The American politician John Crosby once said “mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” This is universally true and it was evident here in Portsmouth on Friday, 10th July at this year’s Student Voice Day organised and hosted by Unloc. Observers and participants alike commented that seeing the older students actively mentoring younger students throughout the day was a highlight. It was an atmosphere of open learning and sharing thoughts and ideas across schools of varying levels in Portsmouth.
The theme of the day, developed by Council of Portsmouth Students (CoPS) was “Inspiring students to inspire teachers to inspire students”. The proceedings got to a start with a CoPS leader Amanda from Charter Academy, who introduced the Unloc team and welcomed fellow students from schools across Portsmouth to the day of events. This set a solid tone for the development of the day’s activities.
Creative learning environments are known to encourage innovative thought and problem solving abilities amongst students. Led by Unloc’s head of Student Voice David Hart, Student Voice Day had lots of creative learning integrated into the day’s activities. Not only were the interactive activities based around creative engagement, but students also stepped up and provided live entertainment. Notably, Mia from Charter Academy and Deborah and Vinnie from Springfield School expressed their Student Voice through music.
The Student Voice Day actively encouraged the growth of aspirations. Former CoPS student Danni Arnold representing Wings for Warriors, shared her experiences growing up in less than ideal circumstances but using her skills gained from developing and understanding of her worth and the potential of student voice to break barriers and reach for the skies literally and figuratively. The students were also treated to a video of Danni’s first solo flight, to which they responded with spontaneous applause.
Unloc continues to provide opportunities for young people to develop their student voice and to create a generation of highly engaged young people ready to take on the world. For more information, or to sign up for Unloc’s programmes, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.