Kids voice

January 21, 2009 at 9:50 am 2 comments

Broad Haven Primary School, Pembrokeshire have used a software facility called ‘Kids voice’ which is part of the ‘LocalEyes’ initiative to get the views of 45 of their schoolchildren in years 4,5 and 6 on various topics. The topics are rated with the highest rated topics being voted on with a view to actual implementation.

The consequence has been more money allocated to new books, 10 new laptops purchased and new goal nets under consideration.

In their own words;

“We are using “Kids VOICE” on LocalEyes, to teach our children about democratic processes in a very practical, powerful and local way.”

So is this ‘pupil voice’ in action? Not if you consider, as I do, that the concept of ‘pupil voice’ is more to do with moving towards true self directed learning than learning democratic principles or how to run a school.

Actually it shouldn’t really need the voice of ‘kids’ to highlight the self evident facts of a dearth of books or too few laptops in the school.

It does though need the voice of kids to express their individual likes and dislikes, aspirations, inclinations, areas of interest, towards their own control of their individual destinies.

This is the real goal of ‘pupil voice’, the real potential to allow young people to satisfy their innate curiosities in a way appropriate to them, ‘minimally invasive eduaction’.

So applause to Broadhaven Primary School’ for scratching the surface but if the potential of proper, personalised self directed learning is to be realised we will need to dig much deeper than that.


Entry filed under: Pupil voice.

Balls on testing Here we go again

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Donald Clark  |  January 23, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I’m a Governor at a secondary school and we’ve tried hard on the ‘student voice’ front. We have students governors who attend Governor meetings, a Student Council and have encoraged the students to have a voice in their school, even in the recruitment of our newly appointed headmaster.

    However, if I were honest, I’d say this has had little real impact. Getting students to attend rather dull Governor meetings has been OK at times, but, I feel, can also stifle critical debate. The actual views of the Student Council never actually reach the Governors and so on. The one time I saw it work was on a school visit by four Govrnors who interviewed eight students. These findings were, however, dismissed by senior management team as irrelevant and buried. A big mistake.

    My own view is that the student voice ‘as a whole’ needs to be polled and listened to. This means the simple use of moderated technology. It’s simple and cheap. Regular, short surveys of students, and I think parents, should be a feature fo every school.

    Good organisations listen to their users and customers.

  • 2. Gill Strawford  |  March 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    It seems to me that efforts and initiatives around the periphery of ‘pupil voice’ are happening but not much at the nub or hub of it. Student/pupil councils for example. An initiative I’ve come across recently that doesn’t reach the heart of it is Go4it – encouraging schools to have “an approach to learning that encourages activities and experiences purposefully designed to embrace ‘can-do’ outcomes and is a school that demonstrates it is constantly working to enhance a culture of creativity, positive risk taking and adventure for learning” and “has a strong student voice”. Interesting link ups with business, but not really Going4it! …….Any examples of those that do?


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Mick Landmann on education, digital technology, and the 21st century

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