STUDENTS at an Ashbourne school will soon be able to ‘cash-in’ on their hard work and receive financial rewards for earning merits.
The innovative scheme, being launched by staff at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, will mean that pupils who attain bronze, silver or gold merit status will be rewarded with discounts at numerous shops and business in town.
The students can earn merits from excellent homework, by taking on extra responsibility, having good attendance, or simply by being a kind and compassionate citizen.
Sam Howson, the Key Stage 3 support officer who is the driving force behind the initiative explained: “We know how important it is for students to feel that their efforts are being noticed, and by creating this reward system we want them to feel that they are really seeing positive results from their behaviour.
“But it’s also important to us as a big part of Ashbourne’s community that we drive business into town, and show support for our retailers, especially the independent ones.
“It would be easy to offer shopping vouchers or cinema tickets, but we hope that by offering discounts at places in Ashbourne we will also encourage loyalty to them from both the students and their parents.”
Businesses who sign up to support the scheme get a window sticker to display and a regular email list of students qualifying for discounts.
To attain the first level, bronze, students must earn 30 merit points.
Currently there are slightly more than 30 pupils who have achieved this, and teachers hope that this rewards scheme will motivate more to try and reach that level.
Assistant head teacher, Sue Farr said: “We know from talking to our students that they didn’t feel they were being given enough incentive and motivation to reach these merit levels.
“It’s important to us that we support the students and that they know we appreciate the effort they put into their work, and even the way they behave round school.
“Hopefully this will encourage more of them to dig just a little deeper and really be the best they can be.”
“It’s not just discount though, Keith Hall has offered to come in and do makeovers for students for the prom - a big incentive for many I’m sure.”
Costa Coffee and Keith Hall were the first to sign up for the programme, and now BPhysical, John Stubbs, Ye Olde Sweet Shop and Crew Deck are onboard, with discounts offered from 10 to 20 per cent.
To get involved email FarrS@queenelizabeths.derbyshire.sch.uk