STUDENTS from across the south coast came together for a day to share their voices, ideas and learn from each other in a collaborative environment.

Children from primary school through to secondary school from Ocean Academy and Jewell Academy were joined by other pupils from Aspirations Academies Trust’s schools, including Budmouth, Bovington and Atlantic for the student voice conference.

Taking place at Magna Academy in Bournemouth, pupils were given the opportunity to work with students from other academies and share what they do at their own school.

Andy David, director of student leadership and engagement at Aspirations Academies Trust, said: “This conference allows students to share their voices in a collaborative environment, something that has been sorely missing over the last two years because of Covid-19.

“Research has shown students are more likely to be motivated to learn if they feel they are being listened to. Our academies have various ways of fostering student voice.

“A transformative education is best accomplished together – by students and teachers actively listening to one another with mutual trust and respect, learning side by side.

“Having the opportunity to voice your opinion is incredibly character building and rewarding. Student Voice is an integral part of the ethos at Aspirations Academies Trust and it allows our students to build a legacy of improvement for future students.”

Students said they wanted to see more inspiring quotes on the walls around their academy, more creative clubs, rewarding good students that do the right thing all the time, more activities at the start of the academic year to create a sense of belonging.

Some students also asked to be more involved in their local coastal community through beach cleans.

Commenting on the day, one student said: “The student voice conference gave me the chance to make new friends, I enjoyed seeing a different school and I liked having the opportunity to express my views.”

Sara White, principal at Bovington Academy said: “The children had such a great day - ours came back full of ideas and excitement.”

Lesley Bishop, principal of Atlantic Academy Portland, added: “My students have come back ready to take on the world. It was a great day.”