STUDENT VOICE AT PALMERSTON NORTH INTERMEDIATE NORMAL SCHOOL
Student Voice is the individual and collective perspective and actions of young people within the context of learning and education.
This can include, but isn't limited to, active or passive participation, knowledge, voting, wisdom, beliefs, service, opinions, leadership, and ideas. Student Voice reflects identity, and comes from a person's experiences, ideals, and knowledge.
Student Voice allows students to share who they are, what they believe, and why they believe what they do with their peers, parents, teachers, and their entire school. Student Voice can be engaged in dozens of ways in classrooms and schools
1. School Council
Early in Term 1, each class elects a Class Councillor and a Deputy Class Councillor to represent their class on the School Council.
2. School Council Leadership
School Councillors (Class Council Reps.) are invited to apply for the four leadership positions within the School Council.
- Co Chairperson – a girl and a boy are selected.
- Secretary – one person selected
- Treasurer – one person selected.
Applicants for these positions must apply in writing to the Principal and attach a CV highlighting their abilities and suitability for the position they are applying for.
Applicants for each position are asked to prepare and deliver a 2minute speech on why they consider themselves the best person for this position, their perspective on future school council projects and how we can improve our school for students across the four dimensions of our school.
Each applicant is then interviewed by an interview panel made up of the Principal/ Deputy Principal and School Council Coordinator.
3. Class Council Meetings
Each class holds regular class meetings and these are lead by the class /deputy class councillors. At these meetings students are able to identify areas for school improvement and identify strategies to do this. Developments arising from class ideas include: lunchtime BBQ tables and additional lunch seating, Blue Badges, inter – challenge playground, Thinking of others at Christmas Project, Year 8 Graduation Dance.
The councillors also brief their class on upcoming school council organised events.
4. School ANZAC Assembly
This 30 minute assembly on the Friday before ANZAC Day is researched, prepared and delivered by the members of the School Council. A programme is produced showing the order of the service. The principal is invited to give a brief overview of the meaning of ANZAC and a current or former student is invited to play the last post.
5. Blue Badge Achievement Awards
The idea of Blue Badge Achievement Awards came from our school council of 2004. They identified a need to acknowledge students who achieve in class /school with a badge. In consultation with the principal, students and staff the decision was made to acknowledge student achievement in the four dimensions of our school: ACADEMIC, CITIZENSHIP, SPORTS and PERFORMING ARTS. The School Council of the day did not want this as an elite award but an incentive award aimed at all students being able to achieve these awards if they apply themselves. The students of today associate the ‘5 keys to School Success’ as crucial towards earning one or more of these awards.
It was also decided that this award would be open to all students across both year groups, and for those students who qualify for one or more the four Blue Badge Awards again in Year 8, a star award would be presented to them. Also, that student achievement at school and out of school should be included in the criteria for each award.
Throughout the school year five Blue Badge Assemblies take place and are led by members of the School Council. The concept behind these assemblies is that of students acknowledging the achievement of their peers.
A guest speaker is invited and is usually a former student who has gone on to one of five High Schools in Palmerston North and excelled in one or more of the four dimensions of our school.
A performing arts segment is also incorporated into this assembly and is an opportunity for students with talents and strengths in the Arts to share their talents and skills – Kapa Haka, School Choir, School Rock Band, School Dance Groups, School Orchestra, and individual students who have achieved in this area outside the school during the year.
6. Student Voice at Whānau Consultation Meeting
Our Kapa Haka Group played a significant role at our Whanau Consultation Meeting in Term 2. A large turnout of parents/ whanau joined together for kai and a programme focussing on Maori student achievement; student cultural performance; student report on Te Reo Extension Programme. Students also joined parents and staff in reviewing the school Maori Education Plan.
7. Orientation Programme Evening
The Principal selects a current Year 8 and Year 7 student to prepare a 3minute speech reflecting back on their one or two years at PNINS. This is delivered to parents of prospective Year 6 students attending our evening orientation evening. The only brief given is that they reflect honestly on their year(s) at PNINS.
Students also compere and model our school and sports uniforms parade at this evening.
School Councillors/ Deputy School Councillors take groups of parents on a tour of the school, introduce the prospective parents to teachers and answer any questions parents might have, from a student’s perspective.
8. School Open Day / Visitors to School
Students are rostered throughout the day to provide tours for parents who are considering PNINS for their year 6 child. This concept is aimed at seeing our school through the ‘students’ eye’ and has been well received by parents.
9. Orientation Visits to Contributing Schools
The Principal includes two Year 7 students who attended the contributing school the year before. These two students join the principal in talking to year 6 students whilst the Deputy Principal and SENCO talk to the teachers.
The Year 7 students reflect back on their first year and answer questions from a student’s perspective.
10. Year 6 students Orientation Day Visits to PNINS
Following a meeting with Year 6 students and their teachers in Te Tihi, year 7 & 8 students are selected to show year 6 students from our contributing schools around our school and to answer any questions they may have.
11. Getting Along Survey
Based on the ‘5 keys to School Success’, a school wide student relationship survey which incorporates bullying, is administered (early Term 2 and late in Term 3).
12. Student Exit Survey
This survey provides an opportunity for all students attending PNINS to reflect back honestly on their one or two years at PNINS.