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:
The Autumn term has seen the start of a new Federation School Council. Children across the federation volunteered for the positions of class representative. Each class voted for their chosen candidate.
In years 6 and 2 the children took part in a separate 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.
Each of the candidates were asked to make a speech to their classmates and all the children were given the chance to vote in the election using ballot papers. During this process we discussed the importance of democracy, one of our British Values.
Congratulations to our elected members for their excellent public speaking. Our Chair Person spoke about how he has had lots of help from adults in school during his time here and he now wants to help other students and make it the best it can be. He wants to help others and make sure no one is left out. His qualities include being a good listener and will think things through for the best possible outcome.
During our first meeting the school council discussed the possible name for our new federation reward system. We have asked classes to vote from the shortlist below:
Toftwood Tokens, Excellence Points, Merit Tokens
All of the children were invited to submit ideas for the rewards, which they will get once they have received 10 ‘points’ or they can bank them to work for a 20 points reward. Points will be awarded for the above and beyond behaviours, or overcoming a particularly difficult challenge. Here are the ideas the children came up with:
Rewards for 10 points
- Basketball at lunchtime with 3 friends
- Bring your toy or stuffed animal to school
- Colouring outside or in the hall
- Football in the Smooga at break with three friends
- Have a draw with Rob
- Lunch time with your teddy
- Maths challenges
Rewards for 20 points
- Climbing frame with 3 friends
- Disco with the disco ball
- Going to Reception for an hour to help
- Library lunch with friends
- Lunch on a special table in the hall with 3 friends
- Lunch with your brother or sister
- Lunch with your favourite adult
Voting for Infant Lunchtime Clubs 2023-24
During the first half of autumn term the infant school council have been busy discussing lunchtime clubs. The teachers at Infants decided to let the children have the final say into the types of clubs that they would like to have over the coming year. As a council we looked through the list from last year and discussing the practicalities of each club. The children then voted for their preferred choices. Some of the clubs included in the final list were:
- Lego Club
- Film Club
- Dance Club
- Singing Club
- Nature Club
- Treasure Hunt Club
- Mindfulness Club
- Summer Sports club
- Art Club
The teachers will run these throughout the year alongside some of our existing clubs and various sports clubs that coincide with trips and events.
Recycling in our Federation
During the last meeting of Autumn 1 the children in the school council discussed ways to improve recycling within our Federation. The children talked about how our bins can be used properly and raising attention to this through creating new posters to go up around the classroom, along with conducting a special assembly for their peers.
The council took a feedback sheet back to their classes to discuss any other ideas with their class. Some classes have voted in a ‘Litter Monitor’ to check the bins at the end of the day. The council will report back in the first meeting of Autumn 2 on how this is going and whether we can role this idea out in every class.
Summer 2023 – Road Safety & End of Term Activities
Over the Summer term the Federation School Council have been busy discussing how safe the roads are around our schools, and what we can do to make people more aware of potential hazards. The children decided to make posters that could be laminated and displayed on the school fence for the general public to see as they parked.
The children discussed not parking on the yellow zig zags, reducing speed and crossing at the designated crossing. The final posters looked wonderful and will be displayed in the Autumn term.
The last job of the year for our Federation School Council was to create a list of ideas for end of year treats for their classes. The children took the list back to their own class and held a vote.
Below are the treats the year groups voted for. A lovely way to end a busy year.
Reception – Year group disco and classes voted for their favourite song
Year 1 – Year group disco
Year 2- Class film and year group art day
Year 3- Class film
Year 4- Class film and a sing along session
Year 5- Disco, film and an afternoon with the outside sport equipment
Year 6- Class film
On Wednesday 19th April, school council hired equipment from Breckland Council to litter pick in and around our school. Before they started, the children discussed how to stay safe when collecting rubbish and had some great ideas! One child explained the importance of wearing gloves and washing their hands thoroughly once they had finished. Together, they collected a couple of bags of rubbish, which was mainly found in bushes close to the school.
To support ‘Red Nose Day’ this year the children of the School Council asked pupils and staff across the Federation to take part in a non-uniform day. They made posters for every classroom to advertise the event and also asked their peers to add the colour red to their outfit if they could.
During the day both schools discussed the work of the Comic Relief charity and took part in an assembly. The School Council helped to collect donations from their class and the treasurer counted this at the end of the day.
A huge thank you to everyone who donated to the Comic Relief charity. We raised a grant total of £477.99!
Toftwood Infant and Junior School Federation were fortunate to have the book fair visit. Our Treasurer (Rose) kindly helped out after school and was in charge of taking cash payments for items purchased. Rose was excellent and was able to confidently use mental maths to calculate the price of books and give change.
The Federation School Council had a meeting in early December and decided to create Christmas cards to send to our local community. Each school council member hand made a card with a festive picture and our secretary wrote a message to go inside.
The recent frosty, slippery paths have made delivering our special cards a bit of a challenge, but after some patient waiting we were able to go out and spread some Christmas cheer to our neighbours and our friends at Little Owls Nursery. One year 2 member of our school council added a little bit of carol singing for a couple of the residents that we met along the way.
During Autumn 2, the school council have been discussing how we could make positive changes in and around school. The children all made fabulous suggestions, where they explained how this would change our school. Once all of the ideas were collated, we invited Mrs Pedlow to our meeting, where the children discussed these with her. She was pleased with how well the children respected one another when contributing their ideas, as well as the ideas themselves.
The children’s suggestions:
- A whole federation playtime
- A federation lunch for the King’s Coronation
- More bins
- More equipment for lunchtimes
- Road safety talk
- Whole federation Art day
The Federation School Council have had a very busy start to Aut 2 half term preparing for our ‘Odd Socks Day’ as part of Anti-Bullying Week and the Children in Need non-school uniform day.
Both events take place annually within the Federation and the School Council take an active part in creating posters and collecting donations.
On the day of Children in Need each class council rep collected donations from their own classes and helped the adults to bag it up to take to the office. The Treasurer at Juniors and Vice Chairperson at Infants helped to count the total money raised.
A huge thank you to everyone for their generous donations. We raised an amazing £560!
Over the summer term the Federation School Council have been working hard on generating ideas for fundraising events. The council were asked to come up with some ideas to help raise money for an exciting new project for the school – an outside reading den! This den will be for the children to use as a quite reading area during break and lunchtimes. It will also be a lovely location for a class story.
The children gathered ideas during their class council feedback time and brought these to the meetings where we discussed them and considered the practicalities of each one. Over two meeting the council created quite an extensive list for future events but decided on holding a ‘Used Book Sale’ before the end of the summer term.
The children sent an email out asking for second hand book donations to come into school and then sorted them out into Infant and Junior books. All books were priced at 20p, 50p and £1.
We were overwhelmed by the generous donations we received and as a result were able to hold the book sale over three consecutive days! Some of the school council members helped to run the stalls.
A grand total of £291.81 was raised. Thank you to everyone who donated and bought a book!
To support ‘Red Nose Day’ this year the children of the School Council asked the pupils and staff across the Federation to take part in a ‘Playground Team Challenge’ event along with a non-uniform/wear something red day.
During the day every class worked together as a team to earn themselves an end of day reward. The children were asked to challenge themselves to do laps of the playground in an interesting or imaginative way (hopping, side step etc.). Each class estimated how many laps they could complete as a group in 5 minutes. They then set themselves a goal and voted for a class reward. We were lucky to have wonderful weather which helped make our playground challenge really enjoyable.
During the day both schools discussed the work of the Comic Relief charity. In Year 2 the children also counted up their donations as part of their maths lesson for the day.
A huge thank you to everyone who donated to the Comic Relief charity. We raised a grant total of £565!
Year 4 take our voting very seriously! To elect our new school council representatives we decided to give the children a real voting experience. The children put their names forward if they wanted to take on the responsibility of being a school council rep and we created ballot papers with their names on.
In our classes, we discussed the importance of voting and what it would be like voting in local or national elections when they are older. We also talked about how their vote is secret and told them that they do not need to tell anyone how they voted. Then the children lined up to collect their ballot papers and took them to the “booths”. They very carefully put an x in the box next to the candidate they wanted to vote for and then took their ballot paper to post it into the ballot box.
Once all the children had voted we explained how all of the votes would be counted and even briefly discussed different electoral systems such as first past the post and proportional representation! The children thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a lot from the experience!
The Federation School Council had a meeting in late November to reflect on how difficult the last two years may have been for the more elderly members of our community who live within our local care homes. We decided to focus our annual Christmas card making once again to help spread some Christmas joy.
Each school council member hand made a card and along with some help from the Year 2 children we managed to reach out to three local care homes, sending lots of individual cards to those in residence there.
After the success of last year’s School Council Christmas quiz we were determined to create another festive challenge for the Federation. During a meeting the council discussed various ideas and voted on a creative challenge with an environmental theme – to reuse materials that would be going in the bin to make (or design) a Christmas decoration.
Our Chairperson created a poster and the children took the idea back to discuss with their classes. We had some wonderful entries with lots of children being very inventive with the items they found at home.
The School Council worked in year group teams to judge the finalists and the winners from each year group received their prizes in our end of year Federation assembly.
Well done to the winners!
The Federation School Council have been very busy during November as they’ve prepared for and organised our Federation Odd Socks Day as part of our Anti-Bullying Week and Children In Need non uniform day.
Council members created posters to promote both events to display around the schools and share via our Federation Twitter account.
Children had to ensure that their posters contained all relevant information and fed back to their classes about the events.
On the day of Children In Need, Federation School Council members also collected donations and helped to count the money raised in their individual classes.
The grand total raised was £555!
Well done School Council!
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.
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.