How I Use It
The school uses the merit and code system, merits of various types (good merit, character, value and house points) and codes for respect, forgetting equipment, appearance, not doing homework, detentions, and then two that I don't understand; give a clear choice and 'on call'. There is no explanation of circumstances, there is no way of telling who has awarded the codes (unlike merits, class and teacher is mentioned), and I believe strongly that there are frequently mistakes being made.
As a parent of a child with dysgraphia and ADHD which we have previously managed well at his junior (lower) school moving up to his high school has been a massive leap. Emotionally he's coped brilliantly, but educationally he has fallen a long way behind. Class Charts seemed to be a good way of keeping an eye on his behaviour, but it is most definitely a stick not a carrot. We even discussed with the teachers how we could use it as a way to incentivise him, by giving him £1 for his merits minus codes for each week, and we'd double it if he didn't get codes for a full week. We've had to ditch this idea because it relies on the teachers not making silly mistakes. None of it is clear, they seem to get codes with little explanation. The merits we can see who awarded them, but the codes do not show which lessons they were in. It only takes a few of those and the system falls apart. Admittedly, some of this is due to the way his school uses the system, but I can't see how they can all be trained to use it the same. To me it seems to take away common sense communication between school/student/parents. I have seen far too many arbitrary codes handed out. I try to ignore it now, but it really gets on my nerves. I have contacted the school with my concerns and asked them to review continuing to use it as I cannot see a way that it can be implemented without it causing concern. What is really worrying is that if a child had mental health problems it could really undermine their self-worth.