Positive Cards originated as a student initiative that supports valued behaviours within the school environment at Riverside High School. Students supporting the school culture and values are recognised through receiving a card with a personal message that identifies the value/s they have supported. The cards also have student work or activities that are recognised for their achievement within the school setting that link to the values of the school community. This has now been embedded within our SWPBS (School Wide Positive Behaviour Support) program. Tracking has been a significant aspect of understanding and improving the program. It is important to gain an understanding of those involved with the program, why they participate and if the program is meeting its intended goals. The information obtained through tracking allows for the program to be improved. It also provides a good overview of the programs reach.

Examples of students art:

(coming soon – permission being sought)

Initial outline for staff regarding the positive cards:

Positive Cards


To acknowledge and encourage behaviour that supports our school values:






Please use cards sparingly as they should highlight significant commitment to our school values.


The following are examples of behaviour that could warrant a card in class:

  • If the student is working at their full capacity the entire time even if it is at a low level academically (Achievement).
  • If a student changes their work habits after intervention from you and there is a marked improvement in the quality and or amount of work (Achievement, Respect, Relationships).
  • If a student is able to address a poor/unacceptable personal behaviour that you have pointed out to him/her and they are consistently focussing more on their learning (Safety, Fairness, Respect, Relationships and Achievement).
  • If a student has gone over and above the expectation of a set task academically or contributed something personally (that may have made them vulnerable), during a unit of work. E.g. a student who shares personal experiences with the class on racism and growing up in a predominately white society (Achievement, Safety, Respect)

Out of class the following is to be considered:

  • If you feel a student has honoured our schools values (Achievement, Respect, Safety, Fairness and Relationships) in a manner that is significant and you believe that a positive acknowledgement would bring about reinforcement to secure continued success.

Final note re consideration of giving a Positive Card:

  • The cards have the word excellence written clearly on them, does the behaviour you are choosing to acknowledge fit with the word excellence.
  • The most powerful thing about the card is what you write on it.
(please note that this has been revised over time to include staff based on feedback from staff and to meet the changing needs of our school)

To determine use of the card staff entered data about each card they gave into a google form:

Screenshot 2015-04-02 21.50.38
Screenshot 2015-04-02 16.30.53

Due to privacy reasons the data obtained to track the effectiveness and use of the positive cards cannot be shared. However, I can share data attached with what cards were handed out for.

Screenshot 2015-04-02 16.40.37

Students also provided trackable information for us as part of analysing the program and it’s impact/effectiveness.

Screenshot 2015-04-02 21.53.57

(Other questions were asked, pic above is an example only)

Here is an example of student perspective regarding the impact of the card:

Screenshot 2015-04-02 21.59.18

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