Our Voice is a pupil research group currently made up of a small group of KS2 pupils. The research group is in its fourth year and was started by Ms Potts when she was studying for a Master’s degree at Cambridge University. Children in her class were interested in the social research she was doing so she set up the group, giving children a chance to learn research skills and apply them to their own projects.
The aim of the group is to provide in-depth research to some of the issues which have arisen from the school council debates across the school. With the support of Ms Potts, the children gather the views of other pupils on their own topic or a topic currently being considered by school leaders. They then analyse the results and create a report representing the views of the pupils, sometimes including recommendations. All school leaders have made a commitment to listen carefully and to consider the implications of the research when making decisions. For example, some big changes were made to singing assembly as a consequence of the research and new books were bought for the library based on pupil preference.
Any KS2 pupil may join Our Voice and be trained in social research methods providing they are happy to make a weekly lunchtime commitment and have a passion for ensuring that pupils have their say. Children from all year groups, where appropriate, may be asked to complete questionnaires or be interviewed and teachers will ensure that they are supported in giving their own views.
The current members of Our Voice are Aurelia, Thomas, Chloe, Connie and Freya from Year 5. They have been conducting social research for almost two years and support the newly formed school council leadership group in analysing survey results.