Positive biscuit behaviour: Eidsvold’s new currency
TO ACHIEVE positive student behaviour, it's as simple as buying a pack of assorted creams.
For the last three years Eidsvold have worked hard on building their reputation as a Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) School.
"It has taken a lot of time and effort to focus on acknowledging students for continual good behaviour," Eidsvold principal Preston Parter said.
"As teachers, sometimes it is easier to focus on student deficit, and we want to change that within our school."
At the start of 2017 when the school embarked on their PBL journey, there was an instant buy-in from primary students.
The school worked out a system of rewarding positive behaviour with stamps and tokens. Students then used the tokens to buy prizes at the school's Yumbin shop that opens on Friday mornings.
These prizes were largely trinkets and class supplies more appealing to primary students.
"This was all going very well but we could see there wasn't much buy-in from the secondary students - we thought this might have been because they felt 'too cool or shame' to purchase prizes with their tokens," Mr Parter said.
Deputy Principal Norah Murphy finally cracked the code with some of the secondary students as they spent more time down in the learning support room over the break times.
"A student was lounging around and I asked him what he would like to spend his PBL tokens on," Mrs Murphy said.
"He replied saying he'd rather some real milk, and a Monte Carlo or Delta Cream biscuit."
The school headed down to the local Foodworks and stocked up on assorted cream biscuits and full cream milk.
Within days the secondary students had cleaned out the fridge and were suggesting other items to "add to the menu".
Bags of almonds and salty plums are also on offer as PBL prizes at the school and the secondary students now have bought into the school's positive reward system.
The Yumbin tokens are valued as a currency with some student award recipients receiving tokens as prizes at awards night.
Students with considerable banks of earnt tokens have been offered gift cards for well-known stores as end of year account balancing.
"What is more important than trading prizes for tokens is the fact that we [the staff] can sit down with our students, have a cuppa and a chat with them, while they enjoy their biscuit and cup of milk," Mrs Murphy said.
"We believe this is a very important part of relationship building."