In 2017 Ely St Mary's adopted the Smart School Council Model which involves all pupils in school, and helps them to develop key skills around oracy, confidence and leadership. We believe this model supports pupils to become active, democratic citizens.
There are three elements to School Council operations:
Last year, the Smart School Council assumed responsibility for fundraising in support of Children In Need, and raised the fantastic sum of £522. It was amazing to have the Action Team responsibly feeding back from their classes, and working together collaboratively to plan exciting fundraising activities.
Some members of the team had the opportunity of reporting to Senior Leaders and representatives of a company involved in a project for improving the school grounds, their classes' vision for development of the playground so that lunchtimes could be more fun and creative.
The Action Team was delighted to have had elevenses with the Bishop of Cambridge and special guests on Ash Wednesday. The Bishop launched the Lent Challenge at our school - called 'When I'm 64'. This reminded us to consider the older members of our community, and their particular needs. The Action Team offered our elderly visitors some golden moments of friendship.
The Action Team has been working on introducing Playpals to offer support and friendship to those who don't find the lunch break easy. The Action Team has some good ideas about how to make lunch fun. Last year, the Smart School Council planned and offered a range of indoor activities over lunch, to include jewellery-making, IT Club, origami, Book Club and yoga. The Communication Team enjoyed designing posters and making everyone aware of what was happening. Some members of the Action Team reported the success of the Lunch Clubs back to the Headteacher, and they shone with their growing confidence and increased responsibilities.
A recent highlight for School Councillors was their involvement in conducting an informal interview of their own when the school recruited two new teachers. Some interviewees reported they felt challenged by some of the questions they were asked, and were impressed by the confidence displayed and the maturity of the questions asked.
Most importantly, through School Council, the children feel they have a voice, and get to be involved in various aspects of school life.
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