The student council at Lansdowne Primary school in Cardiff are now trained in participatory democracy and empowered to engage the rest of the school, class by class, ensuring all pupils have a voice in an ongoing conversation around their ideas.

Priorities from these conversations, both in the classroom and on the VocalEyes platform, will help to inform decision making at the regular weekly council meetings.

Great to see these young representatives so enthusiastic and engaged.

I wanted to extend mine and the school council’s warmest thanks for the work you undertook with us. We found it really useful when you came in to work with us to populate the Lansdowne VocalEyes page with the young people’s ideas for improving the school playground.

The format of the day worked really well, with you working with the school council in the morning in order to train them on how to use VocalEyes, and then in the afternoon the school council members training the year 6 students to use it. The school council members were able to populate the page with their ideas for improving the playground, which they could then vote on and comment on.

They then introduced these ideas to the year 6 students on the VocalEyes site, and trained them to rate and comment on them and then to add any of their own ideas – this really felt like a meaningful opportunity for them to exercise their own voices.

Tomorrow, the school council are going to be working across the school in order to support all the students to be able to give their opinions on which aspects of the playground they most want to change/develop. We then intend to open the vote up to our families in order to provide us with a really easy way to access their opinions.

The school council are then going to monitor the VocalEyes website to see which ideas are the most popular and then support me in making a bid for the Co-op 1% fund to seek funding in order to action the top three ideas. Representatives from the school council will also present the findings from the website to the Governing Body in our meeting in February.

As a headteacher, I am always looking for meaningful opportunities to enhance young people’s opportunities to be heard in school, in ways that actually impact on the learning experiences that they encounter.

Being able to decide on what is important in the school, and then having VocalEyes as a platform from which to collate the opinions of all students in the school, really feels like their voices are being heard in a purposeful way.

I am really looking forward to developing the way that we use VocalEyes, as I can already see how it is going to support us to listen to our students and families in so many ways, for example in terms of feeding ideas into strategic school development.

Luisa Munro-Morris – Head Teacher, Lansdowne Primary School

Pupil Voice at Lansdowne Primary