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Pupil’s view: My world

In this video you'll hear from Aiden, Freddie, Lana and Ellie from Hurst Community College, discussing their thoughts about school.
I’m Aiden Smith. My name is Freddie Betts. My name is Lana Jones. My name is Ellie Baird. I’m 15 and I’m in Year 10.
Normal classroom environments, you know, are appropriate for the more academic subjects. But I, I feel like an open space is a much more productive area to be in, I find anyway. I like to be in a more open space, so the bigger rooms in the school, you know, I feel like you’re a lot less confined and you know people are spread out more, I think that really helps. The only thing really is heat, is when I’m upstairs in, in one of the blocks and, I can feel the heat and it just affects, sometimes my eagerness or my, my concentration sometimes.
The main thing that I would say about our school that definitely makes it a place I want to be in is, 100 percent just the connections we all have. Like, the ones between my friends, the ones between other people in my year group that I’m not necessarily friends with, we all get on. I know that people can rely on me and trust me and also with the teachers as well. Like it’s just, a very, it feels like a very safe place to be. Some classrooms when they get very very hot or very very cold, I find I really struggle with that.
That’s all I’m thinking about in that class, I’m thinking ‘I’m freezing or I’m really, it’s really really hot in here’. Erm,
and the classrooms that I have a lot going on in them, I really really enjoy being in. For example, our art classrooms are covered in paintings everywhere. I find that really nice to be in and it’s a lot more comfortable, than being in a classroom with just white walls and a whiteboard, which has nothing written on it. If there’s a lot written down and a lot going on, I feel much much more engaged in what’s happening in the lesson.
One of the things that helps me learn, is when the teachers come across, as if they’re on your side. That’s so important and they want the best for you, as well as the best grades for their class. Sometimes adults can misunderstand teenagers
at our age ‘oh you don’t know anything about it yet, you don’t understand stress, you’re only a teenager’. But they really do understand, that we do go through it as well. I think that’s definitely the best part about it. I think if a teacher is enthusiastic, that really helps. I think the more you can see a teacher cares about the subject they’re teaching, the more likely a student is especially, for me I feel, the more likely they are to engage with the lesson and you know, get through it. Personally for me, I find it really helpful when they noticed that someone needs help.
For example, in chemistry a few weeks ago, my teacher noticed that I really wasn’t getting this topic that we were doing. And everyone else seem to get it. So, he had everyone else work on what we were doing, and he sat down with me and my friend who are both struggling, for almost the entire lesson and really drilled it into our brains, and it meant that we could teach other people that didn’t get it 100 percent. And I think our school is very good for that.
I have breakfast every single morning, because I have heard in many places that it is the most important meal of the day. And my mom would have words to say if I didn’t have breakfast each day. I don’t have breakfast at home in the mornings. But at our school we’re quite lucky, they do breakfast and it’s a lot more convenient to just have it at school because it’s already cooked for us, and it’s much better than we’d make ourselves at home.
I would say the average is 10 you should be getting, about 9 or 10 hours of sleep each night. And that’s why I tried to do. I hear all these people, you know it might not be serious but these people saying ‘oh I went to bed at 1 last night, I went 2 last night’. Most of them will be exaggerating but there will be those people who don’t, don’t get enough sleep and if transfers into school, where you’re not switched on enough. I feel like I’m one of those people, I don’t need as much sleep. I know there are people who go to sleep a lot early than me, say 9, 10 ‘o’ clock.
But you know, there are nights where I’ll stay up till 11, 12, doing work you know, watching videos things like that, and I don’t think it affects my day. I think, I’m quite responsible if it was affecting my day, I’d go to bed earlier. I get about 9 hours sleep probably a night, and I’m never really too tired in the morning. But there’s other times where I could sleep a bit later and I wake up and I just, that’s me done for the day then. So, I just go into school and I just can’t, can’t do it.
I think now is the kind of term where we need to be thinking to ourselves ‘how much sleep should, should I be getting?’ And we’re becoming more independent. So we know, I really should be asleep right now, or whether we’re thinking ‘I could do with another hour of revision’. But, it’s quite clear to see when people haven’t slept enough. You can tell when people aren’t 100 percent in lessons.
I’ve got to say I never feel angry at school. I absolutely love school. I must say I feel happier at the beginning of each day because I have to say, I’m probably more switched on then. I find that on a Monday morning, we have double P.E first. So, it’s always, sort of, we come in school and we can go into a lesson that we all enjoy, and it sort of sets us up for a couple of days at least. I think Friday is probably the most draining day because you just want to be in the weekend and then you can’t be.
So, it’s like you gotta go through all these lessons before you actually get there and it’s just a nightmare. I expected that on Fridays, I’d always be really really tired and just wanting to get home. But on Fridays, I’ve actually got a lot of good lessons, with a lot of good people. I’m very ready for the weekend on Fridays and I’ve got a lot of high energy levels which I was surprised about but happy about.

Pupils have to be physically and emotionally in the right place to learn, but that’s not to say they can’t have good and bad days, just like adults. We need to celebrate the fact that pupils know and understand a lot more than we sometimes give them credit for.

In this video Aiden, Freddie, Lana and Ellie from The Hurst Community College, share their thoughts about:

  • The atmosphere and environment in the classroom
  • Break and lunch
  • Teaching
  • Food
  • Sleep
  • Happiness

Consider the following questions as you watch the video, is there anything that surprised you? Has listening to the pupils changed your view of pupils and of school?

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