Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child’s day-to-day home life
The basis for pupil voice is found in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which sets out the right of children to express an opinion and to be included in decisions that involve and affect them.
Pupil participation can happen in a variety of ways. Some of these are:
- As part of Assessment for Learning
- By involving pupils in school self-evaluation and assessment
- Groups such as school council, eco-council, healthy schools
- Developing resources and facilities (e.g. Sport, IT)
- Fundraising, links with charities and with the wider community
- Improvements to the school environment (e.g. school buildings, playground, toilets)
- Development of a whole-school environmental policy
- Involvement with staff recruitment
- Involvement with planning extra-curricular activities
- Involvement with planning, reviewing and implementing school policies
- Involvement with School Development Plan and School Budget
- Consultation mechanisms such as surveys, suggestion boxes and circle time
Benefits of Pupil Participation
- Improved pupil engagement and its impact on well-being, behaviour and learning
- Improved pupil-staff and pupil-pupil relationships
- Policies are based on the needs and suggestions of pupils and are therefore effective
- More inclusive schools, where all pupils are encouraged and supported to contribute
- Increased opportunity for pupils to develop personal, social and communication skills
Here at Bunbury Aldersey CE Primary School, we believe that our children are the most important people and we endeavour to give ALL children lots of opportunities to share their thoughts and opinions and play an active role in the decisions that affect their learning and well-being.
We have lots of ways that the children can do this formally, such as through the school council, ethos committee, lunchtime assistants, play leaders, pupil questionnaires and writing their own school newspaper for Schools Fest. However, we also want to create an ethos that allows the children to regularly share their opinions in an informal way, in class and also to Mrs Badger. Mrs Badgers' door is always open to children (and staff!). Several of our pupils have initiated their own committees based on their beliefs and feelings about what the school 'currently needs.'
Every September, the children in Year 6 are invited to apply for the role of one of our Head Pupils - Head Boy, Head Girl, Deputy Head Boy and Girl. Every applicant is asked to write a letter of application explaining what they would like to achieve as one of our Head Pupils. The school community, including the children from the school council committee and staff are asked to vote for the candidate they feel will have the most impact. During the year, they undertake a range of different activities from leading parts of celebration worship, leading school tours for prospective parents as well as leading the school council on making decisions about how the school should develop in the best interests of all pupils. They will be working on tasks which will help them to transform our society and inspire others to do the same – in school and in our local community.
Our Ethos team work with Ms Charlesworth and Miss Hickson to support our Christian school ethos. As a team, they help share our school vision, ethos and Christian distinctiveness through a variety of exciting opportunities, such as leading Collective Worship, leading learning walks, organising school displays and meeting with other Ethos Teams within our trust.
In March, the Year 6 members of the Ethos Committee presented to our LGC. They created their own powerpoint and explained their roles and the work of Ethos.
The school supports both local and national charities across a variety of sectors which I think is great. I've also been impressed at the school creating an environmental group to become greener after a request from a pupil. It shows you will listen and pay attention to causes the pupils believe in or feel passionate about.
Parent School Ethos Survey December 2021.