I went into Coleridge Primary School in North London yesterday to run a short and simple project on pupil voice and communication.
I’ve blogged before about how effective participation and enagagement is dependent upon communication, good understanding and the development of shared goals between staff and young people.
If staff can’t really tell you what the pupils would want changed in the school then it’s an indication that the communication structure is an issue that needs to be approached.
This type of project is clearly not a full investigation into communication at the school, but it can act as an awareness raiser and the impetus that may be needed. Also, the pupils enagaged very well with the medium and enjoyed the opportunity to voice their views, as in fact did many of the staff (although they were often less keen to have their picture taken).
Coleridge itself is a progressive and innovative school that has pupil voice high on it’s agenda. Many staff seemed confident in knowing what the pupils would change given the opportunity, although not many referred to any curriculum issues, which were raised by a few pupils. The school council and pupil voice structures in this school have stalled a bit and this may be an opportune time to re-launch efforts.
(With thanks to MediaSnackers for the inspiration)
P.S. I’m hoping to do something similar in a Secondary school before the Christmas holidays.