Encouraging better pupil relationships

Hilary Guzowski discusses a classroom-based CPD activity rewarding kind behaviour.

Primary Teacher, Dumfries and Galloway

The aim of my research was to discover whether the introduction of a system of peer rewards would have a positive effect on peer relationships within a composite class of Primary 3 and 4 children.

The reward system

I introduced a system based on the children rewarding kind behaviour received from a class member by recording the child's name and the kind deed in a book and placing a sticker on a class reward chart against that child's name.

This fitted in easily to the classroom routine and once the system had been introduced there was very little for me to do as the children recorded and rewarded each other's behaviour.

All I had to do was ensure that the stickers were counted each week and the kindest child that week rewarded with a certificate and 25 house points during class circle time.

Measuring success

In order to discover whether the strategy was effective, I simply recorded the number of complaints received before and after the introduction of the reward system.

This showed a reduction in the number of complaints received of 50/70%.

Positive effect

It was clear from my research that the introduction of a peer reward system had a very positive effect on peer relationships within the class.

This research has not only enhanced my own classroom practice but, after sharing my findings with my colleagues, the system was taken on board by other members of staff and used by other classes within the school.

Benefits of research

I thoroughly enjoyed carrying out the research as it was completely classroom based and has enhanced my classroom practice by providing me with another positive behaviour management strategy that I know works.

I will certainly be carrying out this type of CPD activity in the future as it is such a simple yet effective way of improving my professional practice.