Vivo is a web-based rewards system aimed at improving student engagement and help achievement. The more good things a student does, the greater the quantity and quality of rewards available to them. Students are rewarded in various areas, ranging from class work and effort to attendance and after school participation. Depending on the quantity of points the student has earned, these reward points can be exchanged for gift items ranging from stationary to cinema tickets in the Vivo shop.
The views of the department.
The Vivo app is simple and straight forward to use, allowing teachers to reward students in seconds. PE classes are displayed along with your weekly teacher budget but there is also the possibility to search for any student. This is crucially important as minimising the time staff spend using the system encourages all staff to reward students and not consider this an unwelcome addition to their workload.
PE students are rewarded for every extra curricular club they attend and additional rewards are given for a man of the match performance. The reward provides a sense of satisfaction for the student participating in the club and allows the teacher to make the student feel valued for their efforts, this visible reward adding to the intrinsic reward of participating in PE clubs.
Rewarding students in fixtures can also boost morale, maintaining a positive environment after an unsuccessful result. The students are still rewarded for their efforts during a fixture, feel valued by the teacher and leave with a sense of pride regardless, minimising the number of disaffected students due the result.
Most importantly so far, this reward system has helped foster positive relationships in PE classes between teachers and students through the acknowledgment and rewarding of effort and achievement. As a result the behaviour policy is used less frequently which assists in accelerating the learning process. Students are rewarded for their effort and see others being rewarded too, leading to a desire to emulate that student and experience that feeling of success through reward. This cannot be underestimated for difficult students and class groups as a positive and reward focused lesson benefits the challenging students more than a sanction or being removed from the lesson, which often creates a negative PE experience for that student and provides the teacher with an uphill struggle to re-engage them.
The next level?
Whilst the benefits are clear to see, there are inevitably areas that require particular attention to improve the system further, most notably the consistency of staff.
Whilst still in its infancy, this reward process would carry more emphasis for students if teachers were consistently awarding Vivo points. This would undoubtedly provide a culture of reward in every department and ensure students are rewarded for their efforts throughout the school, ensuring students are encouraged to reach their potential in every lesson and departments are not left in isolation simply through lack of rewarding.
Another consistency issue with is following through on the offer of a reward. The above mentioned positive relationship between student and teacher can soon evaporate when Vivo points are promised without return as students are given their own Vivo log in to monitor their accumulation of Vivo points. Students are always in competition, whether it be with their friends, their tutor group or their siblings and can soon forge barriers with teachers if their peers are being rewarded more than they are. This is particularly difficult if there are inconsistencies within a department.
I think these would be generic for any school in this first stage.
I firmly believe that all middle leaders can have the most impact on a school with a consistent and collaborative approach. Having one member of staff in charge of this reward process will certainly not have as much impact as having all heads of department and heads of year on board. Naming and shaming teachers not rewarding students through the Vivo system could lead to fractious attitudes with other staff the the system itself.
This was recognised from the start and heads of year in particular have offered their full support to the Vivo rewards. The impact a head of year can have with their year group far outweighs impact from any other staff member, senior leadership included and through the discussion, promotion and reflection of the Vivo reward system with students has led to all year groups from year 7 to year 13 being fully engaged with this.
As a head of year I am able to keep track of the distribution of Vivo points to my year group via the reports section of the app.
The introduction of the Vivo reward system has been hugely beneficial to our school, helping focus and reward the positives and taking the lime light away from poor behaviour. Those students who continually meet the high expectations of the school are now being continually rewarded for their efforts and in PE the impact has been positive so far both in lessons and extra curricular activities.
Vivo is fresh, new and engages students easily through its modern yet simple design.
I look forward to providing a long term review of the Vivo rewards system in the near future.