Pupil Voice at St Joseph’s
Guidance taken from ‘Listening to and involving children and young people’ (Department for Education)
The term ‘pupil voice’ refers to ways of listening to the views of pupil and/or involving them in decision-making. A feature of effective leadership is engaging pupils as active participants in their education and in making a positive contribution to their school and local community.
Why involve children and young people? The government is committed to the promotion and protection of children’s rights, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It believes that children and young people should have opportunities to express their opinion in matter that affect their lives. Some of the benefits of involving children and young people in decision making are:
It encourages pupils to become active participants in a democratic society – by holding youth parliaments and school councils which develop skills such as co-operation and communication and encourage them to take responsibility.
It contributes to achievement and attainment – young people involved in participative work benefit in a range of different ways. Increased confidence, self-respect, competence and an improved sense of responsibility have all been reported by young people who contribute in school. Schools also report increased motivation and engagement with learning
At St Joseph’s, pupils are encouraged to take a full and active role in school life. This includes participating in discussions about school issues. Staff review the role of pupils each year and look at how responsibilities can be built upon from the previous year.
Two children from upper Key Stage Two are selected to take part in learning walks, lesson observation, and talk to visitors including school governors and ask children about their learning, progress and lessons. These have proven to be highly successful, with visitors commenting on their pro-active and enthusiastic attitude to their role.
House Captains At St Joseph’s our house captains take lead roles in house events, school fundraising events, sports events and other occasions. There are two house captains for each house.
Two prefects are elected from Fire, Air and Earth classes. Children interested in taking this responsibility have to plan and share a short speech (depending on the age of the child) and deliver it to the class who then vote. Prefects are involved in a variety of activites such as; the staff recruitment process, asking candidates questions, represent school on consortium school council meetings and events . They also take an active part in our Celebration Assembly on a Friday morning.
House Captains and Prefects meet at least twice a term and discuss element of school improvement. An adult is present at the meetings. They then feed back to their classes. The minutes are put on the website and shared with parents.