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Why is it important that Pupils have a ‘Voice’ in school?

    05 October 2021

Why is it important that Pupils have a ‘Voice’ in school?

It seems like an obvious question, but all too often the very people for whom a school serves, are not heard when it comes to whole school planning.

The ethos, values and vision for a school are usually set by those in charge and that is right; that is why they are in charge after all. Parents and pupils buy into that philosophy and then, in many cases hope things work out the way one expects!

Mikhail Gorbachev once said, “if you don’t move forward you move backwards” … of course, he was talking about political reform in communist Russia rather than running a successful school, but we can apply that adage to any situation where contemporary thought and movement is needed.

A healthy, vibrant and engaging school should have a whole-school approach to listening to the voices of everyone in the school community, including children. Our children offer a unique insight into what it is like to be a pupil at Sherfield so involving them in the decision-making process makes perfect sense and allows for meaningful change, giving them empowerment and a sense of inclusion.

At Sherfield we have made significant improvements to the pupil experience, this often comes about by listening to children. We make sure they have meaningful opportunities to share their experiences, views and wishes and their input features prominently in our School Progress Plan.

Much of the focus of Pupil Voice this coming year will be about impact on teaching and learning outcomes and raising standards. Pupil Council members will have opportunities to consider and discuss the types of feedback and target setting approaches that work best for them, allowing pupils to improve, develop and ultimately make good progress.

Many of our pupils are already involved with the Teaching and Learning group, providing opinions about keys aspects of their learning in school,. They have been involved in shaping the learning focus this term with high quality pupil questioning and feedback, and were instrumental in putting together our learning habits and learning mascots. They will continue to have these opportunities and will be able to join Senior Leadership Team meetings to give feedback about what works well and suggest areas for improvement.

Schools with a strong commitment to pupil voice report many positive outcomes including improved behaviour, pupil pride in their school, better relationships across the whole-school community, and improved attainment; measures which at Sherfield have significantly improved over the last few years.

Chris James-Roll

Deputy Head

Senior Leadership Team Blog

Senior Leadership Team Blog

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