Get yourself heard

Former Blackpool FC player Andy Morrell with (from left) Emily Fitzsimon (Layton Primary), Bradley Hurd (Baines Endowed CE), Harry Woods (St John's CE), Sophie Chaplin (Woodlands), Luke Butterworth (Holy Family), Callum Shreeve (Montgomery), Jenny Kay (Thames), Jo Miller (organiser) and Adam Clarke (Park School).

Former Blackpool FC player Andy Morrell with (from left) Emily Fitzsimon (Layton Primary), Bradley Hurd (Baines Endowed CE), Harry Woods (St John's CE), Sophie Chaplin (Woodlands), Luke Butterworth (Holy Family), Callum Shreeve (Montgomery), Jenny Kay (Thames), Jo Miller (organiser) and Adam Clarke (Park School).

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PUPILS learned how to get their voices heard in style as they met at a state-of-the-art new venue.

More than 100 children from Blackpool primary school councils met for the Pupil Voice conference in the resort’s newest youth centre.

And the day was extra special for conference delegates as they got to visit one of Blackpool’s most striking new buildings.

The event was held at the £4.6m My Place centre on Palatine Road, which has recently been renamed The Oracle.

And making sure children have the skills they need for next year was the focus of the day, according to Beth Murray, from Layton Primary School.

She said: “The conference was a really good event and all the children, and the staff were very impressed with the new building.

“School councils are so important for giving children a voice so we have set up a committee of teachers from Blackpool schools to guide them.

“They seemed to really enjoy the day and hopefully it will give the children plenty of inspiration for the new term.”

The conference at the St Annes Road centre in South Shore was organised by Jo Miller, a teacher from Montgomery High School.

She had helped co-ordinate four different workshops including one on confidence building, another on developing a pupil voice through drama, a pupil voice through art session and how to run a school council classes.

The children from 19 Blackpool schools looked how to manage stress through acting out role plays in drama and made a large piece of art.

As a special treat, they were joined by former Blackpool FC player Andy Morrell, who was the guest speaker for the conference.

Mrs Murray added: “It was great hearing Andy speak about how he had managed to become a professional footballer and how hard he worked to get there.

“We try and hold events for pupils a couple of times of year in the hope they will learn enough to run their councils effectively and efficiently.

“We ask for representatives from schools and asked them to take back the lessons they had learned and share them with the rest of the school council.”

The day got a resounding thumbs-up from pupils from Layton Primary School.

Taylor Hyndman, from Year Five at the Meyler Avenue school, said: “I had a great time at the pupil voice conference. The workshops were really good fun and I think we will be well prepared for being on the school council next year.”

Classmate Paige Holland added: “I really liked being inside the new building, the conference was really fun.

“It was good hearing about how Andy Morrell became a footballer when he spoke to us. I’m looking forward to being on the school council.”

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