Giving students a voice/Rhoi llais i fyfyrwyr

VocalEyes is a digital platform to encourage and promote student voice throughout The Bishop of Llandaff and other schools. We were introduced to VocalEyes last year due to our position as form representatives and, over time, it will help us develop our digital skills as well as our understanding of participatory democracy. Cardiff is vying to be a Child Friendly City by 2020 and giving young people a real voice, which can lead to actual change, will help us achieve this!

To further our knowledge, we attended a training session led by Cathays High School. During this course we learnt how to use VocalEyes and how it could benefit us as students. We then created our own accounts so we could share ideas online with the wider school community. We also created a school group so our students can make suggestions, rate ideas and get involved in discussions.

As well as sharing ideas to be rated, VocalEyes allows us to undertake specific roles and responsibilities designed to improve our digital skills. These jobs include, project coordinators, news reporters, video makers and project researchers, to name just a few. As Year 8 students we are responsible for moderating content and training and promoting VocalEyes to Year 7 students. We personally like VocalEyes as it is a safe and secure way to make suggestions and have our opinions heard.

Going forward, we will continue to introduce VocalEyes to more students in the hope that we engage more users. We hope students will enjoy using it and it proves to be a successful digital platform for student voice in the future.

Lila and Bibi (Year 8)

Year 7 student Neriah is one of those who have benefited from using VocalEyes, and writes:                  

VocalEyes is used to help students communicate the things they would like to change about the school, or ideas for improvement. Transportation was the most common problem that came up, but VocalEyes can also be used for issues such as school facilities.

VocalEyes can be used for many purposes – for instance, we can receive and respond to students’ requests but we can also see what other schools are doing. That is a bonus because we are able to see how other schools are improving and if need be we can use some of their ideas to enhance our school. It is also good in terms of saving money. If other schools have tried something, we can learn from them.

VocalEyes is also very good for analysing where the school may need a bit of support to improve itself. Moreover, the students of the school are able to have access to something that will enhance their learning.

Neriah (Year 7)