Read all about it! Gavin Bunker, Headteacher at Claremont Prep School tells us about what makes the news at his school

At Claremont, ‘student voice’ is at the heart of the learning experience. It enables children to shape their own learning journey and develop important communication skills along with levels of self-esteem, while they also learn how their voice has the power to influence, entertain and be a force for change.

The collaborative efforts of the Prep School Eco Committee and young reporters on the school newspaper, The Arrow, are great examples of student voice at work. Some of the children’s favourite cover stories have included ‘Down to Earth MP!’ which featured an exclusive interview with local MP Huw Merriman about environmental issues, and ‘Save our Seas’ which told the story of what happened when Arrow reporters accompanied Eco Warriors and School Council representatives on an historic trip to the Houses of Parliament. There they delivered a petition which called for action to be taken before 2035 to stop Southern Water dumping sewage in the sea, and as a result, Sally-Ann Hart MP is currently working with Southern Water to bring an earlier solution to the problem. In June this year, The Arrow newspaper team was named ‘Editorial Team of the Year 2023’ by First News, the highly acclaimed and award-winning national newspaper for 7-14 year olds.

Meanwhile, Eco Schools said of our Eco Warriors: ‘Your fantastic work has really demonstrated, on a national level, that young people care about the state of our nation’s waters and hopefully you will prove to be at the forefront of change…’ At the time of writing, the Eco Committee has been shortlisted for the Eco Schools Marine Topic Award, and the Independent School of the Year 2023 for Environmental Impact.

At Claremont, ‘student voice’ encourages meaningful dialogue, in a learning space primed for collaboration and positive action. As our young people continue to develop their understanding of the world around them, including a digital world of unreliable news, it is crucial that they are always heard and not just seen.

Claremont Prep School has BBC Young Reporter School status and has been awarded the much coveted Green Flag status for the last three consecutive years.

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