Planning resources for schools
Student voice is more successful when the whole school is involved. A strategic and planned approach to student voice supports the wellbeing of all students so they can connect, succeed and thrive.
Planning a whole school approach
A whole school approach nurtures individual leadership skills and confidence, builds positive and respectful relationships and maintains an inclusive environment. As well as improving the wellbeing of individual students, encouraging student voice has the potential to deliver benefits in our classrooms, across our schools and into the broader community.
In our classrooms
Classrooms provide a balance between teacher directed and student led activities to support students to be partners in their own learning. This can be achieved through the existing syllabus outcomes. Achieving student voice in our classroom means:
- working together: building communication, collaboration, leadership and negotiation skills
- having voice: creating consistent opportunities for feedback and reflection
- having choice: increasing student decision-making about how they learn and are assessed
- having influence: understanding relationships, promoting self-discipline and goal-setting.
Examples of practice:
Student feedback supports learning and student participation. This resource provides a guide to student feedback and examples of exit slips and student survey.
This resource provides checklists for student feedback about learning, teacher reflection on student voice and a mapping tool for student voice activities.
This resource provides a checklist for developing a positive classroom environment. The checklist includes features of the social and physical environment.
In our schools
Every school provides a range of opportunities for students to participate in decision-making and understand their rights and responsibilities as active citizens such as student representative councils and school parliaments. Achieving student voice in our schools means:
- working together ? building communication, collaboration, leadership and negotiation skills
- having voice ? school-wide opportunities for feedback such as Tell Them From Me
- having choice ? promoting connectedness, active citizenship and democratic practice
- having influence ? student voice informing school planning and decisions.
Examples of practice:
In our communities
Local communities can provide a range of opportunities for students to participate in social, environmental, cultural and sporting activities. Examples could include fundraising for a local charity or participating in cultural events such as NAIDOC week. Achieving student voice in our community means:
- working together ? fostering authentic community partnerships
- having voice ? providing ways for student to connect their skills and interests to local community issues and organisations
- having choice ? student skills and interests driving community collaborations
- having influence ? student voice shaping their local communities and future lives.
Examples of practice:
- Secretary for the day
- Participation in government, local council or community groups, e.g., Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People (ACYP) or Our local
Improving wellbeing through student participation at school: this Australian research, developed in partnership with Centre for Children and Young People, outlines the benefits of student participation. An executive summary, quick reference and good practice guides are available to support implementation.
Student leadership: a review of effective practice (PDF 874.33KB) gives an overview of student leadership in educational settings in Australian and international contexts.
(Note: This resource does not currently meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility requirements. Please contact 02 9244 5129 to request an alternative copy)
These case studies and reviews provide examples of student voice, choice, influence and working together.
This toolkit contains insights, school stories and resources designed to support schools in promoting a culture of innovation and ownership of student wellbeing.
This publication explains why student voice should be measured, how and when it should be measured, what questions can and should be asked, how student voice should be interpreted.
Tell Them From Me is a suite of surveys for measuring student engagement and wellbeing. The surveys can be used to capture student voices providing reliable evidence for schools to use in identifying strengths and areas for improvement.