Student Voice (SV) is alive and flourishing at Larkmead. We encourage an environment for students to work together to enable them to feel that they are helping to make the school a better place to be. The group is encouraged to have their ‘voices’ heard and thereby play an active role in supporting the staff and Leadership Team in the important goal of moving the school forward.
SV comprises a number of students, who join as one committee, from across the key stages at Larkmead. If a student wishes to ‘come on board’, they have the opportunity to campaign and produce a manifesto, as early as year 7, and then to take part in an election where they will hopefully gain enough votes to secure a position on the committee. If successful, students are able to retain their positions for the number of years that they wish to remain active.
The committee support Teaching and Learning and the Welfare of the Student Community across the school. This is seen in particular when forming a Student led panel and conducting interviews, of prospective new staff, then providing feedback to the Leadership Team: a role which not only empowers them but, initiates a healthy link between students and staff.
Occasionally they participate in ‘one off’ projects: most recently the rebranding of the school, including the development of the new uniform and the recently commenced re-vamp of the restaurant area. They also make decisions regarding enhancing the student’s school life: recently money was provided to provide modern drinking fountains in the restaurant and sports department.
Meetings are held at various points throughout the year, either as a whole or in smaller, specialized, groups: to discuss matters arising; their own ideas or to work on more specific projects. Ideas, and/or concerns, are presented to the Leadership Team via minutes or by personal attendance at the Leadership Team meetings.
Historically, Larkmead has enjoyed success in elections for The UK Youth Parliament (UKYP). This is an organisation consisting of democratically elected student members, aged between 11 and 18, who represent the views of young people in their area to government and service providers. They have the opportunity to join debates and plan campaigns at venues including: the British Museum; the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
Young people hold the future in their hands and, at Larkmead, we like to think we are supporting them along the way – SV is where they can express themselves and play an important role in that future.