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Ashfield Public School

Ashfield Public School

Every child, every opportunity

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Student Voice

Student voice is the viewpoint expressed by students regarding their experience of school. It is enabled by a school being able to listen to its students, and as required, respond, find solutions, and make changes.

Student voice is shaped by the ability, self-confidence, social competence, cultural background and family circumstance of the individual. It involves students articulating their perceptions of school such as their ability to maintain friendships within the social environment of the school or putting forward an idea about a new extra-curricular activity.

Supporting students to have a voice depends on sustaining a whole school culture where students feel a sense of belonging. Students must feel comfortable and confident to give feedback, share concerns and express their opinions. When a school makes students feel safe and celebrated for their uniqueness, it creates the conditions for them to confidently communicate their perspectives and experiences.

At Ashfield Public School, our wellbeing system promotes inclusion, diversity, and respect. The wellbeing system is one strategy used to create a sense of belonging. It teaches students to understand and value their self-worth and supports them to embrace their individual qualities and strengths.

Supporting students to have a voice also depends on sustaining a whole school culture where students receive ongoing and appropriate support from all adults including teachers, the principal and support staff. Students must know that they have adults who will listen to them and act in their best interests. When a school advocates for students, it creates the conditions for them to be motivated to have positive relationships and engage in learning which positively impacts on academic achievement.

At Ashfield Public School, our You report it, we sort it initiative supports students to take responsibility for communicating their needs and ideas in a straightforward manner to others. This initiative promotes to students that if they have an issue, a concern, or an idea, then teachers will always do their best to respond to it in ways that enable an effective resolution.

It is the responsibility of a school to respond to student voice so that school is a place where positive wellbeing is nurtured, and higher engagement and improved learning outcomes result. This requires adults to be present and vigilant including understanding the personal backgrounds and abilities of students, giving them opportunities to make choices, providing constructive feedback, collaborating with parents, and being patient, empathetic and kind.

By listening to student voice, students feel validated, safe, and empowered to achieve. By paying attention to the perspective of young people, a school is positioned to maintain the conditions for success, and make changes and improvements as necessary, that positively impact on student learning, engagement, and wellbeing. educational-data/cese/2016-capturing-and-measuring-student-voice.pdf educational-data/cese/2020-supporting-advocacy-at-school.pdf