School Council & Pupil Voice
Becoming part of our School Council gives children at St John's the chance to make their voice heard and develop some leadership skills. Each year we teach the children about democracy (one of the four British Values) and then complete class votes to choose our councillors. This is a fun process, which helps the children to understand the way that Britain is led and gives them an opportunity to write a letter of application or complete a verbal presentation to their peers explaining why they think they would be good at the job.
We currently have 20 School Councillors made up of 4 children each from Year 2 - Year 6. They meet regularly to discuss school issues, facilitated by Miss Clarke. Here are a selection of the things they have talked about this year:
- Expectations for behaviour at St John's and our new Respect Rules.
- The role of a School Councillor.
- Ideas to improve learning - a better variety of reading books, more practical science, renovate outdoor quad garden, upgrade computers.
- How can we celebrate our different cultures? - special days looking at different religions.
- How can we raise money for Children in Need? - sponsored walk, non-uniform day, cinema night.
Understanding roles in a committee and nominating children - Secretary, Chair and Vice Chair.
Discussion about Green Treat - Does it work? How can we improve it?
The children talked about their ideas for different activities in different classrooms to give greater choice and motivation. Their ideas included: art, movies, sports, board games, laptops. They thought children could donate £1 each for a bigger termly treat to include biscuits and drinks.
They also discussed the seriousness of a red card sanction.
The councillors worked together to make posters for Children in Need on Friday 17th November.
The children got together to design a questionnaire about homework then delivered it to all classes in KS1 and KS2.
The group shared ideas to improve and reward good attendance.
The councillors talked about healthy lifestyles and school dinners. They surveyed some children in the dining hall to find out their views. They found out that baked potatoes are a popular choice for children who don't like the main option that day as you can have it with beans, cheese or tuna. Most children like potatoes and have them at home, but it depends how they are cooked.
Some children would like more variety. Their favourite choices would be: wraps, kebabs, pasta, rice, samosas, crackers and cheese, chicken, noodles, fish and chips. Luckily, many of these things are regularly on our menus already.
The children looked at the playground to see how it could be improved. They really like the gardening area, outdoor classroom and new astro-turf area. They also like the games that the sports coaches organise, but would like the Anomaly screen to be updated more regularly. They would like to get more seating areas around the Year 6 block and a traversing wall along the back wall.
Our Peer Mediators are also chosen democratically and then receive training to help them to mentor and support other pupils on the playground. This supportive role builds leadership skills and gives our children the opportunity to interact across the year groups and solve problems together. This is a great learning experience for our pupils.
We have just introduced Sports Leaders in KS2. These children applied for the position and are now receiving training with a sports coach to help them to achieve their Playmaker Award. They support the coaches to deliver fun exercise and play opportunities at lunchtimes.
We have a small but dedicated team who help us to promotoe and organise our recycling at St John's. We hope to build upon this next year.
All of our teachers recognise the motivational powers of giving children classroom roles and responsibilities. To find out more about these, visit your child's year group page.