Student Voice was the theme for this year’s Learning Schools Project with the title of ‘Increasing Student Voice Recognition in the Classroom’.
Via a student focus group, we found that post-Covid, students felt disconnected from their peers, unknown by their teachers and unheard in the school setting.
Our aims were to create dialogue around the idea of Student Voice, enable Student Voice in the classroom, increase student’s level of engagement in their learning and overall to encourage ownership of their learning. And so began our journey of discovering what Student Voice means, teachers and students alike.
Dialogue was started with our groups on what Student Voice means, what it can look like and what it can be used for. Concurrently with the SSE team we implemented various established strategies in our chosen focus classes, with explicit emphasis on Student Voice. Strategies included the Tweetboard, Reflection numberline, effective questioning, the use of the mini-whiteboards and success criteria.
Pre- and post-implementation surveys were used to gather data allowing the teachers an insight into how focus on Student Voice and use of the strategies was actually met by the students.
Findings included students defining Student Voice as expressing their opinion, having an input and influence in class. Some explained their voice allowed them to have a say in their learning and allows the teacher to gauge how they are getting on with a topic.
Overall, it was a most interesting and beneficial learning opportunity for both students and teachers. The connection with our classes improved as student-led decisions were made and students loved the idea of being involved in their learning.