Hearing our pupils' voices

AT WILSON’S we believe that our pupils should have the chance to be heard as much as possible. We want pupils to play an active role in their education, whether that be shaping the strategy and direction of the school, or hearing each other's opinions. This happens in a variety of ways.

Pupil Voice
Pastoral leaders will often ask groups of randomly chosen pupils to meet and discuss topics to gauge their opinions and gain insight into what it is like to be a pupil at Wilson's. This can then shape conversations that happen behind the scenes, and shape decisions made. The development of new Student 'Teams' will allow Sixth Form students to lead such meetings and mean we get to hear even more often from a wide range of pupils in the school. The Equalities Team and Charities Team have both been established this year, and in September the Wellbeing Team will be added to this list.

Student Board
This is the most formal type of pupil voice. Ideas are garnered within form groups, then each Head of Year chairs a meeting with a representative from each form. One idea from each year is the taken forward to a meeting with the Head and the School Captain. In recent years ideas that have come from Student Board have become part of everyday life, including the use of one–way systems around the school and the use of Show My Homework. At the most recent Student Board last week, ideas about how we recognise and celebrate the diversity of our school community were put forward and we look forward to working on this alongside the Equalities team, Equalities Prefect and our Equalities Lead, Ms Amoako-Williams. Year 9 pupils Ethan and Zach enjoy attending Student Board and comment that it is pleasing to see the changes around school that are enacted as a result. They feel like they have a direct influence on the school and the experience their peers have here.

Pupil surveys
Every 18 months we ask all pupils to complete a robust survey asking them their opinions about a myriad of topics including how safe they feel at school, which adults they feel they could talk to if they have a problem, and what co-curricular activities they are involved with. This abundance of information helps us to analyse many aspects of school life, and is an invaluable source of feedback.

Reporting concerns
There are many avenues of support for any pupil to discuss any issues they themselves are experiencing, or if they are worried about a family member of friend. All pupils can talk to their form tutor and our system of having one form tutor to 16 students allows for pupils to build strong relationships with their form tutor. Heads of Year, and the Pupil Support Managers in each Key Stage, as well as the Pupil Wellbeing Lead Ms Banner, are also used to being approached about sensitive issues and strive to be as approachable as possible.

Report A Concern
If a pupil is not sure who to speak to, they can use the "Report a Concern" function on the school website. Their concern will then be passed to the most suitable member of staff to deal with discreetly, but we do ask that they give as much information as they can so that the support can be as helpful as possible. Anonymous concerns are difficult to follow up effectively. Worry boxes are also going to be reintroduced next year in Lower School, another great idea from Student Board!

Opportunities for pupils to be heard by each other
Whilst hearing teachers impart their knowledge and model the presentations of ideas, as well as the use of language, it is particularly important that pupils hear from each other and also learn how to speak publicly and formally with confidence. There are many activities at Wilson's in which pupils are encouraged to speak up and be heard by their peers. The new vertical House System, organised by House Co-ordinator Mr Elwood, will allow pupils of different ages to speak more readily to older and younger peers at regular points throughout the year and share their Wilson's experiences.

Drama
Pupils in Lower School learn speaking skills in their drama lessons and the annual Year 7 Drama Soiree showcases the skills of the youngest pupils in our school for both peers and parents. And of course, each year the Senior and Junior Drama Productions allow many pupils to experience the excitement of the stage, under the directorship of Mr Kavanagh, Director of Drama. Pupils in Years 7 and 8 are currently rehearsing for an electrifying production of Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat to end the year in style. Tickets are available now.

Public Speaking
Debating Society allows pupils of all ages at Wilson's to meet weekly and learn to formally debate quite weighty and current topics. In a less formal way, pupils are also encouraged to deliver talks in various clubs such as Classics, Geography and History, improving their public speaking skills. In the Elizabethan program in Year 9, pupils learn to perform a poem, give speeches about an artist of their choice and also learn the art of rhetoric through the study of persuasive speeches in history, inclusion those by Emmeline Pankhurst and Nelson Mandela. In Year 10 Students take part in a Speak Out challenge, furthering their public speaking skills, and potentially going forward to National Finals. Each classroom proudly displays a reminder for public speaking dos and don'ts and teachers demand high quality speech when pupils are contributing in lessons.

Intrigue magazines
For a few years now Sixth Formers, under the supervision of various teachers, have organised and edited STEM and Humanities magazines containing articles of extremely high standard named 'The Wilson's Intrigue'. This has allowed pupils to practise their communication skills through writing, and often show high levels of research and comprehension that one would expect to find in Undergraduate work and is great preparation for University. We believe that each pupils deserves to be heard, and they leave Wilson's and embark on their lives confident at speaking and voicing their opinions.

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DEPUTY HEAD'S REMINDER

READING ALOUD

Pupils may have started to notice that their teachers are giving them new opportunities to read aloud in lessons. This is something that might once have be associated only with primary education and yet research consistently shows that reading aloud can boost literacy and reading fluency even in highly able secondary pupils. We encourage all parents to hear their older children read aloud once in a while!

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Dates for your Diary

  • Wednesday 6 July - New Year 7 induction day
  • Friday 15 July - Sports Day
  • Friday 15 July - Early finish for Students (1.05 p.m.)
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YEAR 7 ADMISSIONS

Registration for the SET (for Year 7 entry in September 2023) is now open until 5 August 2022.

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What's New

Site last updated: 2:11pm 01/07/2022

Wilson’s School

A boys’ grammar school in the London Borough of Sutton (UK), Wilson’s School is:

  • committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment
  • a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (no. 7536970). Registered office: Mollison Drive, Wallington, Surrey SM6 9JW
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