Pupil voice - Equality and respect make a good school

12th September 2008 at 01:00
Arazoo Kadir, 14, is a Year 9 pupil from Acton High School in west London

What's your favourite subject?

English because I enjoy learning about the structure of the language and its history. My first language is Kurdish, and I was born in Sweden so I speak Swedish too. English is my third language. I love using English creatively because it's a satisfying way of expressing myself. I won the creative writing category at this year's London Student Awards, which was a real boost to my self-confidence.

What makes a good teacher?

Someone who is fair yet fun and makes lessons enjoyable. They're passionate about their subject and share that passion with pupils.

What do you like about school?

The fact that it's full of different people and cultures. Whatever race you are or wherever you're from, you're always treated like an equal and respected. I'm less keen about having to get up early because I love sleeping in.

Describe the best lesson you've ever had

It was a history lesson earlier this year when we learnt about communism and capitalism before the First World War. It broadened my knowledge of the way humans work and the way we've structured society.

What three things make a good school?

Equality and respect between everyone, co-operative pupils who work together, and high learning standards.

What would you change about your school?

I'd remove some of the stairs. It's tiring running up three flights of stairs in a rush in the mornings.

If you were the headteacher, what would you introduce at your school?

I'd bring in a new uniform that would look smart but also be comfortable and easy to move in.

What would you like to be when you're older?

An architect because I like art and maths and architecture is a combination of the two. It is something I can see myself enjoying for a long time in the future.

How do you think society views young people?

I think it sees us in a bad light and tends to highlight the negatives instead of trying to help the situation or recognise that there are also a large amount of bright and talented teenagers around.

Tell us about your favourite hobbies

I like playing the flute and read lots of books - especially by Jacqueline Wilson and J.K. Rowling. I love writing too. I have presented my own speeches to the Kurdish education minister, the Kurdish ambassador, and now the leader of the Kurdish Parliamentary group in the Iraqi Parliament. I have also written letters about the genocide in Halabja to the Iraqi Embassy in London.

What's your favourite slang phrase?

"Bare jokes". It really means, "Oh that was so much fun" or "that was really funny".

What are your most treasured possessions?

My photographs of my parents living in Kurdistan and my childhood in Sweden. I love rummaging through them and remembering a moment in time that had completely slipped my mind.

What's your favourite film?

City of God, based in Brazil.

What celebrity would you most like to be?

Agyness Deyn. I love fashion and would love to see that side of the fashion industry and how models lead their lives.

What's your most embarrassing moment?

It was when I had just finished my Year 9 Sats test. I went in to the nextdoor room to collect my bag and a teacher said very loudly: "Hey you - I think you need to fix your zip." I could hear everyone who had just finished their exams laughing hysterically. I zipped up my trousers and ran out.

What is your earliest memory?

I remember falling into the toilet when I was about three or four because I was so small.

If you had a superpower what would it be?

I would love to be invisible. It would be so amazing to do lots of stuff without anyone seeing you or being able to spy on someone.

"If I was prime minister for one day I would .".

Change tax rates and improve job allocations around the country.

"I wish that adults would sometimes .".

Remember how it was to be young and see things from our point of view.

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