We often imagine Georgian and Victorian schooling being really strict. Of course it was, but it was also recognised that reward for good behaviour and achievement were far more effective for most pupils.
Before education was compulsory, it was a often a severe financial strain to send boys and girls to school - both in terms of lost income and additional school costs - and so many didn't attend or only sporadically. As an inducement, rewards cards, certificates and even medals were awarded to pupils for good attendance (reward cards perhaps for one week, medals for one or more years' good attendance).
The cards were printed in series, so that they became sought after. Books, medals, pocket watches and other items would have been prized by the recipients.
The collections at the British Schools Museum have several hundred medals, reward cards and certificates from British Schools and other schools from across the country.