Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Red Plate

In this edition of Above Rubies there was an article about encouraging our children. People wrote in with different ideas that they use to encourage their kids. One of the suggestions was the New Zealand tradition of the Red Dinner Plate. They have a special red dinner plate which only comes out once or twice a week to mark a point of achievement with one of the children. When the family comes to the dinner table they see the red plate in someones setting and get excited as to why that person has the red plate. Then at dinner time the parents say why that child has been given the red plate, and everyone talks about their achievement and encourages them. It can be given for anything that has involved some level of achievement and effort. Perhaps for overcoming a fear, winning an award, showing kindness to another etc. Well, after reading that article I liked the idea. Of course the plate does not have to be red, it just has to be special. But then I accidentally ended up in the Marks and Spencer Christmas sale (I was supposed to be in the cinema but Luke got bored so we wandered round the shops for a bit). There in the sale section was a huge pile of plain red plates, reduced to £1 each! Well, I had to buy one. I felt a bit daft buying just one dinner plate, LOL.

This week the plate has been set at the table twice. All three children like the idea and they always discuss whether anyone will get the red plate tonight. Firstly Sam was given the red plate. This week his school report was sent home (I will talk about that in a minute), and over the holidays he has been offering (!!!) to help me with housework. Yes, I'm gobsmacked too! But every day he has been asking "Mummy, is there anything I can do to help?" That is something that definitely needs public recognition! Then last night Luke got the red plate, for overcoming his fear of hair washing. He was so scared of bath times that he became hysterical. It was horrible. I suggested showers to him and over a period of two weeks he has gone from being hysterical and shaking with fear in the shower, to asking for a shower every morning. (Santa put a bottle of cherry smelling Chicken Little shampoo in his stocking which has been a real motivator!) So we gave him the red plate to recognise his braveness and mark his overcoming.

I must mention Sam's first term school report. They are given two grades, A - D for achievement (A being the highest), and 1 to 4 for effort (1 being the most effort), and there are also some exam results in percentages.

Art & Design B+, 1
Drama A, 93%, 1
English, talking & listening A, Reading B, Writing B, exam 64%, effort 1
French 87%, 1
Geography A, 98%, 1
History A, 91%, 2
Home Economics B+, 73%, 1
Information Technology B, 1
Maths B, 2
Music 70%, 1
PE C, 2
RE A, 1
Science A, 90%, 1
Technology 76%, 1

Some of those results are very good aren't they? He was quite pleased with most of it. Every subject had a full A4 paged report with comments from the teacher. The staff seem to put a lot of effort into producing it every term. I was particularly amused at the RE teachers comment that if he struggles with spelling he should do all his homework on the computer to avail of the spellcheck facilities! LOL.


Davy said...

Well done Sam! If I'd ever brought home a report like that my parents would have sent it back and demanded to know where the real one was.

John and Jill said...

Well done Sam, an excellent report. We are so pleased to learn that you are doing so well at your new school. Love Grannie and Grandad xxxxx

daddy said...

well done Sam, I never got a report like that! keep up the excellent work!


Linda said...

Love the red plate idea. Wonderful that Sam is doing so well in school too. :-)

Tammy said...

The red plate is a great idea, how fun! And, congrats to Sam, that is an awesome report!! Keep up the great work, although there is more to learning than just grades, but they do look nice on the reports, lol.

Anonymous said...

Well done Sam and Luke. Keri and David really like the idea of the red plate. I think I will have to go out and buy a red plate also. Thanks for sharing this idea with me Hazel. By the way Sam your marks at school were fabulous- keep up the good work!!

Nanny said...

The red plate idea is great. Can I have one? Sam's report is great. It is such a turn around from his old school. It's good to hear things are going well. Life is hard enough these days. Good news is always so restoring!

Jules said...

Ooooh, I'm going to pinch that idea. Thanks!

Dawn said...

I love the red plate idea :)
and a very big well done for Sam!!

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