Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Praise and Rewards

I have been thinking about potential masters topics for a while now... I was going to do a case study on our new classrooms (being put together over the summer hols - phew!) but my masters tutor suggested that I use the new rewards system some students have implemented in school. Although overseeing the system, I initially felt like a bit of a fraud as I have just supported their ideas and presented to SLT, not actually build the system but my tutor observed this is why its pretty cool.... Basically, some students, parents and teachers got together, researched praise and why its important, looked at the current school system and then re-wrote the entire system so it focusses on 3 things;
  • a tangible, physical reward
  • informing parents and the local community
  • celebrating ALL achievements
The first stage of the roll out happened this half term. This consists of tiny cards the students can be rewarded for resilience in their learning, building or developing good relationship inside and out of school, being resourceful in their research or lessons and being relfective about their lessons, skills and general every day learning.

The cards work like a loyalty card and students can save them for a number of reasons; to earm money off school trips; to enter a raffle for 2 tickets to experience days; to buy school equipment or sports equipment in the rewards shop at lunchtime; to earn money off prom; to buy a fast track card for the lunch queue.

The system is whole school and seems to be working really well. All the students have responded excellently to the system and they seem keen to use it all the time - in fact, teachers who have not taken it up immediatly are now being asked why by the pupils! Great stuff. I guess only time will tell but the most interesting point is the y11s I was speaking to today said that the school equipment is the most useful as you can buy things before exams, but also, you feel like the teacher notices the good things you do! Great huh?

Time will tell if it really works but 2 weeks in, it seems to be pretty sucessful! It just shows, the students who designed it have been really reflective about their own motivation to learn and what helps it.... :-) They really a great bunch!


  1. Very interested in your rewards idea - does the whole school use this?

  2. yes we do - we have a whole school sanctions system, but initially, there was only individual praise/rewards system, so we worked with pupils, teachers and parents to redesign it.

    As mentioned in the post, the cards are the first part of a 3 part system, but the next bit (communication with home) is being implemented after october half term!

    Am happy to send on the process, info etc if you would like it?