One of the ways to build a whole school community is by having something that everyone can join in and be part of. When I was a Depute Head Teacher I along with the Principal Teacher came up with some ideas for whole school challenges. The first term we started with the Hot Air Balloon Race which targeted four areas we wanted to improve behaviour on in the school.
Every class had a hot air balloon and a large board with a landscape background was placed at a central area. The balloons started off at the bottom of the board and everyone from the Head Teacher to the Janitor could give points for good behaviour, which made the balloon go up or sandbag points for unacceptable behaviour, which made the balloon go down. Every week at the whole school assembly the results were announced and the winning class were given a reward. There was also an award to the most improved class. The areas we targeted were the lines, playground behaviour, cloakrooms and classrooms. We quickly noticed an improvement in the tidiness of classrooms and cloakrooms as the classes realised they could gain points from the cleaners. Individual points were also awarded to pupils showing manners and good behaviour which were added to the class points.
In the winter term we had the Chimney challenge where each class had a chimney and their Santa made his way down the chimney. We added a postbox and Santa’s elves left messages for the children. We were amazed at the response from the children and many wrote letters back to the elves which added a different perspective to the challenge.
In the Spring term we had the Alien Adventure in this one each class had a spaceship heading to a planet in the centre. The classes could get booster points which helped their spaceship move quicker but there were naughty aliens who attached to the spaceships and slowed them down. This is when we saw the whole school community form as some classes handed their booster points to another class who weren’t doing so well. The aliens left coded messages for the children to work out and answer. The class rewards for this were a space robot to look after for the week.
In the summer term we had the Super-dooper roller coaster where each class had a carriage on the roller coaster but had to work together to get it to move around the track. Each week they won a stall for a funfair. At the end of term we held a fun day with all the stalls and each child had a book of tickets which allowed them to visit each stall once. We had a fantastic day with no behaviour problems and a whole school of happy, involved children.
I continued this idea in my posts as Acting Head Teacher and Head Teacher. New ideas were included. If you are interested in trying this out please email me for more details – firstname.lastname@example.org . These ideas could also be adapted to use as class incentives as well.
Further ones were:-
Bounce for Health
Let’s Go Bananas
Santa’s Sack Race