Developing responsible, engaged and empowered young citizens, who can actively contribute to their communities.
Pupil Voice at Colville promotes the belief that pupils are adept at contributing valuable insights, ideas and perspectives on matters that concern them. It provides opportunities for pupils to have a say in decision-making processes that affect their education and school experience. Pupil Voice is used as a mechanism for personal development across all year groups at Colville. It helps instil confidence and prepares pupils for roles in society by developing their teamwork and leadership skills, while ensuring they are respectful of the opinions of others. Listening to and acting on pupil preferences, interests and perspectives is central to Pupil Voice. This contributes to pupils feeling invested in their own learning and greater engagement in school. Promotion of Pupil Voice at Colville has the power to help develop responsible, engaged and empowered young citizens, who can actively contribute to their communities.
Pupils have many varied opportunities to have their voices heard. Regular opportunities are provided for pupils to voice their ideas and opinions through weekly class meetings, the Pupil Council, Eco-Warriors, learning detectives and class learning journals in the Early Years, Year 6 prefects, subject ambassadors and through written pieces in the newsletter. Pupils take on roles of responsibility with great pride and growing confidence. School leaders and subject leaders regularly utilise Pupil Voice as a tool to monitor pupil’s opinions, thoughts and understanding in a subject or area of learning.
Weekly Class Meetings
Classes in Key Stages 1 and 2 participate in weekly meetings. These meetings ensure every voice is heard and helps build engagement as a school community while developing leadership and teamwork skills. The ‘Smart Schools Council’ meeting model provides class teachers with a practical structure to give pupils the ability to lead and be heard. Each meeting is based around a single question that small groups in each class debate and try to agree on an answer. Votes are entered into the online meeting tool for the Pupil Voice Leader and Pupil Council to check. Results of how the whole school voted are shared at the beginning of the subsequent class meeting. The weekly question relates to school life or topical issues at local or global level. During the class meeting, groups in each class are also given the opportunity to put forward their views about the school, talk about the aspects of school life that they like or dislike and what they feel could be improved.
The Pupil Council is an elected body consisting of a representative from each class in Years 2 to 6. At the beginning of the academic year, pupils interested in representing their class share reasons why they should be elected with their classmates and a democratic vote takes place. Pupils take part in a secret ballot. The votes are counted and verified and the winning pupil councillor is announced in each class. This process demonstrates how democracy works and helps prepare pupils for life in a modern society. The Pupil Council meets with the Pupil Voice Leader every two weeks to discuss issues that have been raised by their class. When planning whole school developments, the Pupil Council is consulted. They meet with school leaders and governors to share their views and ideas about school development.
Pupils are encouraged to take the lead in initiating and implementing projects that reflect their interests and concerns.
Litter picking, an anti-litter poster competition, new planting to attract bees and running bake sales are examples of successful initiatives that have been led by pupils.
The impact of Pupil Voice is multi-faceted and far-reaching. Having a whole school approach to supporting and nurturing Pupil Voice helps to improve many aspects of school life. When pupils are given a platform to express their opinions, ideas and concerns, it can have a significant impact on increased engagement, motivation, and a positive attitude towards learning. Valuing Pupil Voice leads to pupils taking an active role in their own learning. When planning lessons, class teachers consider preferred learning styles, topics of interest and teaching methods that work best for a cohort of pupils or individuals. Improved learning outcomes are the result of pupils feeling that their opinions are valued. Considering the perspective of all pupils results in a supportive and inclusive school environment. Pupil Voice encourages the development of essential life skills such as communication, problem-solving and collaboration. It provides opportunities for pupils to develop leadership skills and take on roles of responsibility within the school. Pupil Voice not only benefits individual pupils but also contributes to a more inclusive, engaging and supportive learning environment for all.