Every week at Grimsdell we have an assembly called ‘Time to Shine’ where teachers award one or two pupils with a certificate and a sticker. During the assembly each teacher shares with the whole school why that child has earned the certificate and exactly what is was for. This descriptive praise allows children to understand, very specifically, which aspect of their effort have enabled their success. This helps those attitudes to grow and extend to other areas.
Many schools will have very similar ways of rewarding and promoting positive behaviour and attitudes to learning. We find that it has a positive effect on the child earning the award but also on the whole school community. Today I observed every teacher and assistant in the hall beaming with pride and pleasure in each of the children who had received awards this week. It brought us together to share in the qualities of our children across the school, not just those in our own class or year group. The other benefit of ‘Time to Shine’ is that it encourages children to be happy for each other and proud of each other. This may sound simple but children of our age range can still in an egocentric phase and encouraging empathy and other people’s happiness is something we actively need to teach and model.
Today I listened to one of teachers describing the effort a child had put into his writing and how eager and keen he was to get better and better. As she spoke, the whole class started beaming and pointing to one particular child because they had all recognised that it was him. The awareness and appreciation of his achievements that particular week was so wonderful to observe and this is something we foster within our school. It is also known as ‘generosity of spirit’ and in such a competitive world these sentiments can sometimes be lost or taken for granted.
So my pride as Head During ‘Time to Shine’ assemblies is not only having the pleasure of shaking each child’s hand who has been rewarded – but also seeing the rest of school share in their happiness and be thoughtful and kind to their friends and classmates.