At Monksmead School we value the thoughts and the opinions of each and every child and it is our aim to nurture their confidence and ability to share their ideas and know that they will be listened to and taken seriously.
The school council does not run on the more traditional concept of two pupils from each class representing, and then feeding back to, their class. To ensure that every child is able to take part in discussions and have the opportunity to contribute to what is happening within the school, we run a 'whole school council'. For Monksmead, there are many benefits for adopting this style of council, including:
- Children will be self-aware
- pupils develop their confidence in sharing their own opinion, understanding that their opinion is important
- pupils develop their ability to listen to others appropriately and understand that their opinion may differ from that of someone else
- children are encouaged to reflect on their own opinions and how these might affect the school community
- Children embrace differences
- pupils get to meet children from other year groups
- children get to meet staff they might not know - for example, from a different Key Stage
- children develop the understanding that their opinion may differ from that of someone else and that this is normal
- children learn to listen and communicate respectfully
- children practise and refine their ability to speak and listen appropriately to different audiences - children who are younger/older than them as well as adults
- Children will be ambitious to take the next step
- Year 6 children are confident to, and are eager to, apply for the leadership roles and then model how to fulfil these roles so that future Year 6 children feel ready to apply for the roles in future academic years
- older children are able to develop their leadership and nurturing skills through supporting younger children to want to share their ideas
- as children move through the school, they are ambitious to take on these nurturing roles in these meetings, helping children younger than themselves
- younger children develop confidence from the beginning of their time in Year 1 and are eager to share their ideas and thoughts
- the School Council Team develop their skills in collaboration, organisation and leadership
- Children will be worldy-wise
- all children learn to listen and communicate respectfully
- children are able to reflect on different opinions and ideas, including their own
- through supporting younger children, the older children will understand the need for, and develop, a variety of skills such as the ability to communicate , be inclusive and encouraging in their approach to others, collaboration, effective organisation and time-management
We aim for meetings to take place each half term and broadly follow the same agenda:
|Assembly||School Council Leaders introduce the theme for the meetings|
All children from Year 1 to Year 6 take part
|Children go to predetermined classes - 5 children from each class in each classroom (e.g. in Year 1 classroom there will be 5 children from each of Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)|
|Children sit in mixed age groups|
|Class teacher leads the group through a presentation (each class has the same presentation for continuity), allowing the children the opportunity to share, discuss and write their ideas and thoughts|
|Following the meeting||Comments and notes are collected and given to SLT|
To help the council meetings run smoothly, there is a School Council Team.
In September 2021, pupils from Year 6 were invited to submit an application and were then invited for interview. The standard of applications was excellent and the children were, without exception, superb in their interviews – for many this was their first experience of such a formal process. The children made our decision incredibly difficult due to the high quality of their applications and interviews. For this reason we decided to offer a wider range of roles than in previous years to acknowledge their effort. The School Council Leadership Team now consists of two School Council Leaders, two Deputy Leaders and 6 Monitors. These all have specific roles within the school council process.
Over the past few years, the School Council has considered a variety of topics and we are thrilled that, following the pandemic, we are once again able to hold our meetings. Please enjoy looking at the following presentation to see some of the topics we have discussed in our meetings.