A school obviously runs for the benefit of its pupils: every decision we make puts the needs of the children first. We therefore hold great store by ‘pupil voice’; by their opinions and concerns.
THE SCHOOL COUNCIL
The School Council is a democratically elected body of pupils from Year 1 through to Year 6. They run their own class meetings and then report back to the Council, so giving all pupils a voice in the running of the school. Their tenure runs for a year. They have regular meetings with the head teacher, a budget and usually deliver on one key project each year.
Student Council meeting minutes – 6th December 2022 Student Council Meeting Minutes – 22nd November 2022
“It’s good that it’s a chance for children of all ages to make decisions for the school and it will probably help them later in life to be able to make big decisions like this. It makes people want democracy rather than autocracy or dictatorship because everyone gets a say and they can be more free. It takes us a while and if you want to get more done, it can hold you up but if you want to go into it in more depth, taking longer and analysing all the pros and cons would give you the full picture about the decision you are making. People will know a lot more about the decision and why it was made and people will be happier.” – Minchinhampton pupil
All children in KS2 are part of a committee. They change their roles each year.
The CHARITY COMMITTEE raise money for local and national charities, for example we have raised money for Nkokoto by selling cakes and bric-a-brac. Every year we organise Red Nose Day and events for Comic Relief, Children in Need, Save the Children and the Salvation Army.
As the LINKS COMMITTEE we learn about different countries. We’re planning a World Appreciation Afternoon where we will all learn about different cultures. We have a display showing everyone’s links with places around the world.
PLAYLEADERS help younger children play and learn new skills. We create our own games in groups and work together to entertain the children.
The LIBRARIANS write book reviews to recommend books to other children. We are also trained in how to help children find a book in the library. We sometimes do assemblies, for example on World Book Day, to help everyone see how great books are. We run treasure hunts. We really enjoy it.
As NEWS REPORTERS we write for local publications like the school newsletter and Tom Long’s Post. We conduct interviews and write articles.
The WORSHIP COMMITTEEE run their own assemblies for the rest of the school. We plan it ourselves and then the whole team delivers it. We also ask difficult questions afterwards.
What our pupils say:
“I am in the eco-warriors committee and we have been learning about the bins in school and making sure that all of the classrooms have been putting the right things into the right bins.”
“I have enjoyed my committee this year so far. It is called ‘The World’ and we get to know about places that we don’t know about such as Thailand, Gran Canaria and Japan.”
“Community Committee aims to help people around you and in your area. You try to help by things like litter picking. I think this is good because it teaches you the right thing to do in your local area and for your local environment.”
“Worship Committee tries to teach other children about God and what different Christian celebrations actually mean. Irt was really good and exciting knowing that you were going to be ‘performing’ in front of the whole school.”
SCHOOL CAPTAINSSchool Captains Assembly – October 2022
“This week was the first rotation of School Captains. This group have worked hard to improve our school in only a week. Our group have cleaned up the library every day and there is an obvious improvement. 4 of us have also worked very hard and neatened up the lost property area- some of us donated hangers and we got a rail for them. On the rail we have lost socks, hair accessories (not hats), school fleeces, jeans, trousers, school skirts, non-school jumpers, non-school t-shirts and on the floor next to the wall we have a lot of shoes. We even have some almost new pink clean FILA shoes. Then we have a bag for lunch boxes, waterbottles, bags and containers. We also have a bag for helmets and hats. And I think there’s one more but I can’t remember what’s in it. We have done lots of additional errands as well; have made two younger kids friends again and have decreased the food waste- all in one week!
One exciting thing we had this week was a zoom call for parents who were considering bringing their children into Reception. Two of us were on the zoom call with Mr Moss. Here are the notes we made before going on the call:
‘For this meeting we have come up with a few interesting points on why you should choose this school instead of any other.
• The adults here listen to any concerns and try to help. They don’t listen and then choose to disregard it for a different issue. They may solve the bigger issue first but they will definitely think about how they can help you, as well as everyone else.
• This school focuses deeply on mental health and will try and teach your child how to have the best wellbeing possible.
Minchinhampton school is keen on:- protecting the planet; equality for those who are neurodivergent; equality for those who may be LGBTQ+. They suggest lots of opportunities for those with special needs, helping those who may struggle with particular areas in the school curriculum and overall bringing out the best in all children.
• This school listens to the children as well as the adults. Every child has a say in what does and what does not happen (almost, of course).” –by Robin
“‘This week at Minch school the school captains have had one very exiting week! This week we have been split off into groups and every week we get given a new job. Here are a few examples:- cutting down our food waste; tidying up the P.E sheds; managing the welly racks; making sure children are safe around school and in the hall; encourage KS1 pupils to sit quietly in Mr Moss’s assemblies. Altogether this has been a fun week.” – by Sophie, Megan & Amaya (Mimi)
“This week has had two major milestones. The first milestone is food wastage. On the 23rd we got the food wastage to the lowest it’s ever been. Approximately 22cm high. We didn’t force the children to eat, we encouraged them instead. The second milestone is that we now have also got 2 new peer mediators with orange caps and bumbags. They have worked with the children in a comforting way. The lost property box also got lots of new clothes, and has been organised in a professional manner. We have also had litter pickers tidying the school grounds. In assemblies we have been sitting next to younger children in efforts to encourage them to stop talking without telling them off in a way that may annoy them. It, so far, has worked. The wellie racks are clean and tidy and so is the library with school captains cleaning up every day. Next week we are going to rotate roles yet again and will each be introduced to a new selection of tasks.” by Jennifer and Robin
DGAT YOUTH PARLIAMENT
This week was the inaugural meeting of the Trust’s Youth Parliament. We want to bring together children from across the county, from all DGAT schools, and what better way to do this than with a Youth Parliament. The Parliament will meet termly and will experience a mix of Philosophy for Children and debating. On each occasion we will endeavour to bring along an ‘influential’ adult to help drive debate and discussion- this time round Dale Vince was the lucky adult. ‘Debating in the Youth Parliament at Gloucestershire Cathedral was an amazing experience. We debated about whether it would be best to have 5 sisters or 5 brothers, and whether kids should help the adults in the climate crisis. Dale Vince the founder of Forest Green and Ecotricity came to talk about his hard work and debate with us. He told us that he makes diamonds out of carbon dioxide and he’s working on an electric train and planes run on hydrogen. All the schools came up with ideas to make their school greener in many different ways.’ By Sophie