I am in charge of rewarding pupils in school and I am looking to change our system from September. We currently have an Awards assembly at the end of each term with confectionery prizes, certificates etc. and then whole school trips in the last week of term based on attendance and behaviour.
So, could you please let me know what your school does to reward good behaviour and do you think that it works?
I don't think there should be awards for attendance - it's not fair on any who have been genuinely ill. I also don't think there should be rewards for behaviour as it tends to be the naughty ones who have improved for a week that get picked.
I think there should be 2 sorts of reward: effort - you can control that and people can't ask more than you try your best. How to measure effort is hard though. A teacher might think you've made a great effort with something when you've only put in an average amount of effort. Or you might have absolutely busted a gut and it may not have been recognised.
And kindness. That is a character trait that is not recognised often enough.
I think certificates are great. Not food prizes or monetary etc.
We use epraise
Kids love it. Parents love it and staff like that it's easy to use and to be consistent with. We used to have stamps in planners with certificates etc but this is more "real" for the kids. School gets to set its own rewards and the number of points needed. Some rewards have cash value but the most popular are non uniform days and saving up towards prom tickets/end of year trips. Another popular one is a gift for mum/dad/Gran etc - donated by teachers/TAs after Christmas/birthdays etc - smellies and so on.
We adopted it two years ago.
Definitely abolish attendance prizes, especially if it links to trips.
How can you tell the kid who had chicken pox and was off for 2 weeks that he will be punished for it by not going on a trip?
How do you tell the kid with a tumour and has to have regular hospital treatment that he won't get an award either.
We have cards that are given out at the end of lunchtime. There are purple praise cards written by Dinnerladies and ta's (written at playtime) for children who always do the right thing. They have a tick list for ease. We do not give these to the child with challenging behaviour who suddenly does something good, they get a sticker which we find Is an immediate reinforcement of the wanted behaviour.
Then there are red cards for unacceptable behaviour, again with a tick list. Although a more detailed explanation is usually written on the back. All the cards go home, red cards are given by the teacher with an explanation.
Teachers don't write these cards though only support staff. We have found it empowers the support staff and our lunchtime (75 minutes) behaviour has improved.
Obviously this is a day to day reward system although certificates are given at the end of each half term for the person in each class who gets the most purple cards
My school has certificates for certain numbers of house points achieved, and at the top level you get entered into a lottery for a decent voucher.
Really don't like the idea of trips for good behaviour.
Not sure about rewards linked to house points either, they are never given out fairly. There are always teachers who shower them on kids, then teachers like me who only given them when I remember. Y7 more likely to get them than Y11 and so on.
I'd like to see some form of reward linked to reports. The kid who gets al (or mostly) outstanding effort (or whatever) from all of their teachers has to be worthy of praise.
Id like to see notes home for good behavior
It does seem those that play up get the good rewards - one recently spent the year punching others and he got the respect award? Wonder what the other parents thought?
No system is fair
I would look at the school issues - September half terms uniform
After that behavior
Then whatever is the short fall
Look at the good stuff school sports teams - so no badly behaved child is allowed on the team or the next match - agree badly behaved kids should miss trips - or treats discos etc Why should they go?
Notes home takes too much time. Sad, but true.
I also like to reward students for commitment - so if I run a school show, I give them points (we use an online system) for turning up to rehearsals. All the rehearsals are at lunchtimes/after school and some are weekends. Anyone who wants to be in a show can be, so it's not exclusive at all.
Being consistent has made a big difference in my school. Good kids (as opposed to naughty kids getting praise for not punching anyone) always make up the top of the tables on epraise.
Primary or secondary?
The younger the dc, the more immediate it has to be.
At secondary I used to like getting the odd postcard home - sadly stopped as too expensive, but I am disappointed that they didn't switch to e-mail to let parent know when school is extra pleased with a pupil.
My dds' school moved to epraise and they were not impressed (my dds I mean, not the school).
One thing that really annoys my dc is a particular maths teacher who never gave praise points for getting the work right / completing it well, but only ever to those who struggled. Now, I'm all for looking for ways to praise everyone, but yes, that everyone should include those who have actually got it right / done good work in the first place.
This is just what I do personally but I award Praise Cards weekly. These are for good behaviour, pushing themselves academically (whatever ability), excellent peer support within class etc
They climb a ladder throughout the week and if at the top by the end of the week they get a card home (bulk buy from Vistaprint) based on my classroom theme. On the back of the card I note what they have done particularly well to earn the card.
It benefits those who otherwise might be ignored for always behaving well and inspires others to emulate them.
It works for me in our school (social deprivation, high FSM, high EAL)
Read Ross Greene on why rewards don't work.
OP please not confectionary prizes! It is very unfair to parents who have to remove it. You must not give sweets to other people's children.
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