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Whole School Rewards Systems

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by WindsurferChris, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. WindsurferChris

    WindsurferChris New commenter

    I`m interested to learn what whole school rewards systems you are all using at your secondary schools. I know some schools are using vivo miles where merits are given a cash value and items can be purchased at the online shop, others schools have created their own similar system with their own shop and some do termly rewards assemblies based on merits and general rewards.

    Do you all use electronic logging of credits/merits or do any of you have tangible rewards tickets for the students and them entered by admin staff.

    I`m curious to know what you do and if you recommend it. We are looking to rework the current rewards system.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Why don't you do a survey and ask your students what rewards they are interested in? That is where I would start.
  3. WindsurferChris

    WindsurferChris New commenter

    Have you any thoughts on sensible options as to what rewards some school offer.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    As you say, schools use vivo miles or their own similar systems for prizes while others use termly rewards/ merits and general rewards.

    On a more basic level, some teachers send positive letters home to parents and let the parents/carers reward the students.

    Once you gather your options together, I would say the best system to use is the ones the students want. There is no use using anything that the majority of students don't value; also some would argue that the vivo miles/points for prizes system encourages an already materialist society.

    Put yourself in your students' shoes: would you want a pencil case for working hard or would you prefer the intrinsic reward for knowing you've learnt something well and knowing your parents/teachers are proud of you?

    I have worked at some very challenging schools which use the vivo/points system and the behaviour is appalling. In my view, the money could be spent much better.

    Working as a supply teacher, I am able to visit a variety of schools. I am thinking of a particular school I go to with outstanding behaviour and if I go to that school this week, I will enquire what whole school reward system they use and let you know. I am a bit curious now myself as to what system they use for whole school rewards and am pretty sure it is not vivo miles/points for prizes.
  5. I wonder why all reward schemes seem to die a death and forever need to be re-worked?

    My school (sec) has a 'token' system for those teachers who feel the need for an extrinsic method to chivvy pupils along, but I'm aware we don't all use it - it seems only to teach pupils how to get tokens (and surprisingly only some pupils care about that no matter what prize on offer).
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi still

    An interesting post about tokens.

    From what I have read and my own observations, students appreciate positive notes home, phone calls home, free time and time on the computer.

    Each class is somewhat different, so teachers are better placed to ask their classes what types of rewards they would like.

    Giving a child a sincere word of praise/phone call home does not cost a lot and in my view is worth a lot more than prizes.

    Schools could also have learner of the week, most improved etc..and acknowledge them around the school. Again, does not cost anything except some thought and time and the money saved could be invested into other things that are needed for the school.
  7. Yes, agreed that different pupils like different things and that parental involvement is most always a winner if you want to boost their esteem.

    Perhaps I'm wondering what pupils are learning for? Is it for the postcard home, the employee of the week board?

    Why can't students learn for the sake of it? Why do we have to stamp and label them (when we know that has such a detrimental effect)?
  8. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    With vivos one of the things is that parents can log in and check what students have been awarded and what for. The parental involvement element is therefore there if the parents want to. We also have an inter-house competition with a hotly contested cup for the most vivos, of course for some students it doesn't work but for most of ours it seems to be an incentive.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Ruthie

    An interesting perspective and another experience the OP will want to consider. I've just had a look over at the vivo miles web site and just had a quick look. Their claims are impressive so the OP might want to have a look at their site to see some of the comments from users and reviews.

    Still, I think students do generally learn for the sake of it and the joy of learning something new.

    The rewards are just meant to be an acknowledgment of their hard work or excellent behaviour - an extra to say well done and they seem to work for those who may need a little motivation to keep going when learning gets tough. A reward can be as little as a positive comment on a post it note given to a student as they leave a class and I think I was thinking of rewards in terms of boosting self esteem and therefore solving some of the behaviour issues that arise from a lack of self esteem.

    For day to day rewards, I use stickers - perhaps a bit old fashioned, but most students appreciate them and my favourite reward: "Well done. You've worked hard today and learnt the topic well". There is nothing like seeing a student's face light up when they know they have done well.
  10. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    I absolutely agree that things like praise and learning for the sake of it are the best incentives but the vivos give an external recognition. Some of our students choose to give their vivos to charity once they've earned them.
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Ruthie

    Sounds like you have some great students at your school - giving their vivos to charity is very commendable. You must be proud.
  12. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    yes, we have some really great kids.
  13. WindsurferChris

    WindsurferChris New commenter

    Hi, I've been away for the last few weeks so only just read most of the replies. The students at our school do like to learn and this really is a reward system to reward hard work, not for the purposes of 'chivvying' along students or bribing them to behave.

    Also, most of what has come up in terms of classroom teacher action should be done routinely anyway. I can't imagine any teacher that doesn't congratulate students in their day to day success. However, it does need to be consistent and this is why a "rewards system" needs to be in place. Even if it is a phone call home from one teacher, there needs to be a credit mark for "good work" given from all teachers to be consistent.

    Vivo does solve the fact that students and parents can easily view their credit score. The none monitory version may be worth it's licence fee just for that purpose alone. I know a lot of Vivo users use the shop where students can buy items but it could equally I guess, be setup to award certificates and achievements at certain points.

    The conversation has been really helpful and I would appreciate your feedback on any of my comments in this post of from the earlier discussion.

  14. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    I've seen some brilliant systems launched with enthusiasm and keenness at morning briefing. They're usually dead in the water by the end of registration.
  15. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Chris

    Going back a few steps... could you ask the students at your school what rewards they would appreciate? They may like the idea as you suggest certificates instead of buying items. Perhaps you could have rewards like scientist of the month, writer of the month, or other categories you/ students deem appropriate.

    Whatever it is, it also has to be easy to administer since otherwise it might not be used.

    Out of curiosity, since I haven't really had a look on the vivo site, what would it cost the school to use their system?
  16. Sorry for joining this chat so late. I declare upfront that I work for School Stickers, but as no one has mentioned Carrot Rewards yet below is some information that you might find useful.

    Carrot Rewards from School Stickers is the other online reward system used by hundreds of schools. Teachers decide what it is that they want to reward and encourage, and order the appropriate stickers, certificates or postcards from School Stickers (with a unique 6 digit code). They then give out these out to their pupils, who then log them themselves onto www.MyStickers.co.uk. This is a digital album of all their rewards, which parents can also have access to. Over 78,000 pupils logged rewards into MyStickers last year.

    All this information is then captured in Carrot Rewards where teachers can see the number of rewards logged by Year Group, House, Form, right down to the individual pupil level. This information can then be passed to SIMS if required. Schools can also choose to run their own competitions, setting up milestones or even running their own reward Shop. Schools only pay for the rewards they purchase, the technology is free. Schools like it as they have complete flexibility over the budget, what they reward, how they reward.


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