“Children …have a right to receive and make known information, to express an opinion, and to have that opinion taken into account in any matters affecting them…” See Articles 12 and 13, The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
Various studies have confirmed the benefits of pupil voice: increased pupil engagement, improved relationship between pupils and teachers, better communication between pupils and the school, and providing the right conditions for the school community to become a learning community.
At St. Joseph’s this means a whole-school commitment to listening to the views, wishes and experiences of all our children. It means placing value on what children and young people tell school staff about their experiences.
We provide the children with meaningful opportunities to share their experiences, views and hopes about our school. Our children know that it is safe and that it is important for them to express their views on what happens at our school. The children know that what they say is valued and will be listened to and considered, this provides a sense of empowerment, develops reflective thinking and shows democracy in action.
How do we do this?
This is achieved in a variety of ways:
- School Council – one member from each class who has been voted for to act as a representative. They meet regularly, as a group, with a member of SLT to discuss specific topics and feedback as to what is working well, gather opinions and what they think could be improved. They have the opportunity to gather views from their peers in class.
- Assemblies where information is shared asking the children a specific question, which can be discussed further in class.
- School Chaplains – children in Years 5 and 6 are invited to take on this role. The Chaplains enhance and promote the faith life of the school.
- Head Boy and Head Girl in Year 6, voted for by their peers. They have the opportunity to meet regularly with members of the SLT to share ideas, questions, concerns.
- Subject leads regularly speak to each class to find out the impact of their learning, what they enjoy
- Consultation is varied – children had an input into our Behaviour Policy and sanctions, choose the treat for attendance, ideas for lunch time games
- Pupil questionnaires.
- Children on the SEND register receive a Pupil Passport with a Pupil Voice section to be completed with the support of an adult at home and returned to school.
- Pupil voice is used in meetings for Cared for Children and children on the SEND register to help inform any additional support that is to be provided and when transitioning to high school in some cases.
- Feedback is provided to the children.