Property game makes full house

29th April 2005 at 01:00
Attendance is a high priority at our school. Mountopoly was devised by my attendance officer, Selene Turner. The idea came from the children when Selene asked them which were their favourite Christmas games.

Mountopoly looks very much like Monopoly, but the houses have been replaced by classrooms, the computer suite, my office and so on. The utilities have become the playgrounds and the after-school clubs replace the stations. The jail is the school sin-bin.

As in Monopoly, the winner is the class which accumulates the most money, and at the end of the year the winning class can exchange their money for a bowling or ice-skating trip. The class that has the highest weekly attendance gets "pound;1,000" to bank, second place gets pound;500 and third place gets pound;250. Moving around the board and landing on different locations will also allow classes to accumulate money - my office is worth pound;40.

To move around the board, the class attendance must be more than 90 per cent. For every percentage point over this, the class gets one move (93 per cent = three moves).

After each "special mention" assembly, where the attendance for the week is announced, a representative from each class goes to move their piece around the board on display in the main entrance, with a gathering of children watching how their class is doing. A Year 6 pupil is responsible for checking the moves with Selene and agrees the "money" awarded to each class - the children are eager to check the accuracy of this. There are also "Community Chest" and "Chance" cards and these might include sending the class forwards or backwards.

Mountopoly has captured the imagination of the children and continued the impetus to raise attendance. In four years our attendance has gone up from 90 to 93.9 per cent. Last term we hit over 95 per cent for the second time - with Mountopoly we might just break the bank.

Sara Shaw Headteacher, Mountbatten Primary School, Kingston upon Hull

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