Encouraging student voice promotes and demonstrates the important role students play in developing a positive school culture. A supportive teaching and learning environment free from bullying encourages healthy, happy, successful and productive individuals.
Students need to be actively connected to their learning, have respectful and positive relationships and experience a sense of belonging to their school and community.
Students play a powerful role in the development and maintenance of a safe school culture. Student-centred programs that include components of peer support, peer mediation, mentoring and student leadership present opportunities for relationship building between students and modelling of responsible social behaviour.
Schools that incorporate authentic student participation:
- provide opportunities for student decision-making over matters that affect them
- create and maintain inclusive and interactive learning environments to encourage active student participation to foster a sense of connectedness
- actively engage students through the use of evidence-informed, strengths-based approaches to enhance their own learning and wellbeing
- explicitly teach social and emotional skills using evidence-informed practices related to personal safety, resilience, help-seeking and protective behaviours across the curriculum (for more information see Inclusion section)
- collaborate with students to develop strategies to enhance wellbeing, promote safety and counter violence, bullying and abuse in all online and physical spaces.
Incorporating student voice in school decision-making contributes to a sense of belonging and ownership, a commitment to common goals and the maintenance of an inclusive and democratic school culture.