Student Impact in the Redesigned School is one in a series of pamphlets to be
published in the Autumn Term 2013 to support the Redesigning Schooling campaign ——————————————————————————————————————–

synopsis-new-professionalismAt the heart of the campaign is a focus on developing a new professionalism for teaching to have a direct result on student success and achievement. A fundamental facet of the campaign is therefore the way in which students are supported and empowered in schools to have an impact on their own, and their peers’ learning.

This pamphlet will provide schools with both the theory behind this, and examples of best practice in involving students in school transformation and changing attitudes to learning.

First section: will look at the history of student involvement in schools, focusing on the shift from early student voice initiatives, to an understanding of student leadership, to eventually a more meaningful and sophisticated understanding of student impact. Key trends and developments in this area will be analysed, underpinned by critical and academic theory. This will form the basis for the case that students can be involved in every other aspect of the redesigning schooling campaign.

Second section: will look at how the students as researchers scheme can support teacher-led action-research and enquiry. Primarily, this section will argue that students as researchers can be a powerful tool to inform school action plans, whilst also giving students vital research skills at a time when coursework elements are disappearing from GCSE and A-Level examination. Examples of best practice and possible research topics will be discussed.

Third section: will be an analysis of the students as learning partners (SaLP) model as a tool for improving learning in lessons. The SaLP model’s pros and cons over other models of student observations will be considered, before in depth analysis of the effect of SaLP will be made.  SaLP has proven effects on both the effectiveness of learning in the classroom, and on students’ own metacognitive control of their learning. Again, examples of good practice will be highlighted throughout.

Fourth section: will look at how these conversations about learning, can be extended to meaningful and structured consultation on curriculum design. Briefly revisiting the themes of Dylan Wiliam’s pamphlet on principled curriculum design, this section will argue that students should be involved in this process. Practical strategies of involving students in curriculum design will be put forward and critiqued, looking at how different schools engage with this.

Fifth section: will look at the role of the school council within a broader student impact framework, and the changing natures of school councils and student leadership teams over the last thirty years. In particular, the issue of accountability will be raised; both in terms of how school councils can hold other student impact schemes to account, and how school councils can provide accountabilities for schools’ purpose and vision.

Sixth section: the pamphlet will reiterate the case for involving students in every aspect of school life, including research, learning, curriculum design and school accountability measures. It will finish on a vision for student impact in the future, when every student in a school is empowered to contribute to his or her own school experience.

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Tom Middlehurst is Programme Co-ordinator
for Student Impact – more here

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