The students at Woodcote are our customers. Every day in the classroom they are in the best position to evaluate the quality of both teaching and learning. When we interview for new members of Staff we always hold interview lessons and seek the students’ opinion of the teacher being interviewed. Their views are very honest and refreshing and more importantly tactful! There can be no better opinion than that of the young people who’s future depends so much on what goes on in the classroom on a day-to-day basis. We as educational professionals need to constantly monitor the quality of teaching and learning, and we do this by regular Classroom observations. However, it’s difficult to get round as often as necessary, so what better than to discuss this with the students directly. It would be poor practice to rely totally on student voice to review the effectiveness of a school, but their opinions set alongside other monitoring and work checks can help to paint an overall picture of the quality of learning in the classroom.
We are currently planning to set up some student focus groups, each consisting of a small number of representative students from a key stage or year group. They will meet regularly with senior staff to tell us what is good about Woodcote High School and where we can improve things. Their oppinions will be fed back to Leaders and Governors to aid the school improvement process.
We saw very dramatically during the Open Evening that our students are extremely proud of the school they attend and passionate about what goes on here. They were keen to answer parents’ questions and we got some excellent feedback from visitors on the night. We can certainly harvest this enthusiasm through the focus groups, both to let us know what is going well and where things can get even better.
So I look forward to working with these young people and using their experiences and fresh ideas to help Woodcote continually improve as a school.