In my previous role as PYP coordinator, one of the Standards and Practices that seemed particularly pressing was the need to celebrate the Learner Profile. How were we going to ensure that the whole school not only understood the importance of the Learner Profile, but also celebrated it and made it part of their everyday parlance?
It struck me that we needed to make it tangible, a visual reminder of everything we are striving for. I came up with the idea of wristbands, each one a different colour. These were not to be handed out for one-off displays of that profile trait, but given in recognition of a genuine demonstration of understanding and embodiment of the trait in question.
These quickly became incredibly sought-after commodities around the school. Not only did the child feel rewarded for their effort, but in wearing a physical symbol of the profile trait, they were encouraged to continue to embody the trait and be an ambassador for positive behaviour and effort.
In my new school, they are given during whole Lower School assemblies at the end of a week by our principal, or by myself when it is my assembly, as above. Another way these are awarded is by our PYP Coordinator Mr Daws, in a special visit to each classroom. Our children and teachers nominate children in their class for these wristbands during reflective sessions, and then Mr Daws is invited to come and celebrate their hard work, and hand out the wristbands. Before announcing who is being awarded a particular wristband, he will always ask the children to guess who they think is going to be the recipient. It is incredible to hear everyone unanymously call out the correct name, showing full understanding of the trait, as well as awareness and respect of their classmates’ progress.
As you can see, the children absolutely love this, and it is wonderful to see the other children celebrating each other’s progress.
As the children go around the school, naturally their friends and children from other classes will ask “Which wristband is that?” or “How did you get that?”, conversations that will also happen at home as they show their parents.
During the school’s closure over the last few weeks, our coordinator has been just as active in celebrating students’ success, awarding wristbands via class WeChat groups. This is providing fantastic support and encouragement during these trying times for the children.
If you would like to have some wristbands made for your school, feel free to shoot me a message and I can connect you with our supplier (a parent of one of my previous students!).