These jackets made for badges

ROBIN RAYMOND
Last updated 16:14 11/02/2013
Grace Cross

Renwick School year 7 pupils, from left, Grace Cross, 11, Jayna Potts, 11 and Samuel Adcock, 11 with their green leadership jackets.

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Green jackets with colourful sleeves are helping raise grades and smiles at Renwick School this year.

At a special assembly on Friday the school's 66 year 7 pupils were each given a green jacket as part of a school leadership programme first tested last year. The system involves year 7 and 8 pupils at the school being given a green jacket at the start of the year.

During the year the pupils then work to gain badges which they attach to their jacket sleeves. Pupils can gain badges through sports, cultural activities, arts, academic achievements or by being involved in leadership groups and pupil committees in the school, along with a Renwick Best badge for outstanding achievements.

Year 7 and 8 team leader teacher Cat Hynd said the teachers came up with the jacket idea as a way to raise the achievement level for boys in the school.

Although research showed boys responded to visible signs of their achievements, the trial last year had shown great results for all the pupils involved.

The jackets helped the pupils stand out in the community and remind them of their role as leaders in the school, while the pupils were encouraged to set goals on how to achieve badges at the start of the year, she said.

"Our academic achievement has lifted, [the pupils], they're more competitive, they are more focused and they're not just swimming around aimlessly."

The jackets were a huge investment, costing $10,000 a year, but were well worth it, she said.

Pupil Jayna Potts, 11, said getting the jacket was exciting after watching last year's year 7 pupils adding badges to their sleeves through the year. Jayna and fellow year 7 pupil Samuel Adcock, 11, said they were planning to start the year off by getting some sports badges and their committee member badges, while Grace Cross, 11, said she was focusing on the sports and arts badges, but was hoping to become one of the first pupils get badges in each of the disciplines.

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- The Marlborough Express

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