At Hilden Oaks, giving pupils an opportunity to speak and be heard is considered key to growing leadership skills

It has long been a tradition at Hilden Oaks Prep to give pupils a ‘voice’ and for them to be heard. Pupils’ voices help to shape their learning, leisure and experience of school life. As they progress through the school we provide opportunities to take on roles of responsibility and leadership, preparing them for secondary school and beyond.

When the children reach Year 6, a Pupil Leadership Team is elected through a democratic system involving the whole school. This includes electing a head boy, head girl, deputies, and house captains. Each pupil who puts themselves forward for one of these roles has the opportunity to give a presentation to the rest of the school during the Hustings.

“It’s good that there is a trusted adult to talk to in private if we need to.” – Georgia Y6

The Pupil Leadership Team acts as role models for the younger children and are actively involved in school life. It is all great experience which helps them grow their confidence, leadership skills, and empathy and kindness towards others. Children lower down the school are also given the opportunity to represent the views of their peers. The School Council is made up of the head boy and head girl with elected pupils from Form 1 to Form 6. They meet once a week to discuss ideas for improvements and this is then fed back to the Headmistress.

“It’s not just the teachers who make decisions, the class views are also taken into account” – George Y4

When it boils down to levels of confidence to speak out, we are all different and some children find it hard to find their voice in a crowd. We listen to everyone – especially those who need help – and have a dedicated member of staff whose responsibility it is to provide both pastoral and emotional literacy (ELSA) support for children. This trusted adult is trained to listen to a child’s problems or concerns, help them develop their emotional understanding of the situation, and find appropriate coping skills for many of life’s challenges.

Book a tour with the Headmistress or attend an open day by emailing, call 01732 353941 or visit

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