At Newdale we encourage the children in our care to be independent learners and to develop a “can do”, resilient attitude. We therefore love to hear from the children as to how they think they can improve their learning environment. This is true of all children in our school, SEND children included.
The school has a well-established School Council. Each term every class in school nominates a girl and a boy to be on the School Council. As this is nominated by peers, it is completely non-discriminatory and open to everyone. Teachers keep track of who has been on School Council so that everyone gets a chance at some point during their school career. School Council meet with a member of our pastoral team every week to discuss school issues and also run a weekly assembly, with the help of a member of staff.
In addition to this, the school also sets up a Pupil Learning Forum each year. The purpose of the Forum is to ask the children more specific question and work with staff to ensure that any necessary changes happen. They conduct a questionnaire, then feedback to teachers and governors during a staff meeting. Following this, staff consider what changes need to be made and feed back to the children again in a further staff meeting. In previous years the forum have bought about new systems for lunchtimes, requested more outside games and had many other great ideas!
The main school body is also given the opportunity to voice their opinion on the way the school is run every term. The Maths and Literacy coordinators carry out surveys with the children on what they think is good and needs improving about in the way we teach these subjects. A termly anti-bullying survey is also carried out, to help ensure that our school community feel happy, safe and secure in their environment. Again, children with SEND will be included in all of these and questions will be reworded as appropriate to ensure full understanding of what is being asked.
In addition, the school’s pastoral team play a key role in ensuring that the pupil voice is heard. Children can visit the team at any time of day to air their concerns or just for a chat! The team have a “Worry Box” outside their room, in which children can leave notes. The most recent addition to the pastoral team is Buddy Bear. Buddy is frequently seen around school and likes to ensure children are happy. If children find it difficult to talk to someone directly, Buddy also has her own email address which children can use to contact her on and Buddy will reply as quickly as possible with advice.