Since the beginning of May pupils at RMMS have been competing fiercely in a house competition across the whole school. Pupils from Class 1 up to Class 8 have been divided in four houses – Red, Blue, Yellow and Green. Each house is led by two house captains from the senior classes and two of the local teachers, with the GVI volunteers trying to remain neutral…
Although GVI initiated the introduction of a house points scheme it was developed in collabouration with the Fijian teachers. A system for awarding points was established to provide consistency across the whole school and set goals for the pupils. For example points are awarded for class achievement, punctuality, health inspection (brushing teeth and being well presented), school chores and sports.
As the school day comes to a close pupils gather in front of the points board to see which house is in the lead. Then at the end of the week GVI hosts a house achievement assembly where all the points are collected and counted. Each Friday the best house is crowned for that week and then the points board is wiped clean. The points for each week are added to the term totals and an overall winner will be announced at the end of the semester.
Previously, a reward system had been absent from RMMS but the pupils have proven to be extremely responsive to this type of whole school competition. Both volunteers and teachers have observed improved effort, behaviour and punctuality in their classes. Pupils are also working as a team to take responsibility for their school looking neat and tidy. A key to the success of this project has been ensuring that the pupils receive acknowledgment for their achievements from their teachers and peers. We try to ensure that all points are announced in front of the class, giving the pupils something to be proud of.
So far the house points system has been adopted by pupils, staff and volunteers with measurable success and in the future we hope to host house competitions such as music, drama, art and sports. When dividing the school into houses we ensured that siblings where kept together so that in the future we can also link the house system to localised fundraising which has proven to be successful in other local schools. In this scheme each house has a fundraising target and parents raise money collectively for their child’s house in competition with each other. The funds are then pooled and used to improve school facilities.