Exec have been super busy pulling together and communicating about all the amazing projects that have happened over this academic year amongst all the year groups. We are very proud of everyone.
Our main focus this year has been upon the Values and embedding these into our school system. Year 10 have helped us do this. We have communicated to staff and students about what our values are and how they were chosen. We have also fundraised and created the Values trees which help to communicate the values around school.
We look forward to embedding these further next year.
Suggestion boxes – in order to get the best possible feedback from our forms, we decided we needed a way for them to write suggestions whenever they wanted. A suggestion box, we decided, was a good way to do this. We held a competition for our forms to make a box, and the best one was chosen.
The buddy system – This was main focus for the y7 school council. This project will help new y7’s to settle in faster. Year 8’s will go to their y7 buddies one morning a week, and this will give the y7’s a chance to ask any questions. There will also be a chance to play games as to get to know your form better.
We knew that there weren’t enough places for people to sit and work in the library, especially at lunch. Therefore, we fundraised to buy 9 beanbags that you can sit, work or relax on. To do this, we hosted fandom day, a day where lower school dressed up as their favourite characters. We managed to raise enough to cover the cost of the beanbags, AND enough to buy extra books to enjoy! We listened to everyone’s suggestions and managed to whittle them down to a fantastic number of books.
We then designed labels to show everyone who picked up the books what year 8 school council 2017 have achieved. We chose to improve the library as it is a space enjoyed by all students and a relaxing environment. We can go to the library to continue homework, encourage independent learning or simply just to get lost in a book. The beanbags meant there is more seating for students and more people can be encouraged into this magical place.
Our year group school council have worked incredibly hard to work together, listen to ideas and improve our school for everyone. We are grateful for our opportunity to represent our year group in Year 8 School Council 2017, and many of us are standing for School Council in the forthcoming year!
Year 9 School Council
On School council training day, we were told that our project of the year was to redecorate the Medical room and to renovate the Heads of Year Room into a Wellbeing room.
We first mind-mapped lots of ideas, and consulted our form groups on whether they liked them. We then chose our favourites to focus on. Next we created a mood board of furniture, activities and colour schemes for the rooms. We decided on a calming blue and cheerful pink, with furniture and soft furnishings in neutral colours.
We found comfortable furniture within our budget and then we consulted Mrs Ogunmyiwa, Mr Beddows and the Wellbeing Ambassadors. Once approved, we created an official floorplan that incorporated our ideas for the new rooms.
We think the Wellbeing room is a fantastic idea for our school community that will improve the mental health of our students as they go through their school lives. The wellbeing room is now a great space to take a time out. It’s currently being put together and painted by the caretakers and should be ready for the new school year in September.
Year 10 School Council
This year has been very productive for year 10 school council. With the Values being implemented across the school year 10 have been embedding these into the expectations for learning and developing the merit criteria. Both of these are now ready for next year and we are looking forward to them being used across school.
The second half of the year we have been gathering and writing posts for the pupil voice blog, we took over this role from year 11 school council when they left for exams.
On the 2nd July 2017 8 pupils from years 9-11 from our school attended a conference at Withington High School, representing 2 countries: Brazil and Spain. Throughout the day, we each had 2 or 3 resolutions which we could debate within our individual committees, then we had a joint committee meeting where we could debate similar resolutions with other delegates. Everyone who attended from our school spoke with points of information, submitted resolutions and did very well representing their country.
In general, the day went very smoothly and it was very helpful for all the newcomers who hadn’t attended a conference before. The chairs of each committee were very supportive and encouraged everyone to suggest different points of information. It was a very interesting day and some resolutions that were proposed were very silly and comical to debate which made the atmosphere very energetic.
Overall, Hedye (Y9) received a commended award and Hania (Y9), Safa (Y10), and Sanah (Y11) received a highly-commended award. Within each committee, there were also some made-up awards where Hedye (Y9) received the award for best acronymmer.
As a GCSE Citizenship student, it was my pleasure to be able to channel my keen interest in Politics in a day of work experience – shadowing my local MP.
I’d honestly no idea what I was going to be doing there – if I’d mainly be with the caseworkers or the MP himself, but I was excited to find out.
Mike Kane is the Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East and is also the Shadow Minister for Schools and he is also my local MP. Mr Kane was re-elected in the recent election with 62.2 % of the vote share. I was able to campaign with Mike Kane during the election campaign and was delighted to enter his MP’s surgery for work experience on Friday, 30 June to experience an MP’s and an MP’s caseworker’s work.
I started the day at 10:00am with my first job of the day – sifting through the post – stamping and checking through each and every letter, invitation, leaflet etc. all coming from a variety of sources, including a local primary school and different constituents. The letters from the primary school were from year 6 pupils who were writing to their MP about food wastage so it was very encouraging to see children so young getting involved and taking action about issues they are passionate about – something everyone should strive to do. Then, after Mr Kane had finished with his advice surgery meetings, I went through all the printed emails and letters in his in-tray with him, which was an enlightening experience. As an MP, Mike can get several 100s of letters in his in tray and it is a caseworker’s job to filter through them all before passing them over to the MP. MPs get many invitations from different organisations to different events and meetings so it can get incredibly busy for them. As all Parliamentary Select Committees were dissolved for the Election, MPs are currently trying to gain support from other MPs by sending them letters as to why they should be the new Chair of a specified Select Committee. Although, one of these MPs seemed to have forgot to write their name on the letter and so one of my jobs was to do some detective work and find out who it was (the signature was undecipherable).
After that, I entered some details from the letters I had opened into the computer which had a system for recording the cases of different constituents. I was also proud to be able to help Mr Kane in choosing a question to submit to the government for the Women and Equalities Committee, which was centered on amending the government’s safeguarding policy to better protect girls in schools from sexual assault. To convince him on the topic’s importance, I also wrote a report on sexual assault in schools which outlined suggested amendments and used data to say why they were necessary.
This was an informative and interesting day for me which allowed me to fully grasp an MP’s work- I am definitely considering returning for a longer term of work experience in the future. I think an MP’s job in their local constituency with ordinary civilians, rather than their job in London in the House of Commons, is often overlooked but is incredibly important. People often see their MP as inaccessible but I found that I am now on very good terms with Mike Kane and it is easy to do so. After studying the job of an MP in GCSE Citizenship, I was especially able to understand it by shadowing my own MP for a day. It was an enjoyable experience and I would encourage anyone to contact their own local MP and ask to shadow them, too.
On Monday 26th June year 9 were off timetable to watch a drama production of a play about CSE. Child Sexual Exploitation is an important topic and one that we are exploring in Citizenship & PSHE at the moment via the Real Love Rocks module from Barnardos. The play was very powerful and students had a chance to hot seat the characters at the end.
All the actors were students themselves and the story was based on real life events.