How can we responsibly use our voice? Is your voice tolerant, accepting, kind or inclusive? How often do you find yourself using your voice more or less than others? Do you know how your voice impacts those around you? All of these questions, and more, were asked to ECS pupils and staff this week as we celebrated Pupil Voice Week 2021.
Your voice is part of what you do and who you are. It is how we express ourselves. We use our voice primarily as a means of communication and some people can’t go without using their voice for a couple of minutes! If it weren’t for the complex system of your throat and other body parts, you wouldn’t be able to bellow a range of complex sounds on the daily.
This week, however, we shifted our focus away from the anatomy of the human body and reflected on how your voice can bring about change. Change from within, change in our school or homes and our wider community.
Often, children think that only adults have the ability to bring about change or their voice does not matter. This idea was deconstructed this week, as we considered inspiring individuals such as Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, Thandiwe Abdullah, Kelvin Doe and others. These children (some adults now) have used their voice to bring about positive change, challenge social ideologies and constraints and still, to this day, inspire people all around the world.
In school, we have a Pupil Leadership team and a variety of councils and committees dedicated to promoting and facilitating pupil voice at ECS. Our pupils have an opportunity to use their voice to initiate change in our school and wider community. However, regardless of whether or not a pupil is part of such an initiative, their ideas and opinions still matter and deserve to be heard. Pupils in leadership roles have a responsibility to listen, share and reflect on their own and other pupils’ ideas and opinions in school – and there are heaps of them!
I like the idea of comparing your voice to a superpower. It is influential, powerful and can never be taken away from you – it forms part of your identity. However, with great power, comes great responsibly. Your voice can and will bring about powerful transformations if you allow it to. At ECS, we strive to encourage pupils to use their superpower conscientiously.
So, how will you choose to use your super power?
Miss Sara-Jayne Gilchrist
Head of Pupil Voice & Diversity