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Last Updated: Friday October 19 2007 14:52 GMT

Praise and compliments

PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Confidence and responsibility
Praise Pod in use


A school in Yorkshire has introduced the Praise Pod. It lets teachers record their positive comments about pupils on camera. The clips are burned on to a DVD that pupils can keep.

This activity encourages pupils to work positively with their classmates.

Learning aims
  • Express positive qualities about themselves and others.

  • Develop interpersonal skills of encouraging others.

  • Reflect and evaluate on how their behaviour affects others.

Read the story 'Pupils get praised in new way'.

Ask the class:

  • How do you feel when someone says something nice about you?

  • What sort of mood does that put you in?

  • How can it change the way you behave?

Introduce the word 'compliment' and mention how nice it can be to receive one from another person.

Ask the class to think of examples of good qualities that could be complimented. Try to get lots of examples so that no-one is left stuck for ideas in the main activity.

Examples could include:

  • A nice smile
  • Helpful, enthusiastic
  • Polite, funny
  • Looks after others when they're upset
  • Good listener
  • Helps younger children

Main activity

Give every student a blank piece of paper and get them to write their name in large letters at the bottom.

Each student then passes their piece of paper to the person on their right.

At the top, each student writes an anonymous compliment for the person whose name is written at the bottom.

They should then fold over the top of the sheet to cover up the compliment before passing the sheet on.

When every student has written on everybody else's sheet they are passed back to the children whose names are written on the bottom.

Each then reads out a few of the compliments that have been written about them.

Extension activity

In small groups think about how to turn this into an assembly

Possible ideas

  • Volunteers could be encouraged to read aloud some of their compliments.

  • Classes could compliment each other on good work.

  • Compliments that the school has previously received could be presented.

Recap on the main skills that the pupils have been using.

Final questions:

What does it feel like to receive compliments?

How would you feel if you were never praised?

Why is it important to praise people?

Teachers' Background

This is from the BBC's parenting website

  • Praise is simply a genuine, positive comment, said with a warm look and tone. Praising your child helps them understand they're valued.
  • Your praise will be disregarded if it's insincere or doesn't match your look and tone.
  • Avoid giving praise with a sting in the tail. This sort of praise starts off well but ends with an implied criticism that wipes away the positive comment. For example, try not to say: 'Lily, you shared your toy so nicely - what a pity you hit May with it yesterday'.

    For all links and resources click at top right.

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