The views of the children are very important to us and we regularly ask their opinion on all sorts of different aspects of school life such as:
- Collective Worship
- ethos and values
- marking and feedback
- teaching and learning
- targets and next steps
We do this in several ways:
- in school council
- in class council
- in class groups
- in house assemblies (vertically organised, all ages)
- in small groups
- with Governors
Although we cannot publish everything they say as there is simply not enough space (!), here are a few soundbites from these discussions over the past months and years:
From the February 2017 - Christian Life of Our School pupil voice group surveys
How would someone coming to our school know we are a church school?
“There are signs and symbols (referencing the cross, prayer book and displays). They are visual metaphors”
The children also felt that the behaviour of the children made it clear that we are a church school – “We focus our behaviour around God,” “We reflect about Jesus and God”, “We say, what would Jesus do? If we are not sure about how to behave.”
What is it like coming to a church school?
The children were positive about the impact of coming to a church school and said that “We take Collective Worship seriously”. They also talked about the phrase “What would Jesus do?” to help them make good choices.
How does Collective Worship affect the way you might behave?
Some children talked about how calm it made them feel and that they like it when they can say their own prayer because, “I can say sorry to God”/ “I can say thankyou to God” /”I can reflect and think about me and what I need to do.”
Some of the older children said it helps them to think about their faith and it makes them “Stop and think.”
From the January 2017 How Happy Are You In School? survey
These were posed as statements (S) for children to agree or disagree with as well as some multiple choice options and space for further comments (R).
S: I could be happier in school if......
R: You let us ride unicorns!
S: If I have a problem, or am worried or sad I can talk to an adult about it...
R: I can talk to anyone is this school!
On learning behaviour - Learning Detectives Walk with Headteacher (February 2016)
You can tell they are learning because they are happy and talking about Science (Reception)
All the children are participating and engaged (Yr 5)
They were showing whole body listening (Yr 2)
They were good at listening to each other and stopping when they needed to (Yr 5)
On why children like learning RE in our school (March 2016)
I like RE because I like hearing about the other places of worship; they have differences and similarities. (Yr 1)
It makes me want to be more tolerant and think about British Values. I normally think about Democracy and Tolerance; these are the main ones for me. (Yr 2)
RE makes me think about knowing how Jesus died on the cross to save us. (Yr 1)
We learn new things; for me it’s calming. I like to know things about other religions. I have learnt to be more understanding of others and this has made me a better person. (Yr 6)
It is not just like Maths and Literacy . Faith is a colourful thing and it's good to learn about it because some people might not have learnt about others and have not learnt how to tolerate others. You learn how to be tolerant. I have learnt to be more reflective.(Yr5)
I like RE because it teaches people how to tolerate other faiths and it makes sure that you don’t bully them. (Yr 6)
On Learning Behaviour (Sept 2015, KS1 children)
" I always try my best"
"I always listen to my teacher"
"Sometimes I get distracted, but I can ask my teacher for help"
"If I forget what I am supposed to be doing, I look at my success criteria to help me" (Yr 2!)
The children were very confident and happy to talk about how hard they try in class. They were also very honest about what distracts them but had good strategies to help them refocus. They knew some of the Learning Detectives language in school such as 'whole body listening' and 'engaged' but were less familiar with other vocabulary. This has since become an action for all teachers in school to ensure that the school's approach to Learning Behaviour is embedded consistently across the school.
On Collective Worship (May 2015)
"We sing songs - we all sing well"
"I like praying for people in other countries"
"It makes me feel happy thinking about the ways we can help others"
"I like it when God gives us skills"
"It makes me feel like the world is in a cage and we are all safe"
On marking and feedback (May 2015)
Yr 1/2 children were able to talk about the difference between self assessment and the assessment of their learning by their teacher.
Children from across the school said they liked verbal feedback and liked this better than written feedback.
Yr 5/6 children were confident in talking about their marking ladders and how they worked.
Discussions with groups of children about targets and next steps (Jan 2015)
"We know what our teacher thinks about our work when she gives us stars or house points."
"We take part in lessons fully."
"We know we are being challenged if we are getting some but not all questions right. My head says it's tricky!"
"We read our comments in our books. We might add or change bits. We might have a question to answer. I try to achieve the NS (next step) the next time."
"We think that all lessons are important, although we know that PE helps you to be fit and PSHE helps you to know how to work with others and be safe."