difference for someone else could be more profound on their self-esteem.

Example: Mother’s Day Card- Find out if this is important to others too. Any MAD ideas?


  • In order to convince C&YP of their own success they need to know where they can draw evidence to support their beliefs. Children generate and understand their success criteria.
  • Having a drawing or description of the outcome they want helps focus their actions and provides better evidence of future success.
  • The children help generate their own success criteria.
  • Internal/ External questions give a clue as to the location of that evidence (from within self or external evidence). Example: Mothers Day Card – Success criteria from C&YP could be ‘happy mum, cuddle, smiles, nice card, good writing inside’ 
    The child could draw a picture of Mother holding the card and smiling with the rest of the criteria above- a helpful visualisation of success. Language to motivate ‘internal’ child: ‘You’ll know best what your mum would like’ or to an ‘external’ child ‘Everyone will love this card for your mum’. 

Summary Language

Stage 5: PLANNING & RESOURCES Key Points

  • Keep focussed on what is important (the original criteria) not the actual details. Encourage the children to be able to be flexible on the detail whilst keeping ‘what’s important’ in focus. 
    What new learning is needed? What learning about leadership?
  • It is in everybody’s occupational standards to help C&YP achieve and be successful (and all staff in schools and everyone working with C&YP). It is in leaders’ occupational standards to help the workforce help C&YP in turn.
  • Knowing what the outcome looks like makes it easier to access help and resources. (The reticular activating system (RAS) in the brain does this for us. For example, once we decide we want to buy a fridge we start seeing them everywhere). Example- Mother’s Day Card- Getting resources.


  • At the end of lessons, days or weeks the C&YP build a ‘positive reviewing strategy’ which reviews progress in relation to their goal.
  • Negative emotion can be used positively. It can be viewed like ‘hazard warning lights’ to pay attention to something, eg. Stubbing your toe- move it!
  • If children come across ‘negatives’ ask them what positive action needs to happen next in relation to the original ‘criteria’ or goal.
  • This helps to use these useful negatives as energisers into action instead of dwelling and forming negative beliefs about themselves Example:-Mothers Day Card- Good you’ve got a great design. Tomorrow what do you need to do next to get it finished by Sunday? 


• Find better evidence to support positive beliefs in the children’s success. This builds upon the work of Martin Seligman who says people who are more resilient are better at disputing their own evidence ie:-
A- Adversity (Something happens- All sums wrong)
B- Belief (Belief- I’m no good at Maths)
C- Consequence (Result- cries, poor behaviour, feels down)
D- Disputisation (Resilient thinking- searches for better evidence
of being good at Maths, challenges own belief to be more specific, eg. 7x table only)
E- Energisation (Reframes the event into positive action of
practising 7 x table and with more accurate belief restored).

Stage 8: CELEBRATE Key Point 
We can make a difference!

  • Go back to your original success criteria generated by the C&YP and check if they have happened.
  • It’s important to recognise how you have made a difference for others and yourself. Example- Mother’s Day card – Did she smile? Was she happy? Gave you a cuddle? Liked your writing and the card? Yes you can make a difference!

Invitation to Experiment 

  • General feedback and thoughts?
  • What’s important to you about this, the curriculum and pupil outcomes?
  • What implications are there about planning and success criteria?
  • Assessment?
  • What MAD ideas do you have? Any small opportunities to try and test? 

Other applications

• The process can be applied to many contexts to engage learners,colleagues and communities.

TDA Impact Evaluation Model (example)

  • Start with the end in sight, and work backwards from the bottom. It helps plan for the evidence you need for a successful outcome.
  • What actions will produce the evidence you require? What evidence or milestones will you see along the way?
  • Both leaders and C&YP can use this in project planning. 

Where next? Next go to the Library

With thanks to:-

  • Helen Walker (Newcastle City Council School Workforce Adviser) plus 11 NE Local Authorities SWA’s &TDA Consultants.
  • Australian Youth Foundation- ruMAD Programme.
  • Shelle Rose Charvet – Language and Behaviour Profile.
  • Elaine Drainville- ConstantSea 
  • Walkergate Primary School, Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Heaton School Cluster, Newcastle upon Tyne 

Produced by public funding in the North East in 2009, all of ruMAD2 materials can be used freely for the benefit of children, young people and their communities. Please make a donation and give credit to ruMAD2? Further information from

Please help share the materials widely for children's benefit and report any misuse via the kitchen contact page.  Next go to the Library