North Shields pupils given a say on school life

Studebts Norham High School 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 peoples voice and student leadership in the school.
 Picture by Jane Coltman

Studebts Norham High School 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 peoples voice and student leadership in the school. Picture by Jane Coltman

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Students have turned the spotlight of learning on themselves as part of a programme to train them as researchers.

A group of 18 young people at Norham High School, in North Shields, have been trained as Young Researchers and Evaluators (YRE) by education charity UFA.

It was part of a three-day research programme designed to develop young people’s voice and student leadership in the school.

The Year 8 students 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 students.

Sean Harris, assistant headteacher, said: “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.

“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 practising 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.

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

“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.”