Ferncumbe has a School Council so that pupils can share their ideas with the teachers; this is called pupil voice. It is extremely important that everyone in school gets a say in what they do and that all views are valued. School Council also gives pupils the chance to experience responsibility and play a part in organising and running a variety of activities and projects.
We meet fortnightly.
In the past we have run many charity events, organised a Children in Need day and raised money for SKIP through a Film Night. More recently we worked with the local community to encourage them to look after Hatton; we arranged a poster competition with Mr and Mrs Harrison and the winners had their posters put up in the local area to discourage dog fouling, vandalism, litter and graffiti.
The School Council (and Food Council) committee is made up of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurers and Publicity Officer. In addition there are 2 representatives from each class who also attend every meeting.
More information can be found on our display board in school, which School Council have responsibility for.
The Chair of Ferncumbe School Council
Report from Year 6 School Council Chair 2018-2019
We have met 13 times so far this year, with two more meetings planned before the end of the summer term.
School Council is a key part of primary education because it means children get a say in what happens to their school and make improvements to their environment. We have also done a lot of successful fundraising this year.
Every year Ferncumbe hosts a range of events which raise a great deal of money, and until I was part of School Council I didn’t realise how much the council was involved in the planning of the event.
One of the first events I was involved in was Movie Night. The Friends of Ferncumbe approached School Council to get an idea of the films that the children might like to see. We devoted time at two meetings to get feedback from the whole school. Once movie night had finished, everyone said how successful it was and how much it had raised.
Another fun event was the school disco. All the arrangements and song suggestions which came via School Council paid off as afterwards, the Year 6 class was asking for a longer disco.
Charity work is always fun because you get to come up with crazy ideas to raise money and all the classes had some unusual ideas. Through telling their class representatives, and the reps bringing the ideas to the meeting, we had some great ideas. During meetings we shared these ideas of what to do to raise money and then which charity the money would go to.
A Year 4 pupil had brought an idea that her and her friends had come up with (which was a toy sale to raise money for Pudsey) and the next week that event had happened and at the end of the toy sale we had raised £100.11!
The most recent charity event we had was Jeans for Genes Day, the idea I had personally brought in from home. If it wasn’t for school council, I wouldn’t have got the charity event organised. In the end we raised so much money and it all went to children and adults with a genetic disorder.
Improvements to the school
Every meeting has one suggestion on how to improve the school; a big improvement or small it will always be heard and dealt with through the co-operation of everyone.
One of the most heard complaints was about the toilet locks and how they kept breaking, but as soon as one of the council reps heard about the problem they brought it straight to our meeting and now both toilets have a set of new locks and they are working really well.
Something that the Eco reps wanted investigating was the palm oil in the ice-cream served at lunchtime, and now an alternative is trying to be organised after emailing Educaterers. A big improvement and definitely a change to our school was having the running track built ready for a daily mile, and now lots of children including myself are using the track regularly. On the subject of building, we have the new classroom being built at the moment which meant School Council have had to find lots of alternatives to the normal routine. We had to discuss new ways and what event might replace the summer fete. This was another time when the council reps had to take a vote in their class, and in the end another movie night was voted.
My sister in Year 3 had told me that her whiteboard had kept turning off and she couldn’t get her work completed because of it so the meeting we had the next week I mentioned that Year 3 needed a new whiteboard and a couple weeks later it was being fitted!
Obviously, there have been requests that may have not been possible at the time like getting a swimming pool or getting a café but even these ideas were taken into account and discussed but unfortunately couldn’t happen.
Being part of what happens to the school means there are going to be some adults involved either from inside or outside of school.
The first visitor we had was Mrs Angela Van den Berg who was a member of the governors and she came to talk to us about the Home School Agreement and what we thought should be in it or if there was anything we thought needed to be taken out or worded differently. After we had that meeting the Year 6 reps came to me and said how surprised they were that they were having such a big say in how our school runs and that they feel their voices are genuinely being heard.
Another very memorable visit was when the governors came for a monitoring day. Mr Lane came to talk to us about the impact School Council had and any ideas we had to make our education better. I remember that is when I suggested about having a layby to reduce traffic and to keep adults and children safer.
Building up to the launch of the deli bags Mrs Dodd, who works for Educaterers, came in to talk about the new deli bag system and about the surveys we had to fill in with our class.
Some other changes we made in School Council were when we voted for what class toys and games we wanted during split/wet lunchtimes. Split lunch was another common subject at school council as we were either voting on how good it was (or bad) or making up new playground rules. Only last week Stuart, one of our parents, came to talk to us about The Million Pennies Scheme.
Overall, School Council allows pupils to have a say in what happens around them and if they feel there is something to improve on they will say, or tell their reps to feed back at the next meeting. All the work/improvements that have been made during the school year were mostly by the pupils. Although teachers are amazing they can’t see the school from the pupil’s point of view so the council also helps the teachers see what they can do to make our school life more enjoyable (not that it isn’t already) and generally better.
LH Year 6 (Chair of School Council 2018-2019)