North Leamington School is an 11-18 mixed comprehensive in Warwickshire. It had been looking for an effective rewards scheme for many years that would really engage the pupils, but had struggled to find something that was effective and kept pupils interested.
School Stickers appealed to the school as 'www.MyStickers.co.uk' gives students the ability to take control by logging their own rewards, and the 'buddies' or avatar characters really engage the pupils. Teachers can also tailor the rewards for their subject or area of responsibility, and through 'www.CarrotRewards.co.uk' they can run competitions unique to their needs, using the results already entered in 'www.MyStickers.co.uk' by the pupils.
The Headteacher, Mr David Hazeldine, had been working on a rewards scheme idea that he wanted to call PRIDE (personal recognition individual development) to fit with the schools reward aims. The School Stickers programme fitted perfectly as it can a tailored to fit with any school's individual requirements.
It was recognised that for the scheme to work, the school had to get the pupils really excited about it. Led by Mr Seb Apostol, Schools Safety & Police Liaison Officer, who initially suggested the scheme, the teachers set about building momentum and hype for the launch.
The first stage involved the school creating tailored posters using the School Stickers avatars that started appearing around the school stating that 'Pride is coming' and the launch date. Pupils started asking what it meant and the teachers were deliberately vague. This started a range of rumours which helped build the hype.
In the second launch stage School Stickers created a life size cut out of one of the buddies and sent him on a train to Leamington. The school filmed him arriving at Leamington Station and his trip to the school. The film was then emailed to pupils and shown in Assembly much to everyone's amusement. The school then ran competitions hiding the giant buddy around the school and offering prizes to the students that spotted him first.
In the final launch stage some carefully selected pupils were told about the rewards scheme launch to start the rumours and more posters were created stating 'Get PRIDE in 3 easy steps '
Step 1 - work hard and get a merit
Step 2 - log in and enter your code
Step 3 - enjoy the reward and repeat step 1
The posters were emailed to pupils and bluetoothed to their handsets and Facebook pages.
Setting up the programme and getting started was a simple process for North Leamington School. It was done quickly and easily as the team at School Stickers did all the hard work, setting up the all pupil accounts on 'www.MyStickers.co.uk', providing teacher access to 'www.CarrotRewards.co.uk' and helping to set up the schools first competitions and its online shop, as it does with all its schools.
To make sure that all pupils understood how to use the online system, the school ensured that all IT classes in the launch week focused on them registering on the system and understanding how to log their rewards and claim prizes. It meant that there is no confusion. Incredibly there has not been a single day since launch (even during the school holidays) when a pupils has not visited 'www.MyStickers.co.uk'.
Each subject and college was given the opportunity to design their own rewards, which really helped to engage all the teachers and there are clear guidelines on how and when rewards should be given to ensure it fits with the overall PRIDE message. There is even a special Headteacher's reward.
The school only has a limited budget so it has had to be very creative with their prizes. Popular prizes include offering tickets for dinner queue jumping and by approaching local businesses it has managed to secure free cinema and go karting tickets, and sweets and milkshakes from the local sweetshop. Pupils can even win Police Helmets to become part of 'Seb's Army', which has been incredibly popular.
The school has also been able to use the scheme to improve other important areas such as attendance. Every day between 8 and 8.30am a pupil in the school is randomly selected to receive a reward. The reward is randomly texted to them, adding to the excitement of the programme.
To help the programme to be embraced by the whole school, throughout a pupil's career, the teachers created a 'Got to get them all' board, where all the rewards are shown on a giant poster filling a whole notice board. Pupils are often to be seen checking their rewards to see which ones are missing.
Mr Seb Apostol, Schools Safety & Police Liaison Officer said 'The kids have gone wild for the reward. Even those that were previously uninterested in any other rewards we have tried have gone mad for it. Pupils have even been talking about it outside of school, so much so, that we have had calls from other schools wanting to know what we are doing and how they can do it too.'
The school has been delighted and surprised to see that engagement has been good across the whole school and the number of Year 11's participating is actually growing. The next plan is to roll it out to the sixth formers, with prizes including free driving lessons.
Because the programme is all online, teachers can get up to the minute updates at any time and create ad hoc prizes and competitions as required.
David Hazeldine, Headteacher of North Leamington School said, 'I have been looking for a suitable rewards scheme for a long time but the School Stickers online programme is even better than I could have imagined. Because it is so vibrant, the kids understand it and are engaged. Our need for prizes has encouraged local business and companies to get involved, and because the different subject departments and colleges have been able to customise their own reward, it has really engaged them in the process. It is a fantastic way of rewarding pupils with simple praise, but in a modern way. Seb's enthusiasm is contagious and with his backing this programme was always going to be a great success. Everyday I get stopped in the dinner queue to be asked how pupils can be awarded a headteachers sticker!'