Speak Up

Student Voice

2017-18 SpeakUp Project Goals and Focus Areas

As you decide what to do for your SpeakUp Project, it helps to think about your goals and what area to focus on. These questions are meant to help you do this.

Please review these goals and focus areas carefully. They may inspire a project idea, or they could be part of what you are already planning!


Please think about how your SpeakUp Project will achieve one or more of the following goals. You will need to select at least one.

  • Achieving Excellence: Contribute to academic achievement, teach valuable skills and foster good citizenship through student engagement.
  • Ensuring Equity: Support the development of a learning environment that is safe, inclusive and responsive to the learning needs of all students.
  • Promoting Well-Being: Promote the cognitive, emotional, social, and/or physical well-being of students by fostering a positive sense of self and belonging and teaching the skills to make positive choices.
  • Enhancing Public Confidence: Establish or improve practices (what happens) or processes (how things happen) in the classroom, school or community so that students and their families continue to have confidence in publicly funded education.

Focus Areas

You need to select one focus area that fits your project idea best. Your project idea will be evaluated on how well it supports your chosen focus area and the goals you selected.

Here are the focus areas:

1. Create Opportunities for Experiential Learning

Our project will involve collaboration, on-line or face-to-face, with one or more community partner(s) to provide experiential learning opportunities for students. Our community partner(s) may have a local, national or global connection outside the school. Our project will pursue an area of interest to our team that is also beneficial to our community partner. We will work with our community partner to plan and implement our experiential learning project. As part of our project, we will reflect on what we have learned about ourselves and our opportunities through the experience and how it has informed our decisions and future plans.

2. Embrace and Promote Healthy, Equal Relationships and/or Gender Equality

Our project will foster positive school environments for all students by examining gender equality in school and/or promoting healthy, respectful peer and personal relationships. Our project could be connected to Ontario's Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment (2015) and/or Women's Economic Empowerment – A Call to Action for Ontario (2017).

3. Promote Healthy Schools

Our project will help promote student well-being by focusing on one or more health-related topics in the Foundations for a Healthy School (2014) resource.

4. Create Partnerships to Customize a Learning Experience

Our project will aim to increase student engagement, learning and/or achievement. We will achieve this by finding an opportunity for us to partner with one or more teachers to customize an educational experience in the classroom, school or community so that it addresses our particular interests, strengths and/or learning needs.

5. Improve Student Engagement and/or Achievement in Math

Our project will help students partner with teachers and/or parents/guardians to increase achievement and engagement in math.

6. Promote the Development of Global Competencies

Through our project we will learn about important global competencies (e.g. transferrable skills) such as communication, critical thinking and problem solving, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, collaboration and self-directed learning. Our project supports real-world learning partnerships, experiential learning and innovative learning spaces. The development of competencies can be enhanced through the use of digital tools like blogs, wikis, social media, multimedia and mobile technology at a local, regional or global level. We also model digital citizenship to address: online safety, security, privacy and responsible and respectful communications in a world of diversity.

7. Promote French-Language Perspectives

Our project aims to promote inclusion, equity and diversity by helping French-language schools and students connect with the French-language community. Our project aims to empower French-language students, newcomer students and Indigenous students to get involved and be engaged with the French-language. Students may participate in French-language events, or could promote existing events and/or organize their own.

8. Promote Indigenous Perspectives

Our project will focus on affirming Indigenous cultural identity. Students will have a leadership role in identifying and organizing activities that enrich Indigenous cultural and social awareness within the community. Activities could include, but would not be limited to: the development of peer-to-peer mentoring, assemblies, research projects, clubs, and/or work engaging the arts, including music, movement, drama or graphic design.

9. Ensure Equity

Our project aims to help ensure that every student should have the opportunity to succeed personally and academically, regardless of background, identity or personal circumstances. Through our project, we will examine and develop responses to structures, policies, programs, and practices that may unintentionally disadvantage certain student populations, including but not limited to students experiencing poverty, newcomers to Canada, students who identify as LGBTQ or Two-Spirited, children and youth in care, religious minorities, French language minorities, students with disabilities, and students with special education needs. Students may participate in events that support equity and inclusive education, or could promote existing events and/or organize their own. Our project could be connected to Ontario's Education Equity Action Plan (2017).

10. Promote Anti-Racism

Our project will focus on taking proactive steps to fight racial inequality. Through our project, students will acknowledge that systemic racism exists and will work to actively confront the unequal power dynamic between groups and the structures that sustain it. We will critically assess structures, policies, programs and practices and develop responses (activities, clubs, events, etc.) to ensure that they are fair and equitable for everyone, including but not limited to racialized and Indigenous students. Our project could be connected to A Better Way Forward: Ontario's 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan (2017).

11. Promote Well-Being

Our project aims to help students build the knowledge and skills associated with well-being and supports students in being healthy, active and engaged citizens. Through our project, we will promote the cognitive, emotional, social, and/or physical well-being of students in our school, recognizing that these elements are critical to our development, with self/spirit at the centre. Students may lead and/or participate in new or existing projects or events that support or promote well-being. Our project could be connected to the findings of What We Heard: Well-Being in Our Schools, Strength in Our Society (2017).

12. Promote Financial Literacy

Our project aims to help students develop the knowledge and skills to make responsible economic and financial decisions with confidence. Through our project, we will support students to: carefully consider their financial choices; understand basic money management; develop their own perspectives on financial matters; stay financially stable and healthy throughout life; and understand the impact of economic choices on the world they live in.

13. Promote the Arts

Our project aims to motivate students to engage more fully in cultural life and other educational opportunities through participation in the arts. Through our project, we will support students to: develop their creativity, learn about their own identity, and develop self-awareness, self-confidence, and a sense of well-being. Students may lead and/or participate in new or existing projects or events that support or promote the arts.

14. Other

If you select this option, you will need to tell us about it on the online application.

Next Step: Review the SpeakUp Project scoring tips so you can think about how to develop and describe your project idea, and understand how your answers will be scored before you apply.