Engaging Student Voice
Engaging student voice can provide additional evidence and valuable insights to help understand what factors might be contributing to attendance or absence, so that appropriate strategies and actions can be implemented. This can:
- enable a deeper understanding of students’ perspective and school experiences
- identify specific factors that may act as barriers to student attendance
- create opportunities for staff and students to work together to improve attendance.
Why attendance matters
Insights from Student Voices poll
Over 700 students (Years 5-12) responded to the November 2020 poll hosted on Student Voices. The students shared their opinions related to:
- their reasons for attending school
- why they might miss or be late for school
- their views on recognition of attendance
- suggestions to help attendance.
Insights from student voice, including responses from the poll questions will be considered and help shape the ongoing work to assist schools with improving attendance.
A sample of popular poll responses is below, along visual works created by Francis Greenway High School students about why attendance matters. A sample of survey questions is also available.
Reasons for coming to school
- I think learning is important
- My parent/carer encourages me to attend
- My friends encourage me to attend
- My classes are interesting
- My school is a safe place
Reasons for missing a day/s of school
- I am sick
- I have a doctor or dentist appointment
- Someone else in my family is unwell
- I cannot wake up in time
- I have to care for a brother/sister or family member
Reasons for being late to school
- Slept in
- Don’t want to attend
Strategies for engaging student voice
- survey students or run focus groups to hear their opinion about why attendance matters. This sample of survey questions might help with discussion ideas.
- engage student groups to help analyse attendance data for other insights. Watch how the student analyst team at Rooty Hill High School are using TTFMS results to improve their learning
- encourage class or group discussion: the Digital Learning Selector has some useful tools and learning activities, such as gallery walk and graphic organisers to help express ideas
- plan a creative writing or poster task, sculpt an installation using craft or recycled materials,
- explore the Student resources for other activities such as an ‘elevator pitch’
- engage students with individual attendance or re-engagement plans, and develop agreed goals and actions
- work with student groups to create a welcoming school environment.
When our teacher first showed us attendance statistics we couldn’t believe that it could have such a big impact on a young person’s life. It all adds up very quickly, and if you are away only one day a week or fortnight, you are missing out on so much and sometimes you don’t even realise. (Jazmin, Francis Greenway High School)
A school example
Francis Greenway High School expanded on the Why attendance matters poll to create a visual display at the school.
Stage 4 and 5 students discussed the importance of attendance and established links between attendance data and successful outcomes later in life. Students used their prior knowledge of Adobe Creative software and graphic design elements to create individual designs which discussed things they felt mattered to school age students, in regards to attendance.
Some students created flyers with information specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, while others used their persuasive writing skills to write newspaper style articles and online journal entries.
A selection of their works is displayed throughout this page. You can read more about the school's initiative and the students' experiences.
Further advice, information and resources are available at:
- Student participation, as part of the, Every student is known valued and cared platform
- Student voice, participation and leadership, as part of the Student Voices hub.