Celebrating Success The role of celebrating success in releasing pupil potential - Mr T Beattie

This weeks teaching technique Tuesday comes from within the RMPS department at Harris. Over the last few terms , in a bid to build and strengthen relationships between pupils and staff, the department have been implementing a system of congratulating pupils for their effort rather than reprimanding them for their behaviour. We will hear from Mrs Thomas a little later regarding how the system works and how it is integrated into letters of praise and the classroom praise wall.

"Believing in your students and letting them know you have confidence in their ability can be one of their greatest motivations. I am not sure why, but I am still surprised that after preparing and teaching an informative and dynamic lesson, what seems to really get my students motivated and working hard are my words of encouragement at the end of the lesson." - Erin Lynch @sadlierschool

All pupils have potential, the travesty is, the potential some of our pupils have within is never released. The question then is, how much does celebrating success play a part in releasing pupil potential? An article by Erin Lynch from sadlier school highlights that 'success' and 'motivation' go hand in hand. Have a read and see what you think.

The article shares ten ways that teachers can celebrate success and motivate pupils. How often do you implement any of these strategies in your classroom? I would love to find out and hear back what is useful and any that you have struggled to find effective - send me an e-mail to ddtbeattie520@glow.sch.uk with any feedback.

A few of these techniques have been tried and tested in the RMPS department. Over to Mrs Thomas to give you a run down of the GREEN dot/RED dot system and how she makes it work...

The idea for adding the celebrating success element to the RMPS department behaviour policy came from the book, 'Surviving and succeeding in a Difficult School' by Tom Blum. We were looking for a way to development positive relationships with pupils and spend more time congratulating them on their effort and work rather than reprimanding their behaviour!

The System

You need a green pen and a red pen (we use board pens)

Green Dots

1. A green dot can be awarded for anything from being prepared for class, contributing to class discussion, working well with others, focussed work, good answers etc.

2. A green board pen is used to mark a green dot in the margin of their jotter whenever they demonstrate something worth acknowledgement.

3. When a pupils has collected 5 green dots they alert the class teacher at the end of the period.

4. The class teacher signs of the green dots and awards a merit for that pupil on Seemis.

5. When a pupil has collected 5 class merits then a praise letter is given to them and posted home. Their Year Head, Guidance Teacher and Head Teacher are emailed once per term to alert them to pupils who have received Praise letters.

6. Superb pupil work is displayed on our PRAISE wall in our department.

Red dots

1. A red dot is marked in a pupil's jotter when they are given a verbal, formal and punishment exercise. This is a visual representation to pupils that this warning has been given.

2. Teacher must sign these off and record them on SEEMIS every period and they do not carry over into the next period.

We have noticed this system works most effectively from S1-S4. It actually works well with good classes and difficult classes as there is an element of competition involved. We have seen a decrease in amount of time it takes to get classes to settle. Improved low level behaviour and improved relationships for learning with pupils. One hardworking pupil in a difficult S3 class said, 'I like the green dots because it means that it is worth working hard even when no one else is.'


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