At Hillcrest Primary School we value each child and aim to build relationships of trust and mutual respect, where pupils are encouraged to take an active part in the decision making process. We aim to offer a safe, happy and fair learning environment and believe pupils have the right to be listened to and consulted when appropriate.
We believe that pupil voice is about developing a culture in schools where all children and young people have a voice and have the opportunity to play an active role in decisions that affect their learning and well-being, as set out in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
Although having an active School Council is an essential part of this approach, it is only one aspect.
Pupil Voice is supported in a variety of ways at Hillcrest. Some of these are:
- As part of daily teaching and learning; the curriculum allows opportunities for pupils to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding when using their pupil voice.
- Structured activities such as circle-time, focus groups, and class discussions pupils to have regular opportunities to discuss issues that might arise in the school.
- Participatory groups such as the School Council, The Green Team, Student Librarians, Buddies, House Captains and Deputy House Captains allow children to take on leadership roles within the school and their class.
Here are what a few children who are involved in the groups have said:
“We became Student Librarians by writing a letter to Mrs Price explaining why we would be good at the job, and how books are fun to us. Our jobs are: tidying the books on the shelves, manning the computer and scanning books in and out and putting books away (tidily!). We enjoy scanning books in and out on the computer and reading quietly in the Library.”
Sam Andrews and Joe Freeston - Yr 5, Student Librarians
“In The Green Team we help the Lunchtime staff in lots of ways. Here are a few of them:
- Wiping the tables and trays
- Litter picking
- Refilling the water jugs
- Finding children who are late for lunch and bringing them into the hall so they don’t miss their lunch
- Helping the younger children clear their plates
- Collecting points and announcing the ‘Healthy Packed Lunch’ and ‘Golden Plate’ awards
- Giving out Eco tickets to the classes that are being Eco-friendly.”
Eloise Brown and Hannah Broadbent - Yr 5, Green Team members
“We have enjoyed being House captains this year and have done a lot! We did a house event (a quiz) – it was the first ever house event that was completely organised by the House Captains and Deputies! In assembly it is our job to by in the hall and give Dojo points to the children who are doing the right thing and to make sure that everyone is sitting nicely and listening. We help during Open Doors Days by taking adults up to their child’s class. Our next event will be sports day, we will work with the teachers and Headteacher to plan this event. Our favourite event was going to Parliament with the School Council. We got to sit in debates in the House of Commons and The House of Lords (where they were debating about Brexit!). The funniest bit was when we saw someone who was part of the debate playing Panda Pop on their phone! We went to the Education Centre where we found out about what goes on in Parliament and how laws are passed.”
Kendra Johnstone and Ollie Butterell Cambridge - Yr 6, House Captain and Deputy House Captain
“I enjoyed doing the Wake and Shake because we danced on the wall and it was fun. I think it was good that we raised money for Off the Record by wearing pyjamas and donating £1. I like coming to the School Council meetings every week because we talk and I have made some new friends.”
Betty Hague - Yr 2, School Councillor
“I like that we are listened to and that we can make good changes to the school. I liked it when we had to find the children who speak different languages in the school and take photos of them because it was fun. This year we got a Fairtrade award which is really good.”
Henry Diamond - Yr 3, School Councillor
“I feel like School Council has really made a difference to the school as we have organised lots of events for the school and have made some good changes. Being part of the School Council is a treat for me.”
Katya Garside - Yr 6, School Councillor
“I enjoy being a buddy because the children in Reception are happy when we organise games for them to play. Duck Duck Goose is one of their favourite games to play because they often like playing in a big group. I have helped some of the children make friends, as they found it hard to make friends and this is a good feeling.”
Thalia Buck – Yr 6, Playground Buddy