Pupil voice - I want to help people and give them justice

31st October 2008 at 00:00
Afsana Ishrat, 15, is a Year 11 pupil at the The Grays School Media Arts College in Essex

What's your favourite subject?

History, because I am interested in finding out about what happened before the 21st century. I also enjoy it because Miss Merritt, my teacher, has a unique and active way of teaching that makes me learn things better. She recently got us to create a radio broadcast that we pretended went live during the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. We had to interview people based on what we'd learnt. Then we got to record it in our media suites. That's how Miss Merritt keeps what we've learnt stuck in our heads.

What makes a good teacher?

Someone who is enthusiastic and passionate about what they teach. They have to interact with pupils and try to relate to them as well.

What do you most like and dislike about school?

I like the fact that I can have a say and make my school better not just for me but for all the other pupils. I'm deputy head girl and am on the school council, where we try to be the voice of all the pupils in the school. I also like it because it is somewhere you can socialise and make lots of friends. I don't really dislike anything about school.

Describe the best lesson you've ever had

It was a history lesson in Year 9. We had a competition to make a board game about what we had learnt about the 20th century. I made a game that was like Guess Who? but it was called Guess What? My friend and I won.

What stops you from learning?

Probably when people are really distracting or when they pick on people or don't listen to what the teacher is telling them.

What three things are needed to make a good school?

A school community that works together; a school that can acknowledge and listen to pupils, and a school that can educate pupils with the knowledge they need not just to pass exams or get a job, but also about life.

What would you change about your school if you could?

I'd let pupils bring in their MP3 players because I think that pupils like me can concentrate more while listening to music.

What would you introduce if you were headteacher?

A day when everyone can celebrate their religion. It would reduce racism and make people more aware of other cultures.

What would you like to be when you are older?

A police officer because I want to help people and give them justice. I'd be able to reduce issues such as bullying and racism by encouraging people to take it seriously and talk about it. I want to help my community and actually be someone's role model and influence them with my actions.

How do you think society sees young people?

Most people see them as immature and disobedient, but they forget that there are young people who are mature and understanding. Society should do more to stop things such as teenage knife crime. They need to give more attention to young people; after all, it is us who will take the world into the future.

What's your favourite slang word at the moment?

"Innit man". It is just like saying yes.

What's your favourite clothes label?

Clothes labels don't really matter to me because at the end of the day, they are just clothes.

What celebrity would you most like to be?

Nelson Mandela or Rosa Parks.

What's been your most embarrassing moment?

It was when I did the Christmas karaoke in my school last year. Me and one of my friends performed in disguise.

What would your superpower be?

I would have magical powers that allowed me to literally do anything.

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

Help poor people and try to end poverty and also stop racial discrimination.

"I wish adults would sometimes."

Treat us as adults and not always think that we are immature. They should let us be independent for once.

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