School Council

Our School Council is made up of representatives from Year 2 to Year 6. They meet fortnightly to discuss improvements to the school community and fund-raising projects. Representatives report back to their classes and pass on the views of their class at subsequent meetings.

2016-2017
 

During the academic year 2016-17 School Council worked hard to develop a number of areas of school life.

They began by reviewing playground provision and were able to give us the views of pupils on how they would like to see the Key Stage 2 Tyre trail and Key Stage 1 Log walk areas developed prior to their actual replacement during the Summer holiday.  Our school grounds will be an area for future development and School Council views on potential changes have been really helpful to us.

School Council also engaged in discussion about another key issue for Deansfield, that of safe parking outside the school.  The children are very clear on the need to protect the safety of pedestrians as they arrive at school and leave at the end of the day.  They had a number of useful suggestions as to how to improve parking, including greater publicity with banners and signs and volunteers reminding parents to park safely each day.  They also expressed great interest in developing a walk to school initiative to be followed up in the new academic year.

Finally, School Council also supported a number of fundraising and charitable projects during the year.  These included Harvest Festival, when they actively promoted the donation of food items to go to the local Food Bank, as well as planning ‘Go Red Day’ to support Comic Relief.  Both of these projects were very successful as well as enjoyable occasions on which our school community worked together to think of others less fortunate than ourselves.

Summer 2016

In Summer Term a major focus for School Council was to actively plan for, promote and organise our Values Day in school.  This event was intended to provide an opportunity for our school community to focus on our core values and the relevance they have for us every day here at school.  School Council were involved in discussions about how to help children to really understand the link between values and good behaviour and put forward ideas as to how activities on Values Day would develop this even more.  School Council also felt that they wanted to link Values Day to a summer fundraising project to raise money for a very worthwhile cause, demonstrating our values of kindness, responsibility, respect and fairness towards others.  A decision was made to hold a mini fair on the day with lots of activities for children across school to participate in, with the money raised to be donated to a local charity, the Demelza Hospice.  It was great to see the enthusiasm of School Councillors and their commitment towards making the day a great success with over £200 raised for Demelza.

To round the year off, some School Councillors attended the Full Governors meeting to report back to Governors on how it had felt to be a learner at Deansfield this academic year.  Their positive reflections on the year were interesting and inspiring and were well received by Governors and concluded a very successful year for all our School Council.

Spring 2016

This term saw School Council’s first major fundraising initiative for the year heading towards Sport Relief in March.  Following consultations with their classes, a number of possible ideas for the day were proposed, all with a healthy, active theme to them!

We continued the playtime theme meeting with members of the DPA to discuss how best to spend some of the funds they have raised for the school on new playground equipment.  We also arranged another visit with Alderwood School Council to share lunchtime experiences with each other.

Autumn 2015

With a new School Council now in place, we began Autumn Term by helping to make sure we collected as many contributions as possible for our Harvest assembly this year.  All donations went to support the Greenwich Food Bank, a very worthwhile local initiative.  With the support of School Councillors, we were able to make our largest donation to date.

In the second half of Autumn Term School Council turned their attention to an evaluation of current playtime provision by helping to produce a questionnaire for all classes to complete.  They then helped to analyse and consider the results.  One of the key issues that came up was that many pupils still felt the need for somewhere really quiet to sit, maybe to read or just to think for a few minutes in their free time.  School Council were in complete agreement that the garden area is the ideal location for this. These findings have been fed back to all children and clear expectations for the use of the garden have really made a difference.  School Council have also considered further equipment that would enhance playtime provision and helped to evaluate the effectiveness of Peer Mentors, with all the feedback showing how supportive they are proving to be to children at playtimes.

Autumn also saw School Council make a very exciting link with their counterparts at Alderwood School.  Mutual visits were made to each other’s schools, providing an opportunity to share the learning that resulted from our Take One Painting focus by looking at the central displays in each school.  These visits were much appreciated by everyone and we look forward to developing this exciting new link in the future.

Summer 2015

Earlier in the year, School Council took part in a session organised by a team sent out to schools across London by the Mayor of London’s office as part of an initiative to encourage children to act as volunteers and fundraisers for communities in need both locally and internationally.  Following on from this session, in Summer Term School Council took the decision that they would like to organise a fundraising project to support an international cause.  After consultation with children in their classes, it was agreed that we would raise money to support the Nepal earthquake victims.  School Council then organised a sporty themed activity day, including a mini-marathon course for all classes, which was very successful and raised over £200 for this good cause.

School Council were also active in monitoring safe parking outside school during the Summer Term and helped to draft a letter to parents on an issue about which they felt very strongly.  All in all, a busy term which completed a very successful year for this group of school councillors.  Thank you to them for their important contribution to school life.

Spring 2015

Spring Term saw School Council hard at work putting the finishing touches into their school garden initiative.  In Autumn Term the garden had been identified as an area in school which some children felt was not being used appropriately as a space for peace and quiet, providing opportunities for time out from the busy playground and time to think or read or talk quietly with a friend.  School Council went through a consultation process with their classes to identify what behaviours were not appropriate for the garden and those which were considered reasonable.  They then consulted and discussed what was needed to ensure that this is what actually happened.  This involved some changes to supervision, and also a publicity campaign by School Council which was presented and shared in assemblies so that the whole school community felt involved in the decisions and actions agreed.  While we are all aware of the ongoing need to monitor this area on a regular basis and to provide reminders for children, there has been a real impact as a result of School Council and pupil involvement and there have been no reported incidents arising in the Garden during the remainder of Spring Term.

With this clear evidence of the effect of pupil voice and involvement in school issues, we then decided that it would be very powerful if School Council had a regular opportunity in Key Stage Phase Assemblies, to share any other reminders about concerns they themselves identify in our Safeguarding item on our School Council Meeting Agendas.  So far issues they have raised and shared in assembly include remembering to put playground equipment away properly at the end of playtimes, remembering the non-contact rule for play and remembering not to run too fast round the corner of the Dairsie Building to avoid possible accidents.  Whilst these reminders are also provided by adults, the addition of pupil voice as well has a really powerful effect and helps to increase the safety and well-being of all our pupils.

Also in Spring Term, School Council led our fundraising focus which was to raise money for causes supported by Red Nose Day.  The decision was taken to hold a “Go Red Day”, with pupils asked to make a small donation to wear anything red.  In addition to this, School Council came up with the very popular idea of baking two cakes to raffle.  After a very enjoyable afternoon of baking, a delicious Victoria sponge and chocolate fudge cake were produced, which were then raffled and won by two happy pupils the following day.  As always, the enthusiasm and commitment of School Council in leading this fundraising was very impressive and resulted in a great total of £390 raised.

Autumn 2014

A major focus for School Council this term was to towards achieving the Anti-Bullying Quality Mark and ensuring that Deansfield is a school community in which all individuals can feel safe and happy each day.  Following a Pupil Survey which revealed that some children feel that the garden area is not always used appropriately or is as safe as it could be, they have worked hard to establish key ground rules and expectations for the use of this area.  They have also tried to come up with solutions as to how to make sure that all children respect these expectations.  In Spring Term the aim is to present their work to all children in assemblies.

Fundraising for this term was based on International projects linked to International Week in early November.  Some of the money raised went to support projects in Africa: mobile libraries for children  and to help protect the eyesight of children in different African communities.

Summer 2014

This term School Council’s fundraising project was focused on  the NSPCC.  Supported by their School Councillors, each year group organised a fundraising event to raise funds this very worthwhile cause.

School Council were also introduced to the ideas behind the launch of our anti-bullying initiative as we work towards achieving the Anti-Bullying Quality Mark in school and they have worked with other members of their classes to establish a definition of bullying from which we can proceed with action planning.

Finally some members of School Council gave a very useful and confident presentation to Governors, outlining their perspective on some of the key School Development issues for the year and how effectively they have been addressed.

Spring 2014

Spring Term saw School Council focusing on good manners at Deansfield.  As a school we recognise how important it is to be respectful  and polite to each other and to visitors to our school. In consultation with their classes, School Council worked hard to establish a code of expectations for manners which can be shared across the school to make sure Deansfield is always a polite and considerate place to be for all our community.

School Council also played a vital role in organising our fundraising venture for the term, Sport Relief.  A busy programme of events was organised for the day in school, finished off with a very successful Healthy Snacks Sale after school.  As a result, a total of £574.62 was raised for a variety of good causes supported by Sport Relief.

Autumn 2013

School Council had a very busy Autumn Term this year.  One of our first tasks was to help to organise the fundraising projects each Year Group carried out during International Week to raise money for a whole range of international causes, including a mobile donkey library and the purchase of goats for a local community.  These events were really successful and money raised has been sent to the appropriate projects.

The other major focus for School Council has been the development of playtimes and use of the playground. School Council members have consulted their classes about views on playtimes and the current provision for activities, as well as gathering ideas about further improvements which could be made.  These ideas have now been gathered into an action plan for Spring Term and include putting in place a team of playground buddies who have already been identified and are awaiting training to begin their duties.

The amazing enthusiasm of School Councillors was also evident in the fantastic turnout at the Deansfield Christmas Fayre when their help was requested by the DPA.  Their assistance, from helping on the gate and in the café to directing people to Santa’s Grotto, was much appreciated by adults and children alike.