Praise and reward at Vandyke

At Vandyke, we place a great deal of emphasis on highlighting student achievements, both inside and outside the classroom.

‘Academic’ Recognition

We continue to use tried and tested forms of recognising great work, effort and achievement or contribution to the school.

•  All departments and teachers send praise postcards.  Subject teams begin the weekly team briefing with all teachers nominating 1-2 students for a praise postcard.  Completed praise postcards are posted out.
•  All students receive half-termly achievers’ assemblies based on progress reports.
•  All students receive ‘Effort Certificates’ (Platinum, Gold, Silver & Bronze) based on effort in the previous set of reports.  These will be awarded proportionally to the year group by the House office, to recognise those that have made the greatest effort as recognised by their subject teachers.  A small number will also be sent out to recognise improvement between report periods.
•  Praise letters are sent home by the House office and the Headteacher after each set of progress reports to recognise excellent effort/attitude to learning grades.
•  Half-termly House office and Headteacher praise meetings are held with students who are identified by heads and directors of house and a letter is sent home recognising this by the Headteacher.
•  House awards evenings for students from all year groups are held to celebrate excellent effort and achievement.

Day-to-day praise continues to be managed by subject teachers, to ensure individual student praise is given in lessons to motivate, e.g. spoken, written, using stickers/stampers and class competitions, to reinforce praise for excellent pieces of work, good effort and improvement.  This can be developed on an individual teacher or team basis and is not part of any formal system, but is equally as important in recognising hard work and good achievement.  In many ways, the quiet word of recognition, or positive comment on a piece of work, can be as important to a student as formal recognition.

Subject teachers can record praise logs on the monitoring system when students exceed our Vandyke expectations eg excellent presentation and content of written class work or homework, consistent excellent effort throughout a lesson, excellent team work etc.  Praise logs for individual students count towards the awarding of house points, which contribute to the overall totals in the house competitions.

House Points

In addition to this academic recognition, there is a house competition between the four houses from September 2020.  Criteria for awarding house points to individual students include:
•  participation in subject-orientated extra-curricular activities
•  Duke of Edinburgh award
•  participation in school organised activities
•  representative honours
•  community events.

In addition to earning house points on an individual basis, there are opportunities throughout the year to earn ‘bulk’ house points in a series of house events operated by subject teams.  These events will have a competitive element and points will be awarded on a decreasing scale from First to Second to Third to Fourth.

These house events will earn different numbers of bulk points depending on the nature of the activity and will build towards the sports festival in the summer term, which will carry the most points.

House points will be collated for overall totals.  This will be managed by the house administrator based in the main school office and will be published regularly in the bulletin and on house and tutor room notice boards.  It will also be a regular item in assemblies and the house with the greatest number of points for a term and overall will be awarded a trophy.

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