Citizenship and Values
As a learning community we feel that we are most effective when we work in harmony as caring citizens who share a happy workplace. The staff try hard to model values in action and the children respond with their views on what works well and how to improve the school further. Discussions take place every fortnight with all of Key Stage 2 pupils, Mrs King and the 4 elected councillors. These sessions have proved invaluable in shaping our school and improving the community in which we find ourselves. Kells Lane Park, the new dining centre, improved menus and play spaces are all better for the involvement of our children.
Kells Lane Student Council began in 1999 with its first student council elections. Since then the opportunity has arisen for children to participate in elections and become voted in for the academic year. At first these were from Year Six but in May 2006, a change was made to invite younger children from Year Five to stand election – as our succession planning. The timing was also changed to bring Student Council elections in line with those held locally. Now children in Year Five are invited to stand for election as Student Councillors. This allows the outgoing student councillors to train the newly elected members, enabling them to take on the role in September.
Every child in Year Five designs their own election leaflet. Members of the Kells Lane Senior Leadership Team make a short-list of leaflets which are to be read out at the hustings. Children selected are then able to run their own campaign. Children from Year One to Year Five are able to vote, using an official Kells Lane ballot paper in council ballot boxes. At the end of the hustings, the votes are counted and verified before the returning officer announces the names of the four student councillors for the coming year.
The school has been held up as an example of good practice to others and our Student Councillors have presented at numerous conferences across the region, helping others to develop their systems.
Student Council Assemblies take place on alternate Tuesday mornings.
Listening to our ‘pupil voice’ is very important to us…
The fortnightly student council sessions have helped change our curriculum (after pupil consultants completed SWOT analysis on what they liked and disliked). They have also helped
- to redesign and maintain Kells Lane Park,
- with suggestions to improve the school play areas and open up new ones e.g. Trim Trail
- with design and improvements to the dining centre and Year 6 Cafe
- update the school’s computing equipment
- inspire the whole school to take part in events like the North East Children’s Cancer Run
- with improvements to the school meal menus (by majority decision lamb wraps were replaced with a hot bacon sandwich, quiche is added as a frequent option, also filled salad baguettes were added to the menu for KS 2 children).
We also use pupil surveys to find out what our children like about school and what they would like to improve. Here are some examples from our most recent survey:
What I really like about our school is…
- ‘how everybody is kind and respectful’
- ‘art, maths, food e.g. pizza and chicken’
- ‘I like the different events e.g. International Day’
- ‘the teachers and staff’
- ‘everyone is one big family, we are all nice to each other’
- ‘I like how we do lots of learning in school’
- ‘that there are lots of things to do like music lessons and football’
- ‘ I like how it sometimes feels like we’re playing instead of learning’
I think our school could be improved by…
- ‘more equipment to play with on the yard’
- ‘an ice cream van on hot days’
- ‘having more options for lunch’
- ‘better toilets’
- ‘more toys and sports’
- ‘some of our computers are very slow ’
- ‘a tree house with lots of swings and slides’