29 March 2017

A group of pupils here at Norham have been turning the spotlight on learning in their school as part of an innovative programme to train them as researchers.

Eighteen pupils have been trained as Young Researchers and Evaluators (YRE) by UFA, a national education charity, as part of a three day research programme designed to develop young people’s voice and pupil leadership in the school.

The group of Year 8 pupils split into groups to research two questions:

How can I take responsibility for my own learning?

What does effective learning look like?

The teams undertook two days of initial training on research and evaluation skills. In school they have been using everything from a graffiti wall and questionnaires to vox pop videos to get the views of fellow pupils.

Assistant Head Teacher, Sean Harris is looking forward to the teams presenting back to the Senior Leadership Team and invited guests on their findings.

“Working with UFA on the YRE programme has been an exciting and innovative project for the young people and the school to be part of,” he said.

“At Norham High we’re committed to developing student voice and this project has been a great way of the young people involved researching with their peers what makes a positive, effective learning environment and what their role is in their own learning.

“They’ll be practicing their presenting skills when they share their findings with the panel and we are looking forward to working with them to look at how we take those findings and action them in the school.”

UFA National Development Manager Dawn Gilderoy said the students involved had embraced the training and the opportunity to explore the way young people were taught and learn in school.

“This has been a great programme to be part of because the recommendations and insights it brings come directly from students, sharing the open and honest views of their peers,” she said.

“It is student voice in action and depending on the findings could change the way the school delivers teaching.

“Plus the programme demonstrates how YRE can impact on young people’s engagement, learning and character development as well as being a valuable opportunity for staff development.”