Our school works well because pupils and staff listen to each other and work together. There is also a positive impact on behaviour. As pupils know their voice is heard and acted upon, they do not need to seek attention in inappropriate ways. Contributing to their school community has also enabled our children to develop self-esteem, self-confidence and social skills.
How do we listen to Pupil Voice? School Council and Class Councils
The first School and Class Councils were set up in 2004. All children from Reception to Year 6 have the chance to nominate themselves for election as Class Representative. A whole-school election takes place in the Autumn term complete with ballot boxes, polling stations and ballot papers. It is a very serious business! The boy and girl elected from each class make up the School Council.
Regular School Council meetings are held and run on formal lines with a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Weekly Class Council meetings are run on similar lines depending on the age of the children. Class Councils deal with issues relevant to their own classes - anything from how to keep cloakrooms tidy to deciding what toys to buy - and Class Reps will also take some matters to the School Council. These topics are discussed, minutes are taken by the Secretary and circulated across school and Reps also report back to their classmates. Everybody is therefore kept well informed of progress. The School Council also draws up and works through its own yearly action plan. Mrs Downing, the Link Teacher, supports the School Council's work but aims to interfere as little as possible!
The School and Class Council system has achieved many things. It has organised fun activities to raise money for others (Children in Need, Comic Relief and Happy Shoesday) and for school equipment (playground benches, Sandpits. playground toys and wet play games). It has made great contributions to how the school is run such as:
- Suggesting improvements to lunchtimes
- Contributing to the anti-bullying policy
- Improving food in school - suggesting healthy snacks
- Working with others - Governors, The PTA, Catering Staff, School Council Reps from other schools
To put it simply, Pupil Voice makes Fenstanton and Hilton School a fantastic place to be!