Melton Specialist School wanted to develop an interactive learning experience to implement as our whole school positive reward system. The Gotcha Shop encompasses the school values of ‘safe’, ‘respectful’ and ‘responsible’ that are explicitly taught to students through mini lessons based from the school wide expectations that identify what those values look like in various areas around the school. Students were receiving ‘gotcha cards’ as reinforcement and displaying them in their classrooms.
Melton Specialist School are dedicated to providing students with a safe, engaging and consistent learning experience. We wanted to create a whole school reward system that not only motivated students to demonstrate the school values but to also provide them with the skills needed for life outside of MSS. This directly links with our AIP goals in developing relationships with parents and the greater community as well as implementing tier 1 behaviour support strategies and increasing student communication.
So… the Gotcha Shop was born!
Students are given the opportunity to spend their ‘gotchas’ in the Gotcha Shop. All items have been donated by staff, parents and companies within our school community. To align with our teaching strategies of structured TEACCH the Gotcha Shop is structured so students follow their individual schedule to different locations within the shop; from the classroom to the gotcha shop, lining up, shopping, paying and waiting until they return to their classroom, students ‘tag on’ to different locations.
The Gotcha Shop is also used as an in-school work experience opportunity for our VCAL and ASDAN students in years 11 and 12. Students were responsible for the set-up of the shop and continue to assist in the general up keep by sorting through donations by categorizing them, pricing them and displaying them in the shop. Students are also responsible for surveying students within the school to identify products students are interested in buying and their overall customer service.
The Gotcha Shop simulate a small retail outlet in the sense that it is run by students for their ‘customers’. Each student who works within the Gotcha Shop is given a specific job role to undertake. These roles include:
The Gotcha Shop has made a positive impact within our whole school. Not only for the students but also for parents who are commenting on what a positive initiative this has been for their child.
“One thing about the Gotcha Shop is that you’re paying with gotcha cards and not money… it gives people an opportunity to buy stuff that they want. It’s been donated by families to give stuff to kids.”
– Year 10 student
“I listen to Kerri (teacher) and I walk to class and I behave in class and on the bus.” – Year 3 student
“Thank you for this, it has really changed my child’s behaviour and he loves going to the Gotcha Shop.”
– Parent of Year 5 student
“The Gotcha Shop has helped students recognise the school values and are getting excited about doing the right thing” – Teacher
“The parents have been really supportive and it has been great to see parents brining in their donations for the Gotcha Shop.” - Administration