7 September 2023

Student voice and agency through Carey’s Pride Week 2023

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Student voice and agency through Carey’s Pride Week 2023
Student voice and agency through Carey’s Pride Week 2023
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Carey’s focus on building a culture where teachers and students work together requires student voice, agency and leadership to be understood as inter-related factors that empower students and create sense of school pride.

This is the core purpose to why our Carey Student Community Groups are such an important pillar of student agency and action. The development of student-focussed groups which support inclusion, diversity and choice gives students an active platform that challenges them, encourages individual growth and develops connections. These groups welcome student agency and promote a learning journey which is bolstered by community and action. We believe that student voice is not simply about giving students the opportunity to communicate ideas and opinions; it’s about students having the power to influence change.

The Carey Pride Group is one of the opportunities our students have to feel a sense of belonging, empowerment and connection while finding their voice and agency. Our annual Pride Week provides a level of autonomy and power that a student experiences in the learning environment. Student voice and agency are intrinsically linked. Agency gives students the power to direct and take responsibility for their learning, creating independent and self-regulating learners.

A 2023 OECD report states:

‘The concept of student agency, as understood in the context of the OECD Learning Compass 2030, is rooted in the principle that students have the ability and the will to positively influence their own lives and the world around them. Student agency is thus defined as the capacity to set a goal, reflect and act responsibly to effect change. It is about acting rather than being acted upon; shaping rather than being shaped; and making responsible decisions and choices rather than accepting those determined by others. When students are agents in their learning, that is, when they play an active role in deciding what and how they will learn, they tend to show greater motivation to learn and are more likely to define objectives for their learning. These students are also more likely to have “learned how to learn” – an invaluable skill that they can and will use throughout their lives.’

Pride Week 2023
The annual Pride Week at Carey, now in its seventh consecutive year, brings together our large cohort of LGBTIQ+ students and allies. During the week, students heard from guest speaker and author Michael Earp and his anthologies on queer-youth-focussed stories. An engaging Q&A-style panel of current students and Carey alumni in the IWA debating and discussing topical questions and concerns took place on Thursday, and we capped the week off with the national Wear it Purple Day casual clothes day on the Friday.

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Our teachers celebrating Pride Week and LGBTIQ+ students
Our teachers celebrating Pride Week and LGBTIQ+ students
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Author Michael Earp
Author Michael Earp
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Wear it Purple Day
Wear it Purple Day

The messaging and promotion of the week invited our students to share in an event designed to educate and celebrate everyone in our community. The annual Carey Pride celebration is an opportunity for our community to show its support for our inclusive and equitable approach to all students.

Over the past seven years, Carey Pride has grown from a small idea into a vibrant and important part of our school community and the Carey experience. This year also saw a staff Pride Group commence and our Carey OCGA Pride Group is now actively involved in events such as the Midsumma Pride March in St Kilda. We are also very grateful for the generous support of support Pride initiatives through community donations – if you would like to support our students, please contact me, or Stuart Galbraith, Head of Advancement.

Simon Carver
Carey Pride Group Co-ordinator
Leader of Learning – Art and Design

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