The rewards system at St Edward’s is based around the principles of character education.
A group of students was formed in 2016 in order to discuss and agree upon a set of character traits that have since come to be known as the St Edward’s Virtues. All credits awarded in school are now awarded around these qualities so they can be positively reinforced across the community.
Each half term there is a celebration assembly for every year group in which the achievements of that group can be publicly recognised. Awards are presented to those students who have particularly exemplified the virtue that has been the focus for the half term. As well as awards, vouchers and prizes, there are also reward trips and success meetings with the headteacher.
As students reach the end of Year 9 we host a Key Stage 3 graduation evening at which subject leaders present a series of awards, once again based around the virtues. Every student is presented with a certificate that identifies the top categories of virtues each student has demonstrated.
We also hold an Autumn Celebration Evening for students who have just completed their GCSE and A Level courses. We present each student with a virtue certificate, but we also recognise the highest attaining students and those who have made the most progress. It is at this event that we also present a number of annual awards.
The advantage of a character education system is that all students have the chance to succeed, something that was quickly realised by parents and carers when we made the switch to this approach in 2017. It has also led to a more significant engagement with rewards, especially from students in Key Stage 4, who have not always been motivated by previous reward systems.