Our School Council consists of representatives from each year group. The Council itself, is modelled on a democratic model, with a Chairperson to lead each meeting, assisted by a Vice Chair from the Infant School. The School Council meet fortnightly to discuss issues raised in their class council meetings. The children are consulted on important school decisions, conduct class discussions, vote on issues important to them, and organise fundraising events throughout the year. This ensures the children of Toftwood Infant and Junior School Federation are represented in decision making within the Federation.
Please see below for details of work the School Council have been involved in over the last year:
Autumn Term is always a very important time of year for the Federation School Council. In year 6 and year 2 the children were very busy taking part in the School Council hustings process. From year 6 a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary needed to be elected to run the School Council for the coming year, and year 2 took part in voting for a Vice Chairperson.
Candidates for the positions were put forward from each year group and during the week they were asked to make a speech to their classmates. All the children were given the chance to vote for their preferred candidate and discussed the importance of democracy, one of our British Values. Once the successful candidates had been announced each class from Year 1-6 voted for a School Council representative to join the meetings for the Autumn term.
“I think I should be in the class council because I listen to ideas, let everyone speak and have a turn. Everyone will have a fair say in everything. It will always be fair.” Year 6
“I think that I should be class representive because I have many fantasic ideas to offer and I have all the children’s best interest at heart. My aim is to make school life fun and happy for everyone. I would listen to everyones ideas and make my own too.” Year 6
The Federation School Council were determined this year to spread a little bit of Christmas joy far and wide. We discussed how the Coronavirus pandemic has effected different members of our community and the impact it may also have on many people over the festive period. The School Council were particularly concerned for the more elderly members of our community that may not be able to see their loved ones this Christmas time. We also discussed how hard it has been for us as a Federation to not be able to mix together with our friends for a pantomime, Christmas dinner and parties etc. As part of our Christmas quest we decided upon two projects which would involve our school working together and also supporting our local community.
Family Christmas Quiz
Members of the School Council used their class feedback time during early December to collect Christmas based questions from their class mates to add to a Federation family Christmas quiz. A whole range of questions were collected to enable every member of the family to take part. The final quiz was emailed out to all families within the Federation.
A huge thank you goes out to all the children and their families who completed the quiz. We had 135 entries with so many families getting all the answers correct. Everyone who took part received a Dojo, and huge congratulations goes to the winning pupil and her family who were from one of our reception classes.They received a delicious prize to share over the Christmas holidays. Well done everyone!
Christmas Cards for Care Homes
To help spread some Christmas kindness this year within our local community each member of the School Council created a Christmas card with a special message written by our Federation School Council Secretary.
The Christmas cards were sent out to the residents of local care homes.
The Federation received some lovely messages of thanks in return including a hand written one with a very special message to the children.
Well done to all the Federation School Council members this term for their hard work and commitment.
To support ‘Children in Need’ this year the children were invited to send in photographs via Dojo and Tapestry of themselves dressed up in spots, Pudsey outfits and as key workers. We had so many fantastic photos to look through. Well done to everybody for supporting such a great cause. As well as a special assembly to discuss the day, the school council voted on a wellbeing theme for the afternoon. Year groups took part in mindfulness colouring, yoga and relaxation activities. A fun time was had by all! Thank you to everyone who sent in donations to the Children In Need charity.
The Federation School Council have been very busy over the festive period designing and creating Christmas cards to send to the local community. We discussed the importance of belonging to a community and how lucky we are as a Federation to have such caring and supportive neighbours.
Once the cards had been created five of our council members took time out of their lunch break along with two members of staff to hand deliver the cards around the neighbourhood. Lots of people came out to say thank you including our friends at Little Owls Day Nursery. The nursery children were very excited to see us arrive with our hats on. “I think they thought we were real elves!” one of the School Councillors commented. We all agreed that hand delivering the cards and seeing everyone’s smiles made us feel very festive indeed!
In the run up to the General Election the Federation School Council have been discussing the word ‘Democracy’ and thinking about British Values. We talked about what the word Democracy means and how important it is to our country. We also thought back to when our classes voted and elected us during Hustings week and as School Council class representatives. We can see how important it is that everyone got the chance to have a vote.
All year groups have been recapping the importance of our British Values during the run up to the General Election and as a School Council we looked at the five values and thought about how they fit into daily life at Toftwood Infant and Junior School Federation. Some of the Infant School Council members have started to make posters for their rooms. Please see below for some information about British Values and some of the ideas we discussed in our meeting.
Yr 6 – “Voting takes place in our school so that everyone can have their say.”
In our school we have children and staff from other countries and cultures. We like to find out more about them by getting to know them more.
Yr 3 – “We say welcome!”
Individual liberty is about voicing our opinions in class.
Yr 5 – “We often get to do this especially in RE and PSHE”
Infant children discussed how important ‘Golden time’ is to them.
Federation Chairperson Yr 6 – “The Golden Rules are brilliant for our school because they keep each child feeling safe.”
A sound understanding of this enables our children to learn what is right and wrong – invaluable skills to equip them as they get older and face more challenges and decisions. This relates to the Rule of Law.
This term, the Federation School Council wanted to make changes and improvements to their playtimes. The Infants requested that some older children came over as playground pals to support and mentor them during playtimes. This now happens and is working successfully. The juniors suggested that different areas of the playground are allocated to different activities so that everyone is included and can feel safe. This is now mapped out and followed by the MSAs who have acknowledged the improvements that have been made. Corridor monitors at Juniors also help us to feel safe around the school.
These suggestions were all raised by our Federation school council this term, highlighting the importance of our pupils’ voices demonstrating our understanding of the British Values in practice.
Voting for Lunchtime Clubs
During the first half of the autumn term the Infant School Council were busy discussing lunchtime clubs in their class council meetings. It was decided that the children should have the final say into the types of clubs that they would like the teachers to run over the coming year. Each class council representative led a discussion in their classroom to create lists of the most popular choices and brought them back to the follow up meeting. As a council we looked through the lists and narrowed them down to 10 choices, discussing the practicalities of each club. The council took this list back to their classes and each child was asked to vote for their favourite two. This year’s chosen clubs are:
- Christmas Club
- Lego Club
- Board Games Club
- Arts and Craft Club
The teachers will run these though out the year alongside some of our existing clubs and various sports clubs that coincide with trips and events.
Summer Term 2019
We are all very excited that our “blue area” is now ready to be used at lunchtimes! Our school councils have been fundraising with a Bring and Buy sale for the last two Christmases and have raised money towards buying items for this area. We now have very smart picnic benches and storage boxes. Previous school council members suggested that the area could be used for quiet play by the PATHS person of the day and a friend, during lunchtime.
We will think of more fund-raising projects throughout the year to keep adding to our fun area. We will also be welcoming our new school council members for the summer term and seeing what new ideas they have for this on-going project.
Compliments and Acts of Kindness
During the period of Lent this year the Infant School Council decided to run our annual ‘Compliments Week’ alongside an ‘Acts of Kindness’ challenge!
The School Council challenged all year groups to show an act of kindness towards others to make them smile. Suggestions to complete this challenge included helping teachers with classroom jobs, helping the younger children with their trays in the dinner hall, giving up some time to help tidy the library, litter picking, reading and playing games with the reception and nursery children. Lots of children took up the challenge!
During our compliments week the children were reminded of how giving a compliment can boost someone’s confidence and self-esteem. The children were asked to write out a compliment slip for any adult or child in the school. We collected these compliment slips in a post box over the week and distributed them during a special assembly.