Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at St James’ CE Primary. Democracy is central to how we operate.
An obvious example is our Junior Leadership Team. The election of our junior leaders reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the Junior Leadership Team (JLT) meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The JLT has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school; in the past, the JLT has planned the front playground area and were consulted on the school logo. The JLT are actively involved in recruitment and in providing teachers with feedback, such as providing a review of themed weeks.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are when children agree their Class Charter and the rights associated with these; all children contribute to the drawing up of the charter. Children also nominate various charities, then within their own class, select two to go forward to the JLT, who then vote to decide a school charity which we support over the course of the year.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils.