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Back to school: Hearing our children’s voices

We have been hearing from schools in the network how wonderful it has been to welcome more students safely back into school in recent weeks. Angelina Idun, director at SSAT, explains more and encourages you to share your own students’ experiences.

Much has been written and discussed about addressing the impact of time out of school and missed learning for our children, and about what more we will need to do to help our children deal with such enormous change and uncertainty. Continuing to meet the huge range of practical and emotional needs that have surfaced and been compounded by Covid-19 features in all our plans. Perhaps most importantly, we will all be creating space for every child to tell or show us in their own way how the experiences of recent months have affected them, their families and their communities.

What are our children saying?

We asked some schools in the network to share the eight questions below with their Year 10 and 12 students as they returned last month:

  • What, if anything did you miss about school during lockdown?
  • What has your school put in place to support your learning and help you in any other way while you’ve been at home?
  • What have you done during lockdown that you are most proud of (apart from schoolwork)?
  • How did you feel when you heard you were going back to school?
  • What three words would you use to describe being back at school?
  • Capture what it’s been like to be back at school in a sentence. What’s changed?
  • The government is still trying to work out how/when to bring more children back to school. What do you think should happen?
  • If you could give one piece of advice or guidance to year 10 or 12 students to help them as they get back to school now and start year 11/13 in September, what would it be?

Here’s how the students at Prendergast School in South London responded

Your opportunity to get involved
At SSAT, we are keen to hear and share the voices of students from other schools in the network. As all students return to school in September, we would like you to adapt and use the questions with your students. If, when you are ready, you would like to send us one or two of your student responses in words or a visual form, we will share these with the network during the autumn term. Email them to

The questions have been adapted for primary and SEND learners and we will make these available in the relevant updates.

We look forward to hearing from students from your school.

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