Every year Enquire runs a national conference. This year it took place in Park Mains High School in Renfrewshire and was all about what helps pupils with additional support needs feel inspired in school and overcome barriers to learning.
Enquire thinks it’s really important to hear from children and young people themselves, so we asked pupils from Mary Russell School to come along and share their views. Six brave 5th and 6th year pupils agreed to take part!
To prepare for their presentation, we asked Alisha, Jessica, Nathan, Gareth, Colin and Martin to think about the type of help that makes a difference to them in school. Teachers, support assistants and friends came out top but the pupils also thought that the dinner lady, school nurse and the janitor helped too. They thought that having space to work, having people listen to them, the right technology, extra time to finish work and transport to school was important too.
We then asked pupils to think about something they have achieved that they are really proud of and if they got any help that made a difference. Here’s what some of the pupils said:
“My pupils support assistant helps me feel more confident to speak out in class.”
“More time to finish my work helps me do it properly.”
“Traveling independently helps me feel more mature and responsible.”
“Support staff help me feel confident when I swim.”
“Speaking in class helps me feel confident.”
They wrote their thoughts on big cardboard hands and stood up in front of over 120 delegates to share their views. Although they were all quite nervous, they did a great job! Later in the day they also helped to run a workshop. They were enjoying themselves so much they didn’t want to go back to school!
Here’s what some of the delegates had to say about the young people’s involvement:
“An excellent and very thought provoking day! The young people’s contributions were very poignant. What an inspiration.”
“Overall a really worthwhile day – especially loved hearing from the pupils.”
Well done and thank you to all the pupils who took part.
Thanks also to Mr Coyle who helped pupils prepare for the day.