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News: Praise indeed!

Posted on: November 6th, 2008

No matter what age we are we all like the feeling of being given praise for doing something well. Now a school in Rotherham is using a technique incorporating enterprise learning skills to make that feeling last longer. This initiative is part of Rotherham Ready’s Enterprise Education scheme and takes inspiration from a ‘Big Brother’ style diary room setting. Students and teachers alike visit Enterprise Pod to record their actions and behaviour so that it can be played over and over for others to see.

Rawmarsh Ashwood Primary School is piloting this new technique and has the first ever ‘Enterprise Pod’ in their reception area. The ‘Enterprise Pod’ a sofa area with Apple Mac and large plasma screen where teachers can send pupils who have demonstrated particular enterprise skills or behaviour in the classroom.

On arrival, each student is interviewed by a selection of fully trained Key Stage two pupils who help them to record and save their entry. This interview is then saved for prosperity and shown on a loop in the reception area for visitors, other pupils and parents to see.

Enterprise Praise Pod has been further enhanced at Rawmarsh Ashwood as the school were allocated funding through Rotherham Ready’s Creative Partnerships project. This funding allowed the school to purchase the large plasma screen on which interviews are played and also work with a local printing house to create their very own “enterprise paddles”.

The Year six children thoroughly enjoyed the experience of designing, negotiating, planning and presenting the paddles. Each set of paddles helps to embed enterprise language in the classroom and also prompts students to think of the personal capabilities they have demonstrated which have led to their visit to the praise pod.

Mr Jessop, head teacher at the school explains:

“This is a wonderful idea and all of the pupils and teachers make the most of it.

“Each child is given a set of enterprise paddles which highlights the skills and actions they can be praised for and when they are sent to Enterprise pod they record their achievement in that area.

“Thanks to this technology we’ve even had a live link with world renowned Professor Stephen Heppell in London who interviewed the pupils via live video link about their enterprise skills here on the sofa in Rawmarsh. They really enjoyed that.”

As well as teachers being able to send pupils they can also send each other for behaviours such as positive attitude and teamwork. The students can even send their enterprising teacher too!

“This is a great way for instant recognition and praise of enterprise but with a longer term effect. The long term plan for this would be for us to be able to send these video clips to parents on their mobile phones so that they can see when their children have done well. This has so much potential.”

Thanks to the enterprise paddles students coming to record their entries are focussed on the skills they have used and learnt. By using enterprise language in this way it is quickly becoming embedded in the culture of school life and students can talk confidently about their skills and how they have been demonstrated in day-to-day learning.

Jackie Frost, Project Manager for Rotherham Ready said:

“The schools motto is ‘Inspiring today’s children for tomorrow’s world’ and via Enterprise Pod they are certainly doing that.”

“We are please to see initiatives such as this running so well and mirroring the schools enterprise ethos.

“We were delighted that the Rotherham Ready Creative Partnerships project has been able to provide support for Enterprise Pod and the praise paddles. The school have really committed to making this a success.”