24 March 2023
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On Thursday afternoon, 23 March 2023, pupils from thirteen local schools came together at Bishop’s Stortford College to celebrate the work of their school and Pupil Councils in the local community.
Established in 2018, the Bishop’s Stortford Pupil Voice Network was formed by local schools to enable them to share best practice, to discuss common issues and to provide an opportunity to meet with local councillors and have their voices heard.
This year the focus for the Pupil Voice network meeting was ‘Celebrating Pupil Voices’ and ‘Being successful listeners’.
The 110 Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils (aged between 9 and 13) that attended the meeting, enjoyed taking part in a range of fun and interactive activities. They were also joined by Councillor Richard Townsend who challenged them to think about ways that young people in our community can make a difference in our town and surrounding area. Julie Marson (MP for Hertford and Bishop’s Stortford) recorded a message of encouragement for the pupils and congratulated them on being willing to stand up as representatives of their class and school communities.
This year, the Bishop’s Stortford Pupil Voice Network launched the new Children’s Voices Community Award, and all attending schools have been invited to enter a submission for the award during the summer term. School and Pupil Council projects that have impact in their community will then be judged and prizes awarded in July 2023.
Commenting on the network event, Graham Millard, Senior Deputy Head at Bishop’s Stortford College Prep School said, “I can’t think of a better way of celebrating the Pupil Voice within the local community. It was really great to see thirteen local schools all sharing the same room for the same purpose.”
Also commenting on the event, Kirsty Hammond teacher at Hillmead Primary School said, “Lots of great opportunities to network with other pupils from the local area, learn more about active listening and gather ideas to take back to school.”
Jasmine Crawford, Year 5 teacher at Windhill21 also said, “The Bishop’s Stortford Pupil Voice Network meeting enabled our pupils to feel respected and listened to in our local community.’
Finally, Jane Towns, teacher at Bishop’s Stortford College Prep School said, “Each and every school attending took part in a variety of activities throughout the conference, and it was fantastic that we had an opportunity to celebrate so many wonderful achievements in our local community.”
The pupils and staff attending, unanimously voted for a further Network meeting next year, where they will share and review the impact that children’s voices are having in our local community.
Schools attending the Bishop’s Stortford Pupil Voice Network meeting on 23 March were:
Thorn Grove Primary School, Albury Primary School, Takeley Christian School, Thorley Hill Primary School, Elsenham CofE Primary School, The Bishop’s Stortford High School, Windhill Primary School, Manuden Primary School, Hillmead Primary School, Summercroft Primary School, Northgate Primary School, St Michaels CofE Primary School and Bishop’s Stortford College.