SCHOOL students at a Darlington academy have reaped the benefits of a popular rewards scheme aimed at improving academic performance and behaviour.

Vivo Miles, the web-based rewards system, offers students incentives based on attendance, punctuality, behaviour, progress and team work, which can be exchanged for various goods in the “Vivo Shop”. Incentives include sports equipment, money-off vouchers and mobile phone top-up credit.

All members of staff at Hummersknott Academy are able to reward students with Vivo points for good behaviour or achieving goals that have been set.

Students are then able to check and redeem their Vivos online, giving them motivation to progress, which their parents can also track.

The system, which has more than 1.4m users in the UK and Australia, was introduced by the academy last October and has paid dividends amongst the school community with students cashing in their Vivos on a regular basis.

Caroline Tindale, drama teacher at Hummersknott Academy, said: “Ever since Vivo Miles was introduced, it has been working extremely well with many positive comments from staff and students alike, and plenty of purchases too!

“Pupils who meet and exceed the Academy’s expectations can become disheartened if they are not noticed, so positive behaviour is celebrated and awarded accordingly.”

Research from 500 schools using the Vivo Miles reward system has shown that it can have a positive impact, with 96 per cent of schools reporting improvements in academic performance, 93 per cent in behaviour and 83 per cent in attendance.

Caroline added: “It is important to reward pupils as often as possible, and initiatives, such as Vivo, definitely have a future in schools as they are easy to implement and offer lots of benefits which can help with the progression of learning.”

Pat Howarth, principal of Hummersknott Academy, said: “Any educational scheme that will help with student motivation and learning is welcomed at the academy. I am delighted with the impact that Vivo Miles has had on our students, and together with the excellent and thorough teaching from our staff, this makes a great combination.”