Improving Northgate by giving pupils a voice ….
Welcome to Northgate High School’s Student blog. The title of this blog is the basic aim of our School Council – we want pupils to feel that they have a voice and are able to offer suggestions for improvements to be made. We can then meet to discuss these and work on them where possible.
This first blog is to give you an idea of how the School Council system works at Northgate High School and what we have done over the past few years. Future blogs will keep you updated with Council business, as well as giving a pupil’s insight into the many activities, events and trips that take place at school, and updates on our House competitions. If anyone feels that they would like to write a blog, please speak to Miss Theobald.
So, Northgate’s Council works in the following way (and has done since September 2012):
– We have 4 Team Councils: Social Team (work on charity events and promotion across the year), Environment Team (work on any issues related to litter, the school environment and how it can be improved), Rewards Team (have been instrumental in developing the School rewards system, they review this and look at where improvements can be made) and Teaching, Learning + Technology Team (look at how technology can be used to enhance learning, looking at related mini projects to get more involved). Each Team is led by two or more members of staff. The Teams have representatives from Year 7 through to Year 11 and meet every fortnight to discuss any issues related to their key area. We have a great number of pupils who are keen to be part of the Team Councils and ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
– At least one representative from each Year group on each Team Council are then members of the School Council.
– The School Council meet on alternate weeks to the Team Councils and we’re able to discuss concerns from the Team Council meetings further. We start to find out more information, ask for opinions, feedback information to staff and SLT. We have a budget each year and can choose what we spend our money on as we see fit.
Over the past few years, the Team Councils and School Council have been responsible for or involved in a number of projects across the school.
– We set up an Anti-Bullying Ambassador Team who are there to listen to you if you are being bullied.
We have Ambassadors from all year groups who receive training and attend Anti-Bullying events. They help promote the Anti-Bullying message across the school.
– The School Council were involved in talks with caterers Edwards and Blake when the school was deciding on a new caterer – they even got to taste some of the foods in advance. They are still in talks with Edwards & Blake, looking at how further improvements can be made.
– The School Council wrote to the Highways Agency at Norfolk County Council regarding concerns about traffic at the front of the school – there are now ‘Slow’ markings on the road as well as ‘zig-zag’ markings for keeping clear. For a time, speed indicators were also in place.
– The School Council has purchased bins for round the school site to help you keep Northgate a ‘litter-free’ environment – please ensure you use them!
– Northgate’s Rewards Team worked incredibly hard to create a very successful and popular rewards system. They took on board your thoughts and ideas to create an amazing catalogue for you to cash in your merits. You even get Bonus merits for attendance, screening, profiles and no negatives as well as certificates, badges and trophies! You can see the latest copy of our rewards catalogue here.
– The School Council were involved in consultation with Staff and Governors when Northgate was creating the Northgate ‘Code of Conduct’. We wanted to ensure you were represented and the code was fair for all concerned.
– Northgate’s School Council has entered the Speaker’s School Council Awards for the last two years and written entries about our most recent big projects – the Rewards System and Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. We were delighted to be awarded Highly Commended for our efforts both times.
– The School Council were involved in consultation with Mr Hambling when deciding on how the uniform could be adapted a few years ago to incorporate the House Colours.
– Northgate’s School Council were involved in running competitions to help name some of the new animals in the ELF including Snuffle & Truffle the pigs and Ben & Jerry the goats!
There are so many skills you can pick up from being part of the Team Councils or School Council, including responsibility, reliability, ability to speak in front of others and put your opinion across, listening to others’ opinions, as well as feeling like you are contributing to the Northgate Community and making a real difference.
The Team Councils and School Council would not be able to run without our committed Team Council and School Council leaders as well as all of the representatives who attend meetings each week. If anyone else at school would like to get involved and feel they have what it takes, please speak to Miss Theobald.