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Bolsover Infant & Nursery School

Pupil Voice

At Bolsover Infant and Nursery School Pupil Voice is valued, we recognise that every child has the right to a voice and for their opinion to be taken seriously. We believe even our very youngest children have a valid opinion about their school and how they best thye learn. Pupil Voice’ provides pupils with the opportunity to become involved in how and what they learn, give them a real say in issues that affect them, allowing them to make positive contributions towards the development of their school as active members in a democratic society.

We believe involving children in school can help:

  • Motivate children
  • Make children feel part of school and develop belonging
  • Improve relationships between children and adults
  • Develop practice
  • Develop children’s views and opinions
  • Develop life and learning skills inc communication and social skills
  • Support collaboration

And much more!

As a school we feel it is important to gather all children's opinions, rather than just those on a school council or such like organisations. Over time, the school has developed a very effective approach to pupil voice and to ensuring that pupils have the skills to take responsibility and to contribute to decisions. Gathering Pupil voice with Infants and Pre school children is difficult as they can often be eager to please adults, we wanted to ensure we used a range of approaches so the our senior Leadership Team gained a solid understanding of what children though etc. In the past we have used a range of ways including:

  • Developing strong relationships so that adults are in tune with children's needs
  • Class discussions
  • Floorbooks
  • PSHE sessions and circle time
  • Pupil questionnaires
  • Open events at Spring term open evening
  • Small focused groups
  • Homework activities
  • Miss Cowan's A Team
  • Competitions.
  • Suggestion boxes
  • Pupil conferencing


Why do we listen to young children?

We listen to young children because:
● it acknowledges their right to be listened to and for their views and experiences to be taken seriously
● of the difference listening can make to our understanding of children’s priorities, interests and concerns
● of the difference it can make to our understanding of how children feel about themselves
● listening is a vital part of establishing respectful relationships with the children we work with and is central to the learning process.

In our school we feel by developing a listenig culture we can nuture respect and confident rrelationships and create positive enviroments for children. Environments which support and enhance learning, based on the needs and interests of childrn. This contributes to quality improvement in out setting, serviesand provides ongoing evaluation and responsiveness. We believe by provide children with this listening culture we can best gather children's wishes, opinions and ideas. 

What do we know about our school as a result?

In January 2022 we completed a Pupil questionnaire where we asked parents to support their children in trying to anser a range of questions. We gathered some interesting data:

  • 100% of respondents to our Pupil questionnaire in Jan 2022 said that their child enjoyed school all or some of the time, which is fabulous, but a whopping 74% said that they enjoyed it all of the time.
  • 100% of children said their teachers helps them do their best, but more impressive is that 81% said they do this all of the time.
  • 98% of children felt the work was challenging some or all of the time, with 54% saying it was always challenging.
  • 100% said they enjoyed learning some or all of the time, with 84% saying they enjoyed learning all of the time.

Children overwhelmingly felt they were listened too and there was someone they could tell their worries to and all of the respondents felt behaviour was mostly good in lessons and around school. All children felt safe in school and have only identified very minor issues for us to look into (which be will soon). Emotional and mental health, as well as physical health came out as a huge strength of the school, but Reception after school clubs are something people would like (although we struggling with this for a number of reasons, which is why we don’t offer them, these include: funding, staffing, space and children’s stamina).

All children felt they were encouraged to be independent and take responsibility and overwhelmingly felt they were respected and treated equally. 98% of children felt they were aware of what their next steps were in learning, but when asked what more children would like to know the questionnaire often referred to what parents would like to know, not the child (although we are grateful for these responses and will discuss them as a school). 98% of children said they would recommend us to a friend, which is fabulous.

 Many of the comments made by the children were extremely complementary and were a great read. We have included a few below:

  • I like it. They teach me a lot. They’ve taught me timetables. I like my teacher (Mrs Fernandez) and I support other people if they fall over to help them be happy.
  • I like my school and my teachers I will be sad when I go to big school…
  • I love my school
  • “I love my teachers and friends”
  • I enjoy all my lessons and my teachers are always nice to me


The use of floor books across school has helped us have a closer conversation with groups of children around school topics. Children have shared their opinions of learning, resources and activities using floorbooks.


The SLT have used feedback from individuals and groups around things such as school extra curricular activities including after school clubs and events. One such activity told us how much children enjoy dress up days and how they wished we had more of these across the year. Something we clearly followed up on!

 Other things children have told us and how we reacted:

You said…

We did…

You did not like the rubbish around school, including fruit peel.

We worked on litter picking, buying rubbish bins and smartening up the site.

You discussed the homework policy and said that you wanted homework to be fun.

We wrote this in to the new homework policy and did a review of what activities went home

You said that there were some places in school where you did not feel safe at playtime e.g. because an adult couldn’t see you

We ensured that these places were highlighted to staff and mid days to supervise more (inc moving all lunchtime toileting to green class where the first aider could supervise).

You discussed the school website and said it was boring and needed more pictures.

We went back and populated all of the years with event photos and  planned to ensure this happened after each event

You said you were unhappy about Sports Day being cancelled.

We planned a Family Fun Race day to compensate

You were asked to give opinions on assemblies and how they could be improved.

Children suggested

More Singing

More Videos

Tch’s identifying good listeners

Children were given an opportunity to share a big ideas with Miss Cowan. A big idea that would make school even better

Many suggestions were received, inc

-Dragon week which Reception have planned into their Castles, knights and Princesses topic

- More Dance in Reception – Shake and Wake Zumba class was introduced

- More singing in school

-More dress up days – planned in for last day of term

Children said they wanted to come to school on snow days

We invited parents and children, via text, to help clear the school of snow and children arrived and helped

Children shared their thoughts about lunchtime

We passed these on to the lunchtime staff – most thoughts were around menu decisions

You said that in our Japanese garden you would like …

(children were asked to make designs and list the things they would like to see in the new garden)

We arranged for these items to be added to the garden

One child wrote to Miss Cowan sharing her views around our soccer challenge event. She felt that all children should have been rewarded with a sticker or certificate for taking part.

We spoke to the child and the whole school about taking part in sporting events and what the benefits of this were. We celebrated the taking part and spoke about winners and losers.

The children were asked to share what they thought the school Aspiration statement meant to them:

Children were asked to help design a shopping bag for sale at the Christmas Fair. The bag was to depict the new school vision  - Dream big the Bolsover way and what that meant to them

The bag designs showed us that children had an understanding of what Bolsover meant to them including the area, community activities and the people.

The school hall was looking tired and needed decorating for Christmas

We asked the school to design and make Christmas decorations to hang on the tree.

We asked you to share with us your thoughts around learning

We shared these with Grown-ups on the note home including parents and staff

As part of our Anti Bullying campaign we asked about staying safe in school.

You said:

·         You did feel safe in school

·         Your friends and teachers help you to stay safe in school

·         You liked the gates locked at playtime

·         The lollipop lady helps you stay safe

·         Many of you sighted the staff and adults in school as safe people and talked a lot about how they help

You said we needed to:

·         Cut down the nettles on the path where you play scooters

·         Stop people smoking and swearing outside the school gates

·         Look at the playground as that seems to be the place most people feel unsafe(even though you could sight things that helped)


We cut down the nettles on the path, again!

We asked parents not to smoke and swear in and around school on our Friday note home

Reviewed playtime practice to ensure everyone was busy

We needed to have a party at school every day – one child wrote to Miss Cowan to make the suggestion

Miss Cowan wrote back suggesting that although it sounded like a fab idea it did not help us to learn if it was repeated every day.


You made suggestions about what makes us special including:


We celebrated your suggestions and shared them with the school community by posting them on the entrance wall.

By the amount of interest and discussion in and around school, that you were really interested in Remembrance Day – sales of Poppies were high

We asked for the Year 2’s and the rest of the school to make Paper Plate Poppies to decorate the hall and to help celebrate and remember