A Port Pirie primary school have introduced a character known as Ricky Risdon to their students, and they strive to encourage positive learning and behaviour through his influence.
The idea was brought into Risdon Park Primary School two years ago and since then, Ricky has been encouraging students from Reception to year 7 to be good learners and possess good behaviour.
Emily Langton the current deputy principal is a strong believer for what Ricky stands for and praises the differences it has brought to all the students.
“I think it has been really successful. The kids want to be like Ricky and Ricky is on all of our signs. The buddies use a lot of the language. The older classes might make up stories with the younger classes, or comic strips. Ricky is spoken about a lot”, Emily said.
“Ricky does not get you out of things, but it is about readjusting behaviours. I think it is quite unique to us and perhaps was something used in schools a little while ago and now many schools have taken it up.”
Ricky started as a behaviour education for the junior primary students and has since evolved into having a focus on learning.
The school take part in the visible learning project which is about making learning more visible and clear for the students.
Emily explains that learning intentions and success criteria are set for students to work through, it is all relates back to the language of learning and that is where Ricky is imperative.
“Ricky has the dispositions and values of a good learner. We talk about positive language around behaviour. There is also the negative of that though which is Stormin’ Norman who possess all the behaviours that you don’t want to see and Ricky is the opposite”, Emily said.
Around the school are images of Ricky which depict his behaviours and what the school encourages and staff have been lucky enough for the concept of Ricky to be well received not only by students, but parents also.
“We have had some feedback from parents who talk about Ricky and use it at home as well and we do make up packs for them and he is in our newsletter as well.”
“The kids really like Ricky. It started off with just drawings and then Ricky came and visited one day and that was pretty cool. Lots of the kids get into it and believe in Ricky.”
Ricky is about being resilient, giving it your best go, being brave and taking ownership of your learning.
Soon the school will be moving on to the learning pit which teaches students that making mistakes is okay and teaching them how to learn from them.