A PROGRAM encouraging safe, respectful and responsible learning is paying dividends for students who are embracing the program, and being rewarded for their efforts.
Vivo, an online recognition system rewarding students for their positive approach to learning is being used at Bathurst High School, and school principal, Ken Barwick said the results speak for themselves.
The program gives teachers rich insights into student development, behaviour and tracking of specific details of improvement, and the opportunity for teachers to understand their students better than ever before.
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It so successful, in the nine years since it was introduced it has been adopted by over 700 schools in Australia already.
Mr Barwick said the program engages students on a number of levels, whether it be in the classroom on in extra curricular actives including sport.
"Without a doubt the program focuses on three main areas; safe respectful and responsible learning," he said, and with teachers giving out hundreds Vivo points every week, the students are right on board.
Once they collect enough points the students can trade in the Vivo points at the Vivo online store or at the Bathurst High School online store which offers students anything from vouchers for a sausage sandwich at the school BBQ to a voucher for free entry to the school swimming carnival.
Local businesses are also getting behind the program supporting it with voucher donations, which the students can also save up their points and then cash them in to buy the vouchers.
Mr Barwick said while students have the choice where to cash in their Vivos when they use the Bathurst High online shop, the Vivo points come back to the school, and in doing so everyone gets benefits; kids get rewarded and the school can recycle points to buy more rewards.
He said one of the really great aspects of the program is students whose families may not be able to afford excursions or extras, can use Vivo points instead.
"It's great for kids who might not have the money; this program caters for all areas."
He said students can use Vivo points towards excursions, school BBQs, even locker hire.
When Astley Cup was on bus passes to the event were snapped up by the students with their Vivo points; 40 on day one and 30 on day two.
He said some students even brought two passes, one for them one for a friend.
Likewise with the school swimming carnival. With Vivo points swimming carnival participation numbers went from 400 up to 600 students.
"That tells me there's 200 kids whose parents can't or won't give then the $8 (entry fee) to go.
"This [program] is engaging the kids come to school and participate," he said.
Mr Barwick said the school was very lucky to have local businesses on board, and and he hopes to expand the program and involve more in the future.
"We've got amazing businesses involved; McDonald's, City Fit, 7-11, Domino's Pizza [to name just a few]. Thomas Dibley, from Dominos is an ex Bathurst High School captain and he gives us 100 pizza a term to give away.
"The P and C give us money go to go and buy vouchers, which we then spend at the businesses supporting us."
Mr Barwick said one day in the future he would like to include fuel cards in the Vivo program. He's also looking for a butcher to get on board, even if it's just $5 vouchers, because he know's there's kids in the community who would use their Vivo points to buy food for their family.
"It [the program] makes it a level playing field... every kid has access not just because of the points, but because they've earned them.