Every educational professional and parent reinforces positive behaviour in different ways; celebrating success is just one way we can recognise successful learning. Beginning with identifying the different ways an educator or teacher praise is the first step in developing a system of celebrating success. This makes a great professional learning activity.

The most common form of celebrating success is the immediate verbal praise for a certain behaviour or result. This is a positive place to start, particularly with children in a busy learning situation. Developing a vocabulary or a group of phrases that can be used to encourage positive verbal communication can lead to children connecting the phrases to positive support. Moving beyond ‘well done’, ‘that’s great’ will help children create connections between the language of success and everyday communication.

Words matter; the language of support and recognition; making it personal.

It is important when providing verbal reinforcement that the act of recognition is personal and relevant to the child.

Try some of these:

Your handwriting has really improved; your group has produced quality work

See how you corrected your spelling? That shows that you are learning

Do you think you could teach this procedure to someone else?

Is there anything you would change about this project?

What would your parents think of this project?

Your vocabulary is very impressive.

Can you show me how you solved this problem?

Did you find that activity challenging?

Would you like to try the next more difficult task?

Can you teach me how you came up with this result?



Creating a routine of praising children during the creation of an art project or during a group learning situation will further develop a child’s sense of success. We know that during learning activity that the most knowledge and understanding is developed, rather than at the conclusion or after the event. The ability to make the connection between how children build, resolve and produce with learning is an ideal way to enrich a child’s appreciation of learning as a continuum.

Much of the praise and celebration of success is external; progressing to a model that focuses on how a child can internalise success is the goal. Children who are proud of their learning just because they are enjoying the activities or are challenged by the task are the most successful learners.