Habits of Mind as a Whole School Reward System.

Habits of Mind (HOM)

Our Year 1 to Year 6 whole school reward system links to the 6 focus Habits of Mind chosen by the school community.  Habits of Mind are a set of 16 problem solving, life-related skills developed by Art Costa, that promote positive thinking. By teaching the Habits of Mind, children will be more able to use these behaviours when they are faced with uncertain or challenging situations. Focusing on the Habits of Mind will help the whole school community to develop into thoughtful, compassionate, and cooperative learners who can thrive in school and the outside world.

Introducing and Getting to know the Habits

Each ‘habit’ was launched via a whole school assembly or event (role play assembly/film clips/image presentations).  All adults promoted each new habit during the launch weeks in a variety of ways.  In class, children engage in explicit lessons to help them fully understand the Habit of Mind and know what it might look like in day to day life.

Using the Habits Within a Whole School Reward System

All members of the school community refer to one of 6 habits of mind (including the administration team, Midday Play Leaders and the Site Manager) in their specific praise of the children and award children a Habits of Mind token relating to a specific habit when they see them demonstrating typical behaviours.   Every class has a Habits of Mind Reward Chart and children’s tokens are added to the chart.


  • 10 tokens in one area - Badge presented in assembly
  • 10 tokens in every area - Postcard sent via Royal Mail to the home address from the Headteacher
  • 20 tokens in one area - Certificate presented in assembly
  • 20 tokens in every area - Invitation to the Headteacher Party 
  • 30 tokens in one area - Wristband presented in assembly
  • 30 tokens in every area - Headteacher trophy award

Habits of Mind information is collected every week to identify which children have achieved 10+ in one or more area.  Achievement assemblies on a Wednesday and Thursday are focused around Habits of Mind in order to keep the profile of the habits high.  During these assemblies the rewards certificates/badges/wristbands will be presented and reference will be made to postcards/invitations/Head Teacher awards.

Next Steps

We make reference to all other habits that link either to a relevant class topic or issue as appropriate.  Over time we will change/add to the Habits of Mind that we focus on so that children can become familiar with all 16 over time. Please see the HOM's for this academic year below.


Hillcross Primary School, Ashridge Way, Morden, Surrey, SM4 4EE

020 8542 6936