Several pupil voice groups have now had the opportunity to explore Theme 2: Our school community. They focused on three key questions:
- What do you want to know or be able to do by the time you leave school?
- What should be our priorities in year 1?
- What activities in your current school help you feel like part of a community?
The graphics below provide a simple visualisation of the discussions- the larger a word appears, the more often in came up in feedback.
The young people identified the following things as important to them:
- Practical life skills such as cooking, swimming and managing money
- Having aspirations (this is the catch all term that was used for discussions around getting a good job/knowing what you want to do)
- Pupil voice and genuine listening
- Expectations and boundaries
- Leadership opportunities
- Teams and clubs, whether sports or otherwise
- House identity (secondary pupils in particular)
- Positive relationships with friends and teachers as a key aspect of community
Graphic 1: What do you want to know or be able to do by the time you leave school?
Graphic 2: What should be our priorities in year 1?
Graphic 3: What activities in your current school help you feel like part of a community?
Our Wallyford Pupil Voice group met members of the building Design Team today. Our architect and interior designer took time to talk them through some of the key aspects of the design process. Key talking points included:
Biophilic design: This is a type of design in which the patterns and forms of nature are featured in the building, to create a sense of bringing the outside in.
Supergraphics: These are large-scale images that are used to build identity. At the campus, these will make links to the area’s history, including the mining community.
The Heart of the Building: All routes will lead to a central communal area with a range of seating options where users can both collaborate and find quiet spaces, as suits their needs.
The pupils asked lots of really thoughtful questions and were extremely courteous and respectful of their special guests. They agreed that being able to see 3D images was a huge help for them in imagining what the school will feel like.
The Design Team will also be working with Pinkie St. Peter’s and Musselburgh Grammar School groups before the end of November.
Young people in all three partner schools have now had the chance to talk through their ideas around Theme 1: Our school’s purpose. They have explored 3 key questions:
- What are schools for?
- What does a good school look like?
- What do you value in your current school?
Graphics summarising their findings are included below. These are designed to give a flavour of the discussions and have been constructed by putting the raw data into a Word Cloud generator. The bigger the word, the more pupils mentioned it. Emerging key themes have included the importance of:
- Staff who are kind/helpful
- An anti-bullying approach
- Interesting subjects
- Good facilities and resources
- Time to learn/play/relax outdoors
- Plenty to eat!
Graphic 1: What are schools for?
Graphic 2: What does a good school look like?
Graphic 3: What do you value about your current school?
Pupils in P6/P7 has a special assembly to introduce them to the new head teacher and the new campus. They asked lots of very thoughtful questions about what subjects they would study and how the school day would work. In fact, there were so many questions that Ms Preston had to take some away with her for homework. There will now be an extra Google Meet arranged to answer those questions.
Pupil Voice groups at Pinkie start on Monday and will run on a weekly basis heading towards Christmas. As with all of the other Pupil Voice groups, data from the discussions will be gathered on an ongoing basis, with the collated information being published on the website before the end of this term.
22 S1/2 MGS pupils were involved in discussions today around the two themes of Purpose and Community. They were particularly engaged in the discussion around what they need from the head teacher and other school staff to feel part of a safe and inclusive school. Comments included:
- Teachers who care
- Good learning facilities
- Clear information and expectations
They also talked about what they value most in their current school including:
- Clubs and activities
- Teachers who help you to achieve your goals
Thanks go to Mrs. Walker for her support in organising this. There will be a further two Pupil Voice sessions at MGS on the 22nd November. Pupils who live in the catchment area for Wallyford Learning Campus can speak with Mrs. Walker directly if they would like to be involved.
16 P6/7 pupils took part in their first Pupil Voice session today, on Theme 1: What makes a good school?
They firstly worked together to remind themselves of what they already know about doing good group work. They agreed that the important words to remember were:
- Focusing on the person speaking
- Hard work
They collaborated to answer the three key questions that have also been asked of parents:
- What is school for?
- What does a good school look like?
- What do you like about your current school?
Their answers will be collated along with those from the pupil voice groups across all of our associated schools, then shared via the website when all of the groups have had their first meeting.
The young people also had the chance to ask questions about the new school. These showed how important outdoor space, active learning and the arts are for this group. However, they weren’t afraid to get philosophical, with one pupil asking, ‘Why do schools exist?’ It was fascinating to hear the rest of the group try to answer!
Young people in our three associated schools will have the opportunity to take part in a range of pupil voice activities. Pupil voice groups will begin their programme of activities as follows:
Wallyford Primary School: Week beginning 31st October 2023
Musselburgh Grammar: Week beginning 7th November 2023
Pinkie St. Peter’s Primary School: Week beginning 14th November 2023
This means that the Head Teacher will be in all three schools on a regular basis throughout the term.
Groups have been coordinated by staff at the pupils’ existing schools.
They will be exploring the key themes of purpose, community, identity and learning. They will also have the chance to take part in a consultation with our interior designer, Lynda Wightman. We want the young people to help to create a place to be proud of, including spaces that feel safe and welcoming.
Due to the high number of pupils involved, not everyone will be able to be part of a pupil voice group. However, from January 2023, all young people will have the chance to take part in a series of pupil surveys on a range of topics. Any questions they have can be shared with their class teacher/key adult, who will either be able to answer their questions directly or pass them on to the Head Teacher for a response.