Primary Pupils

What did the Primary pupils have to say…

…about the purpose of schooling?

❝For education.  To get, to be smart and get a job when you get older, to make money and earn a living.❞

❝So my opinion is basically you learn.  So you can succeed in life.  You don’t get a horrible life.  You know what you are doing, basically.❞

❝…personally, I think, you can learn in any kind of environment.  But school gives you a special discipline that you can’t find in any other environment …. You have people you learn with.  You learn group skills, communication.  You could learn anywhere, that’s what I feel.❞

…about assessment for learning?

❝I just listen to the feedback left on how I could do it better, look at the report cards, look at all the sheets I’ve done, where I can improve, what I can do.❞

❝…when we get our report cards, when teachers have written comments about how we have been in that semester in school…we can read it and then basically know what we have to do for the next year to make it look a little better.❞

❝…after we present…we always have…a comment, …the people will tell you…what you have done good and what you could improve on and I take that feedback and then I do it the next time.❞

❝I always feel like I know if I’m not doing well, it’s like, if I don’t understand…what the teacher’s just explained…if I panic, that probably [is] about understanding what to do.❞

❝I think that we shouldn’t get rid of grades and I think it’s a good thing. If you look at a grade and you get an A and you didn’t get A plus you know that you should be working harder instead of, like, having no marks and just, you give the sheet and you get the sheet back without changing anything, what you did right and what you did wrong.❞

❝…when you get a really bad grade, you kind of lose confidence in yourself. …we could improve our grading systems. I’ve experienced a lot of times my friends have been really under pressure when you get less than 50%.  A lot of parents in the world have…this thing that you have to get this much, which kind of scares these kids.  So grades aren’t completely a bad thing, but you don’t want to push it.❞

❝For me I think that grades are good and bad.  Good for, like, you know what you’ve done. You know you can improve if you’ve done bad and, if you’ve done good, you can just keep them good. But, like, it’s also bad if you do bad, maybe people can bully you and your confidence goes down… But if you remove them, you won’t know how well you’ve done, so you won’t know what to do…Maybe you did…bad, and you think you’ve done really good so you might not practise enough, so then you might not have any idea…what to do.❞

❝…grades tell you overall your experience.  So I think you should keep grades.❞

❝It should be a personal thing.  You should be able to improve by yourself. So that basically gives you confidence that you can do it by yourself.  You don’t need somebody to tell you and force you.❞

…about democratic education?

❝Personally, there have been cases where particular children have not had the will to study because of their class teachers, their subject or the style they are being taught in. …but stuff like what you do all day, whether you go to school there is an extent where it has to be controlled by an adult who has faced education and learned and knows much more than you know as a child.❞

❝…I think children shouldn’t have…much control.  …They should have control on just a few things, like if they want to go to the bathroom, something small like that, but nothing too big like what they do all day… I think the teachers should…really control everything.❞

❝So, honestly, for probably [the] first few days of [the] year at school, I think kids should have quite a lot of control. You know why, because you can tell if they are responsible, that will make them responsible, that will make them able to have that certain amount of discipline.  If you know that they can’t control that, then I think teachers should have more control than the children.❞

❝…if the teacher is not a good teacher, maybe [the student] could vote that they don’t want the teacher next year.  …I think that if the teacher is really bad and a lot of people think that, they don’t get a good education, then maybe they could vote for that teacher to be out or something.❞

…about their perfect school?

❝The one thing I would change is the fact that…the students should have…a chance to…speak their ideas more often, because lots of times in the school…only student council usually gets to speak about…their ideas and not a lot of the students are really enthusiastic about helping the school.❞

❝I’d probably make learning interesting.❞