Competitive Crews is a positive behaviour initiative which began in St. Seachnall's in October 2014. The aim is to reward positive behaviour on a weekly basis. All of the children in the school from Junior Infants to Sixth Class are on teams which are named after Irish historical figures. There are 12 teams in total and points are awarded for the following themes; lining up in the yard, good behaviour in class, showing respect to fellow pupils and members of staff, homework, wearing proper uniforms, good manners, following the 4 classroom rules, keeping desk area tidy, presentation of work and movement in the corridors.
The emphasis is on positive behaviour so children can only be awarded points. Children cannot lose points however individual detention records may need to be considered. Thankfully this has not had to be implemented since the introduction of the initiative. At the end of a term of 5 to 6 weeks the winning team is treated to a prize for everyone on the team. To date 3 teams - St. Patricks, St. Brigids and Brian Borus have won prizes. This involved a movie day where the children gathered in the school library where St. Seachnall's 'cinema' was set up. The children were also treated to a hot lunch, popcorn, soft drinks and sweet treats!
It is hoped to continue with the initiative into the 2015/2016 school year as the feedback from both teachers and pupils
is very positive. We also aim to have a designated display area around the school for each team where current points, a project about the person their team is named after and a photograph of each team will be displayed. Every few weeks we arrange for each team meet up in a classroom assigned to them where they can get to know each other better and talk about ways to improve their scores. Teachers supervise these gatherings which last for 15 to 20 minutes.
Each team has 2/3 Captains from 6th class and 2/3 Vice Captains from 5th class. These children wear Ceannaire and Leas Ceannaire badges so they are easily recognised in the school. Their role is an important one as they are role models for the younger children. The children take their roles seriously and frequently meet with Ms. O'Hara to discuss progress and new ideas for the system going forward. These meetings are also an opportunity for the Captains and Vice Captains to share their thoughts about how the initiative needs to be tweeked or improved. Occasionally the Captains will speak to the whole school at assembly as this has proved to be an effective way to deliver important messages. Along with the team prize individual prizes are also awarded to one child on each team who has scored their full quota of points for the term. The names of all the children from each team are placed in a hat and one name from each team is picked. There is also a Captain and Vice Captain prize awarded. The draw is done during an assembly.
In time we would hope to extend the award system for good behaviour in the yard and also for showing good practise on the corridors e.g. holding doors or being polite and mannerly to staff members and other children. Some of these good behaviours are already evident on a daily basis and we feel it is important to reinforce this through acknowledgement and praise. Going forward we hope the initiative will enhance and promote a positive atmosphere in the school and contribute to a happy learning environment for the children.