Mrs Humanities

teacher . blogger . friend


Acts of Kindness Christmas Countdown

I kind of decided many moons ago that creating responsible citizens was always going to be part of my educational ethos. I’m am/was an eco-warrior (until I realised how much paper I use) and have always been of the opinion that conservation and global citizenship is what will create a sustainable future. Therefore acts of kindness has always fitted in with my personal ethos.

To start this off in my school I carried out an acts of kindness bingo with my form group at the start of this year. It was greeted with an incredible response from them, the students came up with the acts of kindness and then started to put in place their suggestions in order to ‘sign off’ on the bingo sheet. Then they started just doing the acts willingly and never bothered to ‘sign off’. Now that’s the true ethos of game right?

acts of kindness

So on the countdown to Christmas I’ve decided that this year instead of a chocolate advent calendar, this year I would share an acts of kindness countdown to Christmas with my form group.

Christmas Countdown

I can’t wait to share it with my form group next week. I have treats, cards and other bits and bobs for them to use to give to others at the ready.

How will you share the seasonal spirit this year?

Download a copy of my acts of kindness bingo and Christmas Countdown here.

Here’s one take on the idea I shared



Mrs Humanities

clouds gifts

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Reward Systems

RewardsI like rewarding my students for their hard work and determination, remember the topical rewards I created for Weather and Climate?

Towards the end of last year however I received some feedback from students that got me thinking about my approach.

clouds gifts

My Approach

In my classroom reward and praise has to be earned and my number one rule is don’t ask for merits. Usually because what they’ve asked for a merit for doesn’t deserve a merit in my eyes, yes you held the door open for a member of staff – just common courtesy; yes you put your hand up and waited to answer the questions – that’s school expectations; yes you said the correct answer after 2 other pupils got it wrong – but that’s called trying. I try not to reward the ‘small’ things. In my opinion you have to earn the reward and this requires effort and determination.

My personal approach for reward is for effort and attainment together. If pupils try hard, putting their full effort and concentration into a piece of work they will be rewarded with merits because they usually meet or exceed their working towards target for that progress point. Even if they don’t quite achieve their target, but they are focused when working then they will still be rewarded for their efforts.

What I don’t reward is a lack of effort, even if they meet their target (by fluke, substantial support or detentions which is usually the case).

The feedback had me considering this however over and over again, should I give reward for attainment even if effort is not substantial?

New Approach

None the less, I’ve taken on board what they have said and will be developing a new approach for the following academic year. I’m going to reward in two ways; firstly merits for effort, secondly merits for attainment.  I’m going to build this into the Feedback Grids I use so that is it clear which merits are awarded for what aspect.

In order to do this I’ve going to give a grade for their effort and the level achieved through one’s own efforts. I’m going to make it very explicit how merits are earned with a defined system of how many will be earned for what.


DIRT feedback grid

Rewarding Effort

Each term reports are sent home to parents with the student’s current level and grades for effort and homework. I’m going to use the same grading system in class with 1 = outstanding effort whilst 4 = unsatisfactory. I’m going to start getting students to reflect upon their own effort in lessons as well, so they can begin to understand why they are achieving the effort grades they are achieving each term.


effort reward system

Rewarding Attainment

Secondly based upon feedback I’m going to reward attainment as follows

attainment rewards

I hope this will make things clearer for pupils, so they know exactly how they are rewarded.


So here’s the new Humanities Reward System. It ties in with the school reward system but has a departmental approach to it. Fingers crossed it works, if not we’ll try something else.

reward system

What’s your approach to praise and reward?

Do you have an individual approach to rewarding students or is it the same across the school?

Love to hear of other examples.

Mrs Humanities

topical rewards


Copy Cat – Topical Rewards

Check out these cuties inspired by my cloud rewards, created in Geography club by Miss Warren aka @amazing_geog. I love the use of buttons and sequins; adds sparkle to a dreary day.


Topical Rewards – Weather and Climate

This term year 8 studied Weather and Climate. My expectations of a number of my students were exceeded in the study of this topic, they loved it. It was a pleasure to be able to give out these topical rewards to the unexpecting achievers. There were 6 in total and I had planned to give out two clouds to each year 8 class but progress was so good in Set 2 and Set 3 that I decided to give 3 to each of these classes, they truly deserved them.


They were really easy to make, here’s how.

All you need is

  • cotton wool balls
  • googly eyes
  • super glue
  • small packaging bags
  • paper
  • a printer
  1. Start by creating the packaging, I used to create the packaging labels.
  2. I then inserted the images into word and laid them out so they could be folded after printing. cloud packaging
  3. Print the labels, cut them out and fold carefully.
  4. Next shape your cotton wool balls to look like clouds, I tried to make each one individual.
  5. Using the super glue attach the googly eyes to give the cloud some character. Allow the glue to dry.before clouds
  6. Once the clouds are ready, pop them into your plastic packaging bags, fold the label over the top of the bag and staple in place.
  7. And you’re done! Now you just need to hand them out to deserving pupils.

Do you ever give out topical rewards? I’m trying to think of some for next term, year 7 are studying Natural Hazards in our Dangerous World topic and year 8 are studying Exploration and Adventure… oooo what about mini survival kits? hrm?

Mrs Humanities