Kids Talk

Freya, Rory and Hilary, P6, talk to Julia Belgutay about motivation to learn

Julia Belgutay

Hilary: We had a teacher in P4 who was really good. Some teachers don't have much control over the class, and she really did. She made us respect her for it, and we really wanted to work hard for her.

Freya: For teachers, I think it's better to motivate someone than give them bad credit.

Rory: We used to get these gold stars, and if you were behaving well or got something right, or knew something most of the class did not, you would get gold stars. Whoever got gold stars got points for their table. That was a good system.

Hilary: Yeah, and in P2 and P1 you collected rewards for your table and there was a prize in the end. I think it's important there is a reward. It has to be a good thing that you work towards - otherwise you're not going to try.

Rory: And you feel good about it. It's more, like, good for you. You feel more proud of it if you get points or stuff.

Freya: I think that's more lower school, though.

Hilary: But now, the kind of reward time at the end of the week, that's like golden time - you can lose that. But it's not really, like, good, so no one is really that afraid to lose golden time.

Rory: Yeah, 'cos we used to do really good things, like make smoothies and things.

Hilary: You could sign up for stuff. Now it's just in the classroom and stuff. But it needs to be something really good that you really want to do.

Rory: I really liked making the smoothies.

Hilary: It's like something you don't often do at your house. I quite liked bingo as well, 'cos you don't generally have a load of people at your house playing bingo.

Freya: Yeah, that was really good. I don't think they need to change the system - they just need to make golden time better.

Hilary: We had a pretty good teacher in P1 and P2, so I would still have worked hard, even if there was no reward.

Freya: Every so often they should do something fun, like measuring your head or something.

Hilary: I think it's more important to learn more, but it's just so you don't get a really negative attitude to school. There's quite a lot of things that won't help you in life that we have to learn.

Freya: Say you wanted to be a chef, you would hardly need to do certain things.

Hilary: Maths for measures.

Rory: I think things you might not need are hard to learn, but you might need them - that's the thing.

Freya: You might have wanted to be a chef and then later on you might not be a chef.

Rory: That might come up later in life and then you wish you had listened.

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Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay is head of FE at Tes

Find me on Twitter @JBelgutay

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