Pupils take over their school

Morpeth's Newminster Middle School pupil Brodie Willis is seen leading an English class at a National Takeover Day event held at the school.
Morpeth's Newminster Middle School pupil Brodie Willis is seen leading an English class at a National Takeover Day event held at the school.

PUPIL power reached new heights at a Morpeth school as some of the children were put in charge of their peers.

A number of Student Voice members at Newminster Middle School and Technology College had a go at teaching lessons in a range of subjects as part of the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day initiative.

After completing a condensed initial teacher training course, the pupils successfully planned and delivered classes across most of the school day.

Rachel Hughes, a Student Voice Leader who is in Year 8, taught lessons in drama, maths, PE and led a ‘deep learning experience’ session – they were introduced in schools to develop a wider understanding of equality and the importance of challenging discrimination.

“It was an enjoyable experience but also very useful to get a taste of what it is like to be a teacher,” she said.

“Planning was vital because I had to know exactly what I was doing for the whole lesson. I learned that good communication skills are very important and I picked up more things as the day went on.

“I now understand that when teachers get angry with students there is always a reason because it’s quite stressful. Takeover Day also gave me an opportunity to see some of the classrooms I hadn’t been in before.”

Other tasks carried out by the pupils included being on duty in the yard during breaks and the cafeteria at lunchtime, looking after those in detention and helping out in the school office.

Newminster teacher and Student Voice Co-ordinator Andrea Cole said: “The pupils who took part said it was a wonderful experience and it gave them a great insight into teaching as well as the work that is done by our other staff.

“It gave them the opportunity to develop personal and organisational skills, which will build up their confidence.”