MRPS School Council: the story so far
Meet the team
Milton Road Primary’s school council is group of 26 children who have been elected to represent the views of all pupils and to improve our school. At the beginning of this school year, every class from Year 1 to Year 6 chose two children on the basis of those who felt that they had some good ideas, were keen to listen to their peers and to openly represent their views.
The council meets each week and meetings are kept in order and to time by an elected Chairperson while minutes are prepared, edited and published by a secretary. Mrs MacArthur attends all meetings, as does the school’s Head Teacher and Ian Nimmo-Smith, representing the school’s governors.
Making a real difference
The children are determined to show that our school council is effective; representing the views of all students and getting things done. To this end, the school council will:
• Meet regularly (every Monday lunch time)
• Decide what to talk about in advance and allow everyone to have their say
• Publicise the group’s membership and current business on a school council notice board
• Feedback what is discussed to children in class, and bring their views to future meetings
• Offer training for school council members through visitors to the meetings and also visits to other discussion forums, such as Cambridge City Hall
• Ask smaller groups (subcommittees) to work on specific events or issues
• Sometimes control a budget for particular projects
• Report back to governors and parents regularly, through newsletters and on the school’s website
Our targets for 2012-2013 – how well did we do?
During a whole school assembly in November 2012, the children agreed the following targets to improve our school:
1. Environment – we will make our school ‘litter free’ by the end of Summer term and develop an Eco Code to encourage reuse and recycling processes, gaining an Eco School Silver Award by July.
The Code was launched in January 2013 and we started to monitor certain areas such as the tidiness of class pods and shared cloakrooms. The best were awarded certificates in achievement assemblies and these are on display in the winning classes. We have regular litter picks but we still need to remind children, staff and parents not to leave things lying around – there have been several teacher assemblies highlighting this theme. We plan to introduce an Eco Council of 6 children in the new school year so as to review class and wider school use of water and power. We have joined the national Eco-Schools organisation and will look into an application for the Silver Award in Autumn term 2013.
2. Library – we will enrich the school’s brilliant library to include a study area for reference and other non-fiction material.
A team of Year 5 Library monitors has been trained by Mrs Daniels to oversee and encourage children’s use of our library each day. We have joined with children at Shirley Primary to share ideas about keeping the library fresh and exciting, and plan to visit one another’s schools to see the libraries in action.
3. Welcome – we will renew a Good Behaviour Code, involve more children in ‘playground buddy’ schemes to help children settle into life at MRPS, and use ICT to show in pictures and sounds (school website & Radio MRPS) what we proudly achieve each day.
The Good Behaviour Code was launched in January 2013. The eight points form the basis of themed assemblies run by teachers and their classes. One spin-off from this is that a group of Year 5 children asked to create a similar code for children’s safe and sensible use of the dining hall and courtyard during lunchtimes. This is planned to be ready for a trial in Spring term 2014.
4. Outdoor Learning – we will investigate stimulating new facilities such as the addition of a bouldering wall in the KS2 playground.
The bouldering wall was opened in July 2013. It took 6 months of careful planning, design and fund-raising. The final cost of £1500 was generously supported by the school’s Parent Teachers’ Association. A climbers’ code was put together and staff and children are able to use the wall safely during curriculum and non-curriculum sessions. It is great fun and children on the school council are proud of this new and lasting facility – a fitting end to their year on the pupil voice team!
Our targets for 2013-2014 – building on success
1. Environment – we will continue to highlight a ‘litter free’ school and launch an Eco Council to monitor and promote efficient use of water and electricity in line with our published Eco Code principles. We plan to gain an Eco School Silver Award by July 2014. We will visit Shirley Primary and welcome representatives from their school council to discover and share new ideas.
2. Library – our library buddy team will build a partnership with Shirley Primary so as to enrich the school’s brilliant library and monitor its use during lunch times.
3. Welcome – we will prepare a pupil brochure to help children settle into life at MRPS, and use ICT to show in pictures what we proudly achieve each day (collage posters in Community hall)..
4. Outdoor Learning – we will continue to investigate stimulating new facilities such as play equipment on KS1 and KS2 playgrounds, and the safe and efficient use of school’s bike and scooter storage areas..
Meeting date: 18th May
Chaired by: Mr McArthur
Governor present: Mr Nimmo-Smith
Year 6 is short of a School Council member now that Rory has moved away: Rachel will arrange another election with her teacher so that the new person can join our group immediately after Summer half term.
How can we communicate better? Weekly updates on website’s dedicated School Council area; display board (moveable so as to include all areas of school);
PTA offer of funds for each Year group – some suggestions: bins for toilets (Year 5); board games for wet breaks or quieter play (Year 3);
Enrich class reading areas – choices for new and exciting books from a range of genres; School Council members to organise a vote so as to gather the views and recommendations from all children in their classes (after Summer half term);
Contributions taken from Pupil Voice box:
Reinstate Mad March Hair day for 2015 – previous discussion item; School Council to choose and promote one charity event per year (Spring Term 2016)
Can the school have a daily uniform? – previous discussion item; will revisit as main theme in Autumn 2015 with staff and parent representatives invited.
Basket Ball posts repositioned to original places on Key Stage 2 playground – Max will explore reason for change of position with Mrs Hudson (Midday Supervisor) and report back to next meeting.
Introduce ‘choosing time’ on Friday afternoons (Year 2 and Year 3 classes) – curriculum timetable has changed this term and this time has been ‘lost’; further investigation needed once timetables have been finalised (July 2015).
Date of next meeting: Monday 8th June 2015 at 12:05 (Class 2M)