“Pupils told me about the changes that they suggested and, where appropriate, the school has made them. They also told me about the ‘Rescue Crew’, where elected pupils help each other out, for example when they are upset, angry or want a playmate. Pupils told me . . . that they really appreciate the opportunity to take on such responsibilities, beaming with pride when wearing their responsibility sash and helping others.” – OFSTED, 2016.
We are the Ellen Tinkham School Council. Please see our blog below for the most recent updates, and scroll further down the page for more information about the group.
- Today’s Student Council Meeting
Today’s student council meeting was about all the things we think work and don’t work well for us as students at school. We also had a few ideas about how to make things better. We wrote all of these down and they will be sent to the senior leader ship team (that’s the adults in charge of the school).
The hydrotherapy pool is getting the new lights, speakers and switches we asked for in the half term holiday.
The school road is going to be changed a bit to make it safer for us students in the school holidays too.
- Food Glorious Food
At the last meeting we talked about the food we liked and didn’t like on the menu. We talked about what meals the students would like on the new menu. This has been told to the kitchen manager and she will talk to her boss about it. After Easter we will have a new menu at school that we have helped to make.
The student council embodies one of the most important foundations of our school – putting the young people first. Members of the student council are chosen by the other young people in their class. Our upper school classes choose one or two representatives for the year. In our lower school classes young people have decided to choose someone with an interest in the current topics to represent them at the council meetings.
The council meets every month to think about current issues that they or the other young people in their class have raised. The council also discuss issues put forward by the school (such as the uniform and the refurbishment of the hydrotherapy pool). The individuals use whatever means of communication is best for them, and staff support the group to communicate with each other. The council creates actions around the issues, and then individual members agree to complete these and suggest any support they may need in doing so. Staff work with the small groups or individuals to complete the actions in time for the next meeting/event.
Past successes for the student council include;
- A new £100,000 playground. The student council continue to suggest adaptations and changes to meet the needs and wishes of the changing cohort.
- Working on a Sentient Trust wide project. This culminated in an event where the student council members shared their thoughts on provision and what supports them to have good days and bad days to outside agencies. These agencies are able to have a significant impact on the lives and services provided to young people across Devon.
- The student council put forward a proposal for a change in the way meal times and play times work. This was presented to the staff at a meeting and the staff agreed “We hadn’t thought about it the way they had.” “You could see they had really thought it all through not just for themselves but for the best of everyone.” The student council are continuing to monitor how this is working for the students as a whole, and taking on the responsibility of working with providers of lunch time clubs and activities to make sure no one is excluded because of the changes.
The council have an amazing capacity to think of, and care about others. They combine this with their love of fancy dress, dance, and cake to routinely co-ordinate fund raising events such as Children in Need and Sport Relief!