Good deeds are spilling over in the playground and classrooms at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary Moorebank.
The school’s ‘bucket filler’ initiative to promote positive behaviour and wellbeing was introduced after students read Carol McCloud book Have You Filled A Bucket Today?, and stems from the idea that everyone carries an invisible bucket. A bucket filler is someone who shows positive character traits such as kindness, respect, responsibility and compassion. A bucket dipper is someone who empties another person’s bucket by being negative and ignoring or being unkind to others.
Students are given tickets by school prefects and teachers when they display positive behaviours. Five of the tickets are drawn out of a bucket at Friday assemblies, where the students are acknowledged for the good things they did and given a small prize.
School prefects Stuart Towell, Olivia Giaourtas and Angelina Rizk, in Year 6, are among the students who give out the tickets to their peers.
“They’re given to people who are being good on the playground and doing good deeds,” Stuart said. “The prefects will mainly give them out at lunchtimes and assembly and the teachers will mainly give them out in the classroom.
“It’s been going on for a while now. I really like the idea of it because now people have a reason to get into the habit of being good. You can see people around the playground being kind to each other. If someone falls over they’ll help them up. Overall it’s amazing what the bucket-filler tickets have done.”
The initative began in January this year. Olivia said ice blocks were the reward of choice in warm weather. There is also a ‘Class of the week’ award for the group who is the most polite and orderly when lining up as a class.
“People are lining up when the bell rings and sitting down quietly, there are people picking up rubbish around the school, and they are being nice to other people,” Olivia said.
Principal Carol Luc said the initiative fit well with the school’s values of charity and love.
“It’s given a greater awareness to children of how they can help others,” she said. “Also they are filling their own buckets through those helpful gestures and by reaching out to others.
“This helps to impact on and influence children’s behaviour and emphasises that we can all make a difference in our school, keeping it a safe and friendly place by reaching out to others and helping to fill our own bucket.
“The teachers talked about how you can be a bucket-filler or empty your own or someone else’s bucket emotionally. If you’re being disrespectful or aggressive in the playground you’re emptying that bucket of positive behaviours. You want to have your bucket filled with positivity and have other people’s bucket filled with positivity as well.”