School Council Update
Our schools council plays an important role in making changes and it provides the opportunity for students to express their suggestions and feedback of our school. Brighouse High has a very successful council that really values students which has led to many suggestions becoming a regular part of the school day/community. Our council consists of several students from each year council. They can therefore relay information their year group have discussed. We also have several Year 11 prefects that have joined the council to help chair and organise sub groups.
School Council Training
All students took part in an intensive day of training down at 6th form. Students developed their ability to work together in groups and with students from different year groups. As well as developing the skills to lead their own council meetings and plan projects to bring about the changes they wanted to see.
Since the training, students have met once every half term as a Whole School Council.
The school council decided on four project areas and members of the council assigned themselves to the relevant project depending on the topic they would like to work on.
Once the four groups where created, students began to plan with staff volunteers. Groups are meeting weekly to meet short, medium and long term deadlines.
1) Mental Health and Wellbeing
The mental health and wellbeing group have had meetings with voluntary staff and they are also looking at further developing the topic mental health awareness in assemblies, during break time and on our website.
They are working on starting a drop in wellbeing session weekly, reporting system on our website for all pupils and parents or carers to use confidentially and confidently.
During the week of the 3rd - 9th February (Children’s Mental Health Week) the group are delivering a ‘Positivity Week’ with themes based around.
- Peer pressure/social media,
- Young carers
- Mental health
- Exam Stress
Information about all of these themes were shared with all pupils and staff with where to go to get advice including confidential stations in the Library and a selection of classrooms. The stations have ‘listening ears’, where pupils can go and speak to a member of staff at break during the week. Also during the week they made a ‘positive tree’ which has leafs of positivity. Our school council members stood at our student reception with leafs during break and lunch. Once someone has done something positive or kind they can come and write it on a leaf.
Also on the website they are working on a directory for all to access and to promote this at school events.
2) Anti-Bullying (Bully-free School)
The group want to make an anti-bullying video using students from all year groups passing on the national statistic and what pupils can do if they want to report bullying.
They are working with the wellbeing group with further developing our website for pupils, staff and parents or carers to use to report or ask for support.
Pupils are going to coordinate awareness day every half term during break time for pupils to know where and who to go to for support. They will also be involved in the positivity week organised by the wellbeing group due to the link between these topics.
3) School Environment and Recycling
The group have agreed short, medium and long term plans with lots of small projects running alongside each other.
The group had a litter pick around our site on Monday 2nd December and they had the support of 36 students across all year groups. They collected 12 bin bags of rubbish and are keen to implement regular litter picks as well as focusing on future action to make the school a ‘greener’ site.
They completed a re-use/recycle project in which students and staff sorted, mended and assembled old DofE tents for Calais. Instead of the tents being thrown away and ending up as landfill they are now useable and are going to be used throughout the winter. They will be delivered to the refugees on 27th December.
There is a visit to a recycle plant in Leeds called Veolia and the students are hoping to gain idea of how as school we can improve how we recycle and design a recycling bank on site.
They are meeting the school catering manager to discuss how we can have more sustainable and eco-friendly packaging and cutlery.
A meeting is arranged with the site maintenance team to discuss how we can implement water fountains in school and the fundraising group are wanting to support this to reduce the number of plastic bottle water being sold and plastic waste. Part of this will be to find companies who will donate or reduce the price of sports water bottles or to have a school design water bottle.
We are waiting to hear back from the Woodland Trust on approx.135 trees.
- ‘Wild Wood’ that help dry up wet areas like the bottom of the bankings (hazel, crab apple, downy birch, hawthorn, holly, goat willow)
- ‘Copse’ will be to plant a mini forest school classroom or a peaceful spot that’s an oasis for birds. (silver birch, rowan, wild cherry). Front of reception and PE.
Every tutor group, school council member and subject department will have a tree to plant.
4) Social Spaces and Fundraising
The social space and fundraising group have identified areas where more furniture is desired for students to have a relaxing social space and are planning fundraising events next term to raise money for this furniture.
They are also supporting the environment and recycling project group to fund water fountains to reduce plastic waste.
The group and Mr Bishop have a met with Calderdale College regarding a joint project to construct sheltered areas around the school site and having a link with the college construction and joinery departments. This is in the planning stages and we hope to have plans in place by Easter for works to start in the summer term. Calderdale College are providing the labour and the school supplies the materials. The school council project group will be fundraising for the materials and / or benches for this area.
We will use the trees from the woodland trust tree donation to brighten up the PE & court areas by replacing the shrubbery that is currently overgrowing.