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How to use 50-50 sliding scale terminology and award points!

The LAB Score is based on the child's effort in applying the character skill that you choose for the activity.

Every child starts each activity on a 2 score.

Before moving the child up a score, let them know they are on a High 1, a High 2 or a High 3 to encourage them to move up to the next score.

Before moving the child down a score, let them know they are on a Low 2, a Low 3 to encourage them to stay on the current score and avoid moving down a score.

Bonus Points are best awarded at the end of a scored activity and ideally not given out if a child has dropped down to a 1 score during the session.

Bonus points are awarded when the childs display additional character skills


  • Clearly set the task that will be scored. Explain how the character skill can be used to complete the task.
  • The children are in control of their LAB scores. They do not need to be convinced or coerced into doing the task. They already know right from wrong. They choose their outcome by the effort they apply. For best results let them rationalise and make their own decisions. If they want to get better LAB scores they have to apply more effort.
  • Try to remain positive even if a child receives a 1 LAB score. This simply means the child needs to apply more effort.
  • Always start the task on a LAB score of 2 which is good.
  • Verbally refer to the child’s current LAB score and use terminology such as “You’re currently on a high 2, see if you can raise it to a 3!”
  • Award 3 scores only when the task was completed very well with excellent effort or with an excellent attitude.
  • Award a bonus point when the child not only completed the task to an excellent level but also applied other character skills.
  • Try to give feedback through acknowledgement, recognition, praise and award for their effort in completing tasks.
  • Try to capture levels of child’s progress. The LAB system helps to eradicate low level negative or disruptive behaviour.
  • Give LAB scores for tasks and actions they already do well which will help them take on tasks they tend not to do well with greater effort. This will also help to build resilience!


  • The LAB system is not negative behaviour management tool. It’s designed to improve personal, social and emotional development. The LAB system helps every child to build their confidence, reduce their anxiety and improve their concentration and focus.
  • Do not use in a punitive way, simply reacting to negative behaviours with 1 LAB score’s. Create pathways, opportunities and enough time which encourages the child to turn negative behaviours around.
  • Please do not argue or converse at great length about why low LAB score were given. Our research with some of the most disaffected children and young people has enabled us to understand that children already know right from wrong. The LAB system enables them to stop and think or rationalise about their behaviour. It helps them make better informed decisions over time! It’s a process that becomes inbuilt where they can continually self-regulate and self-assess their actions and outcomes.
  • Refuse to give level-based praise as you see little or no value to an action or achievement they might be given a LAB score for. For example, devaluing opening the door to let someone through which is displaying empathy.
  • Try not to interpret what a character skill means if you don’t know it’s correct meaning. Please refer to a dictionary so you and the child both understand.

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