Continuing Professional Development
Pupil Voice at Sweyne Park School
One of the reasons for our success as a school is how we listen to and incorporate the views of our pupils into the planning, monitoring and development of Sweyne Park. This is key to engaging all pupils fully with the school, ensuring a sense of belonging and pride and, ultimately, to Securing Pupil Success.
Asking pupils what they think about how our school is run is embedded in our school culture and expectations. We have worked hard to make sure that pupils have the language, confidence and thinking skills to be able to articulate their perceptions and views about their learning and progress. This is fundamentally underpinned by our whole school ethos of respect.
We have three distinct strands to our pupil voice work. Firstly, there are the organisations that pupils run and participate in for the greater good of the school. We have very well established School and Year Councils, a team of Year 11 prefects, an Eco-School team, Year 7 e-mentors for Year 6 transition pupils, a “Think Tank” pupil panel and a Year 11 School Prom Committee to name but a few.
Secondly, we have established systematic procedures for consulting pupils about the effectiveness of the curriculum, which involve pupils directly in the development and planning of curriculum innovation, for example, our highly successful Skills Base. Pupils are routinely consulted about their views on key school areas, such as departmental reviews, assessment for learning and rewards. These consultations are often led by one of our consultants, which give pupils the time and space to air their views. Pupils are also invited speak to our governing body about their experiences at school, for example how well the school caters for gifted and talented pupils.
Finally, we use our pupils to inform our training needs, both for our own continuing professional development and that of those we train, for example, our Initial Teacher Training partners. Typically, this could mean interviewing and recording pupils on key development areas, for example, assessment practices. These recordings are then used in subsequent training activities, to ensure that pupils’ perspectives are kept at the centre of our dialogue about our professional development.
Because we place a very high importance on enabling our pupils to have a voice to tell us about their experiences and views, they respond to the responsibility and demands of this role with creativity, enthusiasm and candour.
In recognition of our achievements and standards of excellence in pupil voice, our pupils have been asked to speak at many high profile events in education, for example the SSAT conference.
To find out more contact Katharine Dines by phone on 01268 784721 or email KDines@sweynepark.com.