Student Voice is the process of encouraging pupils to become partners in their education by having a say. Along with other opportunities for opinions to be heard, at The Key we have three formal elements to our Student Voice process:
1. Pupil surveys
2. Pupil focus groups
3. School Council
Pupil surveys take place once per half term and consist of twelve questions asked to pupils about their experience at The Key. The questions cover areas relating to pupil enjoyment, pupil safety, the treatment of pupils, the views of pupils, expectations, praise, the nature of work given, the running of The Key, rewards and diversity. The overall picture painted by the results so far is very positive.
Pupil focus groups take place once per term and involve a Headteacher-assigned topic for discussion. The discussions take place during a PSHE lesson where pupils are invited to give their opinions on the topic in question and the PSHE teacher feeds back the resulting notes. The topic for discussion in the autumn term was the recent curriculum change and what the pupils thought went well, what they thought could be improved upon and any changes they would like for the spring term. These views were then compared to staff views on the same issue.
The School Council meets once per half term and consists of two pupils per Key Stage. At the meetings the pupils have the opportunity, having canvassed opinions and ideas from other pupils, to put across their points to the Headteacher. Among the proposals discussed were a 'wild card' system for pupils to have some time out of lesson if they felt 'stressed' and/or anxious, and the possibility of obtaining a therapy dog. The wild card was discussed among staff and was thought to be a positive proposal and was therefore initiated towards the end of the autumn term. The therapy dog idea is currently under consideration.