In The Stour Federation we believe the best schools have a pupil-led culture where children take on key leadership roles and get their voice heard. Over the years we have wholeheartedly valued the work of our pupil leaders, using it to shape the teaching and learning that happens at our schools. We are moulding leaders of the future, ready for work, ready for the world.
Our aim is for our children to have the opportunity to make their voices heard and have an input into policies, lessons and school culture to be recognised and utilised. By having a platform to be leaders around the school, we hope it will give our children the drive and confidence to apply these skills in school and other group settings, at secondary school and in employment, ensuring that they become successful members of the local and global community in the 21st century.
School Council is elected by the children, run by the children, for the children. As children are at the heart of our community, their voices need to be heard. The School Council enables all of the children at Shipston Primary School to contribute to their school community as active citizens; express their ideas, make positive contributions and be involved in decisions affecting them. This helps to promote peer leadership, openness and awareness, and democracy. More importantly, this helps children feel safe and happier at school, as they feel they are listened to.
Each year, every child in Year 2 up to Year 5 are encouraged to stand for class election, preparing a speech and delivering it to their peers for each class to democratically vote two class representatives. Year 6s write an application for one of the roles on the main committee stating their strengths and reasons for applying. Year 1s are always included in weekly meetings, with two different children from each class attending the meeting, supported by a Year 6 committee member who takes notes and guides the young children throughout the experience.
Once the committee is formed in the first few weeks of the autumn term, this group of children are initially guided and supported in their roles by the teacher representative, who models the roles with the intention that the children take these responsibilities on independently, as soon as possible. They learn it is the School Council’s job to involve everyone, not do everything.
Initially, through fun team building games, the newly elected team learn to work together, support and lead when needed. Year 6 quickly gain skills in their leadership roles and are always keen to support the lower years during the meetings. The Chairpersons also regularly meet with Heads of School to update on the School Council’s focus and achievements, whilst the secretaries take minutes of the meetings, the treasurers learn to keep basic book-keeping accounts, and the publishers promote events through designing posters.
Raising the profile of the School Council is done through a School Council display board that is regularly updated with the achievements and upcoming events. School councillors are awarded house colour badges which are worn at all times and issued with a notebook which they bring to the weekly meetings. Here, matters are discussed, and vital information is gathered or recorded ready to discuss with their respective classes at an appropriate time.
All the children on our School Council are keen to support and run the various fundraising events which are held throughout the year. This includes supporting FOSP with their summer fetes, cake sales, as well as the children gaining the support of the local community through writing and delivering letters to local businesses and designing posters to promote the School Council's focus for their fundraising, for that year.
Car Idling Campaign
One of the activities we have to complete as part of the Warwickshire Safe and Active school award is to raise the awareness of idling cars near schools. Warwickshire County Council’s Road Safety Education Team and Shipston Primary’s School Council have launched a campaign to improve the air quality around our school at the start and end of the day.
We are now encouraging everybody who travels by car to prevent idling by switching off your engine. Idling means leaving a car engine running whilst it is stationary. When stationary for more than 10 seconds please consider switching off your engine.
According to Living Streets and the British Lung Foundation, there are several benefits to our children and families when we prevent idling:
- By preventing the breathing in of harmful fumes from idling vehicles, we can reduce the risk of health problems such as lung and heart disease, strokes, and respiratory illnesses.
- The average emissions of a passenger vehicle are 4.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – by switching off your engine you can help to reduce this figure.
- Drivers can save money by not wasting fuel when a car is switched on unnecessarily.
For more information about idling cars, Living Streets have produced an anti-idling toolkit which can be found at: https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/tackle-air-pollution
Pupil Librarians are pleased to welcome children into the school library. The library has an extensive Accelerated Reader fiction section ranging from level 1 all the way up to level 11 and also a large selection of fiction books that are not on Accelerated Reader to read for fun. For younger readers, there is a fantastic range of picture books to pick from that can be enjoyed alone or with an adult. As well as all the fantastic fiction, we have a large range of non-fiction on a variety of subjects that can help with the children’s learning in and out of school.
The library is available for the children every morning break and lunch time, and, with a teacher’s permission, during registration and at the end of the day. During those times our brilliant pupil librarians will be keeping the place tidy and helping out where they can.
We are delighted to confirm that our Squiggle Stationery Shop is open. Parents can order and pay for these items on ParentPay.
Squiggle Stationery Shop
Adopt a Polar Bear
Applying to be a School Councillor
Teachers have been impressed with the thoughtful, inspiring and personal speeches children have made to persuade their classmates to vote for them. A powerful example from Alexander is below:
I would like to be considered for School Council because I think I would do a great job telling the Council what you think of our school. A School Council rep shouldn’t be a popularity contest, you should vote on who would do the best job ever. I would talk to everybody in Key Stage 2 and listen to what all of you say. I would have no problems going back to the Council and telling them your views and to Mr. Hilton as well.
I’ve got some amazing ideas to take to the Council already on how to raise money for our school if we are allowed to because of COVID, I would suggest some fun things for us all to look forward to and enjoy. Because of my autism, I understand that not everybody enjoys fun things like discos. If I am on the School Council I can speak up for children like me and make sure that they have fun at school events too. Did you know we can have a silent disco? That’s a disco where you wear headphones to listen to the music so it’s not too loud for children like me with autism. Also, some children don’t like losing like I used to, so if we were to have a school fete with a tombola, I would tell the Council to remember this and to make sure all children get a prize, even if they don’t win.
Please vote for me, I would be a brilliant councillor.