School Council

A curriculum which equips students for the challenging world of the twenty-first century needs to ensure that students are supported to take increasing responsibility for their own learning, their physical, personal and social wellbeing, their relationships with others and their role in the local, national and global community.

The notion of ‘student voice’ helps meet the objectives of developing the interdisciplinary skills vital for such a curriculum. It also ensures that the needs of individual students guide the design of personalised learning plans.

The NHLC Learning Standards are a framework of essential learning based on the premise that there are three components of any curriculum which are necessary to enable students to meet the demands of a modern, globalised world.

One of the three core strands in the Standards is Physical, Personal and Social Learning which includes the learning domains of Interpersonal Development and Personal Learning.

In our highly interconnected and interdependent world, students learn to work with others by: building positive social relationships; working and learning in teams; and managing and resolving conflicts.

As students’ progress through school they need to be encouraged and supported to take greater responsibility for their own learning and participation at school. This involves developing as individual learners who increasingly manage their own learning and growth, by setting goals and managing resources to achieve these. In contrast, many young people see a growing gap between their lives and the lives of those who are successful in education. Ensuring educational success for all is a key tenet of all education authorities throughout South Gloucestershire. The research shows that when schools engage student voice they create opportunities to facilitate a stronger sense of:

  • membership, so that students feel more positive about school
  • respect and self-worth, so that students feel positive about themselves
  • self as learner, so that students are better able to manage their own progress in learning

In best practice approaches, student voice may also ‘make real’ some of the highest education aims. For example, it may:

  • increase the involvement of historically disengaged and underachieving students (Mohamed & Wheeler 2001)
  • promote citizenship and social inclusion, as well as social responsibility (ibid.)
  • enhance personal and social education and development, assisting students to become more confident and resilient (Cruddas 2005).