Pupil Voice and Leadership

Article : 12 – Respect for Children’s Views - Children have the right to give their opinions freely on issues that affect them. Adults should listen and take children seriously.


At Somerdale Educate Together Primary school we believe that our pupils play a crucial part in school improvement. In order for pupil voice to be embedded into our school improvement strategy we provide opportunities for all pupils to be involved in the self evaluation, planning and decision making process.


We do this through:


1.     Developing a culture of pupil leadership.

2.     Creating opportunities for pupil input and feedback to ensure that the school’s practices align with pupils needs and interests.

3.     Promote inclusive practices to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their background or ability, have an equal opportunity to participate in pupil voice initiatives.

4.     Learn Together Curriculum


Developing a culture of pupil leadership


Rights Respecting  Team

Article 42 – Everyone must know children’s rights


Adult Lead: Sam O’Regan

As a  UNICEF  Gold Rights Respecting School the Rights Respecting Team play an integral part in raising the profile of children’s rights, in school, the community and beyond. The children go through an ethical recruitment process annually with two rights respecters per year group from Reception – Year 6. Children meet regularly and focus on rights and issues that affect children of the school. Previous campaigns have included inviting and speaking to the local MP regarding the rights of refugees, leading a project working with outside agencies to improve play and rest opportunities outside, and raising the profile of rights to our families as part of our journey to become a Gold Rights Respecting School.


Listening Team


 Article 13 – Sharing Thoughts Freely. Article 12 – Respect for Children’s Views


Adult Lead: Alice Baker

The Listening Team are democratically elected by their class to represent their peers views at school council meetings. Two Listening Team members are elected per class. Each Listening Team member holds their position for a term of one year and meets with the Senior Leadership Team at least once per term. Their key function is to represent the views of their peers and to participate in local projects. The Listening Team also evaluate specific areas of the school development plan.


 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors


Article 19 – Protection from Violence


Lead Adult: Beth Baker

The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors are a group of children who have applied voluntarily to support their peers to understand more about bullying and work towards creating a positive environment for all children. Each child has a month throughout the year where they are available during break and lunch times to help their peers to feel heard and seek further support if they need it. The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors also participate in termly meetings to discuss how we can continue to develop our whole school approach to Anti-Bullying, such as introducing our Anti-Bullying Charter.


Play Leaders


Article 31 – Every child has the right to rest, relax, play and to take part in cultural and creative activities.


Lead Adult: Jim McLaughlin

Play Leaders are voluntary activity instructors who organise and deliver a range of ‘play’ task and games during lunchtimes. The range of games and activities are suggested by all Somerdale children from conferencing conducted at the start of the school year. Activities are then organised into a diverse and balanced schedule throughout each term so that high intensity/competitive challenges such as ‘capture the flag’ are offered alongside calmer spaces such as origami folding.

Volunteer sign-up forms to become a Play Leader are then issued to every class from Year 2 to Year 6 for all children. All applicants are then organised in groups to lead one or more of their chosen activities that they have expressed an interest in leading. Play Leaders host their activity on a weekly basis around a rotating schedule of events throughout the week. They hold this position until the end of term when activities then change over.

The key function of Play Leaders is to promote healthy play, the spirit of competition and support our on-going ambition as a whole school to continue offering more opportunities for personal growth and physical literacy development.



Creating Opportunities for pupil input and feedback


Annual Pupil Survey

All pupils complete an annual survey. Results and key action points from the survey are summaried and presented to the children. The information gathered is used to set targets and inform the school development plan.  


School Improvement Plan

Pupil feedback is used to support the creation of the school improvement plan. A child friendly version of plan is displayed in the school for all children to view. Key adults are assigned to School Development Plan objectives so that the children know who to talk to if they want to further input in the decision making process. The Listen Team meet with the key adults once a term to provide a progress update which is displayed next to the school development plan.


Voice Box

There is child voice box in the central area of our school near the library where children can post their ideas on how we can make school a better place. These suggestions are then reviewed weekly, and responses are sought from adults and shared on the Rights Respecting Board and emailed out to classes. This initiative has strengthened pupil voice, allow children to further understand the decisions that have been made in school and the reasons for these, and has enabled the voice of the child to be a real catalyst for change. Examples of changes that have been made as a result of children’s responses include:

·      Introduction of ball games at morning playtimes

·      Booklists sent to the PTA for fundraising to add these books to the library.

·      Changing the format of singing assemblies and including more contemporary songs linked to the school values, as requested and suggested by children.

·      Provision to open the library every lunchtime for children to access and enjoy.



Wilbur the Worry Monster

Children are encouraged to share their concerns with adults via the Worry Monster by posting written comments in the Worry Monster’s  Satchel. This is checked daily and responded to within 24 hours of posting.

Learn Together Curriculm


Article 29 – Aims of Education - Children’s education should help them fully develop their personalities, talents and abilities. It should teach them to understand their own rights, and to respect other people’s rights, cultures and differences. It should help them to live peacefully and protect the environment.

In our ethical curriculum, Learn Together, every year group partake in Philosophy for Children, and contribute to the development of classroom charters. There is also a strand in every year group where children engage in a class-led project where they lead a positive change. For example:

EYFS: Children plan and engage in activities to improve their classroom.

Y1: Children are introduced to the concept of democracy and democratic processes, experiencing regular opportunities to engage in class votes.

Y2: Identify an area of the school that could be improved, plan and engage in activities to undertake this intervention.

Y3: Engage in active citizenship (such as lobbying local businesses around plastic packaging)

In Y4, Y5, Y6 each class engage in environmental activism by addressing an issue researched in previous elements such as single-use or micro plastics, sustainable transport options, biodiversity, fast fashion etc.

In Y4, Y5, Y6 each class also identify an equality issue locally and engage in activism to address this issue through awareness raising, letters to local representatives. For example, religion, age, poverty, homelessness and gender inequality.