What are your school's reward systems and do you think they work? Joan, Cambridge
A Display. Put everything on the walls. It celebrates the kids' achievements, parents love it and so does Ofsted. It hides a few cracks in the plaster too.
A I'm not really convinced that rewards in the material sense make a big difference to anything other than the school budget. Pupils see through them quickly and the novelty wears off. We have to be careful that we don't turn education into some sort of gameshow, and should look to motivate through the "intrinsics", such as pride in the pupils' work, achievement and praise. Rewards in terms of prizes can be very shallow.
A It is too easy to reward pupils who would have done well anyway. Instead, focus on meaningful and motivational rewards for the reluctant learners, such as visits to local colleges, which will be delighted to host events for a part of the market they find hard to reach.
A Though many schools can benefit from a rewards system to motivate or to modify behaviour, pupils must consider the reward worth having. Then, having achieved it, they should be motivated further. While many actors are driven to collect Oscar after Oscar, there might be a limit to how many book tokens a 15-year-old wants to win
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