Blackpool primary schools are talking the international language of best behaviour.
Teachers at Layton Primary School have taken up the latest fad in how to get the best from their pupils – and they say children are thriving from it.
“The pupils know they have to work hard for them. The dojos are earned by outstanding behaviour and exceptional manners.”Deputy headteacher Emily White
Pupils aged from four up to 11 can now earn ‘dojos’ for their good behaviour or hard work, points which are logged electronically for all in school, and parents at home, to see.
The dojo system is used in classrooms across the world, seeing children earn dojos to be rewarded with bronze, silver and gold stars and treats in school.
“Just replace the word merit, as we knew it, with dojo,” explained deputy headteacher Emily White.
She added: “A dojo is an electronic point that we put on a chart for each child’s online character.
“The children know exactly what’s expected of them and there’s a nice element of friendly competition between them to be the best they can.
“Staff say children are more polite now and visitors are very complimentary on their behaviour and manners.”
And the system gives parents an answer to their daily question, ‘how was school today?’, as families can check in on their child’s progress online as examples of the best work by pupils are shared on the school’s popular online blog.
Badges are awarded weekly in a praise assembly, for pupils to wear on their collars - 30 dojos will see the pupil receive a wristband, 50 for a bronze badge, 100 for a silver badge, and 175 is platinum.
The top ranking children at Layton have so far earned treats including afternoon tea at the ‘top table’ in school.
The school, on Meyler Avenue, was rated good by Ofsted inspectors in 2013, who said children were well behaved, “polite and friendly” and that bad behaviour was dealt with “effectively”.
When school bosses came to renew their behaviour policy last year the free dojo system, used in one million classrooms across the world, was adopted to reward good behaviour and hard work.
Now the deputy headteacher says children proudly write letters each week to let her know they have achieved their dojo milestones.
She added: “It’s been a great move for the school and the pupils know that they aren’t given out easily.
“They have to work hard for them. The dojos are earned by outstanding, impeccable behaviour and exceptional manners.”