Here at Merit we are always keen to listen to what our students have to say about their experiences. It is important that we listen while they are here and not just when they have left as we believe we can continuously improve our provision. There are always things which staff might not have noticed but which are important from a student’s perspective.
We listen and engage with all students every day but in a formal sense we have two main routes.
Student voice takes the form of a questionnaire which may be completed anonymously. Students are asked a series of questions and there is always a box for their comments and suggestions as well. In another box they are asked to identify three things they really like about Merit and three things they would change which always leads to some laughter when the usual swimming pool or football pitches come up!
This activity takes place twice a year and produces useful feedback with regard to policies and the curriculum and helps to give a reflection on how students are feeling in and about the school.
We do not have form groups at Merit but students are split into three teams. Each team has a team leader who is a member of staff and a team captain and vice-captain. It is the team captains and vice captains who sit on the student council and are sometimes called upon to represent the school or speak to visitors.
The team captain and vice captains are voted in by the rest of their team.
The student council meets formally every half term and the agenda is a combination of staff and student items.
Following the meeting there is feedback into teams and also to staff meeting. It is planned that a student will attend a staff meeting to give this feedback in the future.
The student council works in a democratic way and is a useful means of demonstrating British politics in action and there is often a reference to this!