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Boarding house reward/punishment scheme

Discussion in 'Independent' started by RachaelM75, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Hello,

    I have just started a new job as HouseMother in an International Co-Ed school in Switzerland. Its a small school, circa 80 pupils aged 5-14yrs, with 20 boarders (aged 9-14yrs). This is my first HouseMother role, and I need to implement some form of reward/punishment scheme in the boarding house. Rules, discipline and consequences have been in short supply of the last 9yrs, and so the children think they can get away with anything and everything! I am being really strict, and have a great team, who are also being strict, but we have been asked to introduce some form of 'boarder of the week' scheme, to encourage good behaviour. All the ones I can find on the internet are classroom/teacher based.

    If anyone has any ideas, or suggestions on where to look, I would be very grateful!

  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    You need to ask yourself what has worked in the different boarding schools that you have worked in, and why it has worked.
    Start at the beginning by publishing a series or codes that the student body has to abide by. These will be needed to explained to the boarders and the reason for them will also need to be explained.
    Being strict is not enough - you need to choose your battles and decide which things are important and which things are less so. The less important things can operate on a strike rule - three strikes and it become a major infringement which can lead to a curtailment of liberties or freedoms. Minor rules tend to be things like using a laptop during prep without reason or leaving the room on a morning without tidying the bed. Things such as this have punishments such as spending an hour or two cleaning the school or something equally tiresome. More serious infringements are things such as a continuous breaking of minor rules or things such as smoking, drinking, being rude to staff, bullying etc. etc. These need to be dealt with at a senior level, with the head of boarding and the headmaster being involved. With these the ultimate sanctions - suspension or expulsion - need to be very real possibilities.
    So what type of rewarding system can you introduce? It needs to be something that the students will value and want. In my experience this means extra freedom or rights. You could start by perhaps allowing the boarder of the week one prep period free to spend as they like. Or perhaps allowing them to check in later on a weekend. There are much greater rewards available - but whatever they are, they must fit in and be au-fait with the ethos of the school.
    Why not sound out any ideas you have on this forum. There are some very experienced boarding school teachers here and they could let you know what may or may not work.
  3. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    In our boarding handbook it says that we can give pluses (as in normal school) for good behaviour, as well other things like extra PS3 time, extra stodge (sweets/chocolate). We are not to use minuses like in the normal day, but deal with things through loss of privilages or early bed.
  4. Thanks all for help and suggestions. Have no devised some form of reward/privilege type scheme. Hopefully it will work without them shouting too much abuse at me in Russian!!!!!
  5. I work in a small Auatrian school as a boarding master for an all boys house. I agree with most of the comments from the others below and laughed when I read about being abused by Russians (we have this also!).

    We use a system where by the house is divided into smaller 'chapters' of mixed ages and Nationalities. These 'chapters' compete against each other during the week (during house meeting time) over cognitive challenges, physical tasks, trivia etc. We also identify student through the week who get to 'spin the wheel'. This is a wooden wheel we made divided into differing sections. Student spin the arrow in the middle, and what ever it points to is what they win. So, if they are identified through the week for positive contributions (a test result, homework, team representation, act of kindness etc) they spin the wheel. Rewards are extended curfew, breakfast in bed, VIP meal with a friend, a kabab, extra computer time, sleep in etc. This is an individual award that also gets points for their chapter. So they are getting individual recognition as well as contributing to the chapters overall result. The winning chapter at the end of the term goes out for a movie, meal and fun together.

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