You may have heard your children chatting about their ‘dojo points’ since the start of this academic year and been wondering what on earth they are talking about! If, like me, you were a child in the 1980’s, the first we knew about dojos was from Mr Miyagi in The Karate Kid!
As part of our development of the Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy, the staff wanted to reboot our reward system and bring in a fresh and dynamic approach to help motivate the children with their learning and social behaviour.
After extensive research and liaising with colleagues in other schools, we decided to set up ClassDojo; an online based reward system which promotes positive learning behaviours. The main benefit of the ClassDojo system is its positive support and approach to behaviour and learning. It is a predominantly a reward system not a punishment system.
Mr Finan and Mrs Smith trialled the ClassDojo in the Summer Term and the children engaged with it instantly. From September, each class from Remove upwards now has their own ClassDojo and each child has chosen their own avatar. Throughout the course of each day, children are awarded positive reward points when they demonstrate desirable learning behaviours such listening attentively, being organised, showing resilience, handing in homework, working collaboratively etc.
Points can be awarded for whole class, individual children or small groups. All the children’s points combine to create the class total and teachers set targets for the class to aspire to each week. All members of staff in school can acknowledge positive behaviour so conduct in the playground, in the corridors, in the Dining Room and at Breakfast Club/HAC all counts towards the total score. Along with positive reward points, there is also a stock set of negative target points for areas which ‘need work’.
Points are then tracked by the teachers and reviewed regularly by the class and class teacher so they can reflect on the past week and improve upon target areas for the coming week; giving pupils further ownership of their behaviour and learning.
The response from the children has been fantastic and because the rewards are instantaneous, the children are continually driven to perform to the very best of their ability. As with all new initiatives, we are monitoring the system closely and further work has now started on how we can harmonise dojo points with merits.