Archive of European Projects

How do we develop Pupil Voice in our schools, enabling young people to become active and responsible global citizens?
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The over arching question that Dunkirk Primary School, Nottingham, UK and Rastaala School, Espoo, Finland will explore over the next 24 months is: ‘How do we develop Pupil Voice in our schools enabling young people to become active and responsible citizens?’ Both schools have identified the need to develop Pupil Voice within their learning communities. In order for pupils to be effective and successful European and global citizens they need to be able to communicate with confidence. The project will focus on improving the attainment of all pupils who are not reaching expected levels in multi-literacy . This has been identified as an area of concern in both schools. The ability to speak, listen and communicate through different media is an essential skill for all pupils to have. It has been identified in each school that pupils cannot achieve the best in basic reading and writing unless they are confident speakers and communicators. This project will enable and encourage all pupils and teachers to investigate different ways of communicating their ideas, thoughts and opinions using both verbal and non-verbal techniques and strategies. This area has emerged from our current Comenius project. The Erasmus+ Partnership opportunity enables us to jointly explore these issues and deepen our practice further . Pupils must be able to communicate, discuss and debate beyond the comfort zone of their own classroom. They need to be flexible communicators, have the ability to adapt and empathize across both local and European/Global contexts. Working with the partner schools in Europe provides us with the opportunities to develop global dialogues where a deeper understanding of each other’s cultures, perspectives and opinions takes place. The project, 'Pupil Voice' will look collectively at the Big Question 'What Kind of a World would we like to live in? Each year one theme will be explored, taken from the Pupil Charter that was developed by the schools in the previous Comenius partnership which ends in August 2014. Due to the global themes the students have identified, the project will give all participants an enhanced sense of their ability to affect change on an individual and collective level. The two themes selected from the Pupil Charter are Greed and Power Equality and Racism There will be 6 transnational project meetings where senior managers, coordinators and teachers appointed to each schools Erasmus Team will work together on project planning, implementation and continual review and reflection. Throughout the whole two years classes in both schools will work jointly and independently on the two themes. This will involve Skype, email, video conferencing and letter writing. Both schools will hold events, special days and ongoing classroom activities linked to the Erasmus themes. Many pupils in our schools will have little or no opportunity to ever take part in European travel. The project will see two 'Pupil Camps', one in Finland during winter and one in the UK. Pupils from both schools will take part and live together in a neutral venue for one week. Both Pupil Camps will be facilitated by a Theatre and Drama specialist who specializes in Ensemble Theatre, a style of theatre which involves communities working together in an equitable way which engages all participants voice. She will work with the camp participants on the process of creating a performance that responds to the theme that is being explored. During this week they will explore the range of strategies for engaging Pupil Voice and will look at a Big Question the project has developed over the previous months. These pupils (and staff) will develop close and long standing relationships with each other and will be able to address some of the key issues identified through the months prior to the camp. The host pupils will be engaging in an opportunity they will probably never get in their lives again (low socioeconomic backgrounds). A specialist Media Artist will also attend both pupil camps to film and document all the activities, process and outcomes. The film will be edited professionally, capturing the whole experience, as well as the final outcome and this will become an essential dissemination tool .This film will be used by many key stake holders to disseminate the project, it's methodologies, results and impact. Improvement of the curriculum in both schools provides another rationale for the project. Both schools have identified the need to improve their way of engaging Pupil Voice and are keen to explore together the different strategies each school currently uses. The legacy of the project will be a refined and tested way of engaging Pupil Voice which both schools can integrate into their own curriculum. This will be disseminated in many ways including a project website, Erasmus+ Dissemination Platform, E-twinning, leaflets, brochures, seminars and sharing/training events , both internal and external.
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