Does your school participate in a Jack Petchey scheme? 

Ours is just entering the second year of it and we’ve linked it to our achiever of the month programme which with the kids is a student voice activity aiming to celebrate success.

We also run it for staff.

Lat year senior team invited monthly nominations for actions above and beyond the call of duty, we picked a winner and announced it in the relevant staff briefing (the last Monday of the month). This seemed a bit divisive as we picked the winner and nobody else got a look in.

This year we have two staff briefings (a Monday and a Thursday). The first is just “the week ahead” but Thursdays are now for “Positive Thinking”. 

What are Thursdays?

Not so long ago I used a Thursday briefing to BIG UP Leonard Parkinson, a boy in my low ability Year 9 class who had managed to correctly name an isosceles trapezium from the clue “It’s a quadrilateral with precisely one line of symmetry and one pair of parallel sides”. As soon as his form tutor heard his name she gave a cry of delight (honestly, I promise you, this REALLY happened in the staffroom on a Thursday morning!!).

Anyway – that sets the scene for Thursdays. In the last Thursday of each month we now read out all the nominations for staff achiever, the names are placed in a large gold hat and one name picked out at random, all winners get a prize, a box of chocolates for the majority and a bottle of champagne for the lucky one who got chosen.

The nominations are….

Nominations for September and October have included:

  • ‘my PA for making the gold hat’
  • ‘the new Head of art for surviving a subject Ofsted in her first month in school’
  • ‘an ICT teacher for push starting the AHT’s car’; apparently it’s impossible to push-start uphill but he managed!

I think this has definitely helped to create a feeling that staff are valued by all and especially the senior team (which they always were – it’s just nice that they’re actually feeling it)

The gold hat was from when the display material was out for open evening – I felt that I needed a crown and wanted my PA to have a job that involved thinking outside of the box!!

By the way this Thursday I plan to celebrate the fact that the Parents Association will be funding praise postcards by playing Fatboy Slim’s Praise You and giving Subject Leaders and Heads of House the link to the website so that they can get ordering.