Worries and Wishes Box Rationale
The ‘Worries and Wishes Box’ has evolved from the notion of engaging with the pupil voice. The idea of the ‘Pupil Voice’ is to increase the influence and participation of students in their own education by ensuring their views are included in decision making and planning. Pupil participation can have benefits on behaviour and cohesion. It provides the children with a sense of responsibility, which can strengthen pupils’ sense of citizenship. It is envisaged that this will replace the more traditional idea of a School Council.
The UN Convention on the ‘Rights of a Child stated’:
“Children and young people have a right to have a say in decisions that affect them” (Article 12).
At Yew Tree we want to be a school that welcomes pupil participation, perspectives and views as part of planning and decision-making and where children’s viewpoints are seen positively and acted upon. We need to engage with pupils about things that matter to them in school.
What is the Worries and Wishes Box?
The ‘Worries and Wishes Box’ is a tool that will provide pupils with the opportunity to let the school, teachers and peers know how they are feeling about anything in school. It is a box for the children to post their worries (things they would like to change in school) and wishes (things they would like in school). Each classroom has been allocated a box for wishes and a box for worries for the pupils.
The children can write down or draw their worry or wish or an adult can scribe for them. They can do this anonymously or add their name. The children then post their worry or wish into the box.
How will the Worries and Wishes Box work?
Teachers should look at the boxes each week and time should be allocated, as and when necessary, for a selection of the worries and wishes to be shared with the class. Pupils will need to think about what is being asked and what they could do about it.
As a class, a discussion will take place as to whether we can make some of the wishes come true. Sometimes, for example, it may be too expensive to carry out the wishes or they may not be practical. At the end of term the class can decide which worry and wish could be discussed at the meeting.
The role of the monitors
Each class will nominate two monitors during early September and they will be the monitors for the whole year. These children will form “Team W”. Team W will be involved in meetings where they can share, with other pupils, one or two of the worries and wishes from their classes and solutions and suggestions will be considered to solve the worries and make some of the wishes come true. These meetings will happen termly. The children will meet with Miss Smith and Mr Duncan who will listen to the worries and wishes, meet with Miss Sherwood and give a response, back to Team W, within a week. The Team W monitors will then feed back to their class about what has been discussed at the meeting.
What’s in it for pupils?
• Opportunities to discuss things that matter to them in school
• Feeling respected, being listened to and taken seriously
• Feeling that they belong and can make a difference to how things are done
• Being involved, understanding more and having more control over their school.