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Using pupil voice to re-brand school ethos and Values

Silverhill Primary School,
Headteacher: Andrew Gallagher

Silverhill Primary school used the Emotionally Healthy Schools Project as an opportunity to re-brand their school ethos and values around wellbeing, before moving on to developing their action plan. Andrew Gallagher, Headteacher and Designated Senior Lead for Mental Health (DSLMH) took inspiration from the quote: "They may forget what you said, but they'll never forget how you made them feel."

Everyone remembers the teachers who made them happy and those who made them sad or scared. With this in mind, Andrew went into every classroom in his school and developed ‘mood boards’ with the pupils. Children were encouraged to cut and stick images that represented how they want school to make them feel.

There were no rules for this exercise and no right or wrong way for children to engage with the activity. One child stuck images of toast on the board and talked about how much he likes having toast at school. As a result, the class teacher provides toast as a regular treat for rewarding good attitudes and if the class has worked well as a team through the week.

Andrew and his SLT have used these mood boards to re-brand the whole school ethos based on key words and messages the children were using. By including pupils at the start of the process, they feel ownership over their school and children were proud of what they had made and that their voices were heard. The boards have been framed and displayed as a reminder of  what the pupils want from their school.

This is a great example of how to involve pupils in key policies and how to boost their self-esteem and pride in their school.