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Blackburn school rewards pupils for good behaviour
A BLACKBURN high school is rewarding pupils for their good behaviour by using a points card scheme.
Our Lady and St John Catholic College, in Shadsworth Road, has introduced the Vivo reward card to reward pupils who work hard, show courtesy, respect, and who get involved with all aspects of school life and extra curricular activities.
The scheme has received a mixed reaction from education experts, who said there must be a good balance between sanctions and rewards for a school to run well.
Every pupil at the school has an online Vivo account and each week, teaching and support staff issue points for excellent effort or good work and good attendance. Pupils can ‘spend’ their Vivos on study materials or personal gifts. The school is also looking at other rewards such as a skip-the-lunch-queue vouchers.
Vivos can even be donated to a charity of the pupil’s choice.
Gillian Greenwood, who administers the system at the school, said: “It’s a really positive scheme.
“It’s down to the teachers to decide who receives point and how many they receive.
“There is also a comments book online for teachers to leave comments on why they have received points, and students are also offered points as an incentive to help them volunteer for tasks within the school.”
Simon Jones, executive member of the NUT union, said rewards were important, but they should not be misused.
He said: “It’s important that there is a balance between rewards and sanctions in place.
“There shouldn’t be too much emphasis on the rewards — I have heard of schools giving bikes away, which can be seen as bribery. Systems like that fail. The idea of points to use as stationery rewards or charitable donations is a positive idea.
Dr Sandi Mann, senior psychology lecturer at UCLan, said students should understand the values of their actions, rather than be rewarded for them.
She said: “The reward scheme worries me. I agree with rewarding courteous behaviour and effort, but not good attendance.
“Pupils can start doing things in order to gain rewards, instead of understanding the intrinsic value of going to school, working hard and bettering themselves. The value behind it is lost.”