Student Voice at Ousedale School provides all students with the opportunity to share in the planning, execution and evaluation of activities within the context of learning and teaching, the community, student leisure and welfare. It facilitates the development of their role as young citizens through political voice. A number of our students share their opinions and views beyond the school, locally and nationally.
Each council is divided into two areas of focus and outlines what the Student Leadership team are working on:
1. Community Relations – In this role you will be working with charities and other local groups and raising awareness and participation amongst students. Getting involved in the Milton Keynes Youth Cabinet and National Youth Parliament could be one of your goals but ultimately - How are the views of Ousedale students represented in the community such as the local council, local MP and at organisations such as Amnesty International and the United Nations and how do we get involved?
2. School Improvement – In this role you consider areas such as improving the transition between year groups and when new students come up from Primary School? A key part of this role is to come up with projects and ideas to improve and look after your school environment. Are there any new clubs that your year group want and how do we go about getting it? What about enrichment, trips and competitions and how can they be improved? What about the Reward system and how can it be improved? Student Panels are picked at random throughout the year and feed into Learning and Teaching but could consider this in this role too.
Structure and Timings
Student councils meet with the PAL for their respective year or key stage half termly to feed back on the work they are doing but meet every two weeks to ensure there is sufficient time to carry out their work. Students on the council will also have the option to use the enrichment in the Spring term to work on the Student Leadership Accreditation. Here students have the opportunity to work with different year groups to gain valuable experience and also support and develop young leaders.
The Student Leadership team at Ousedale School in the academic year 2015/2016 can reflect and be proud of their success in contributing to the improvement of the school and ensuring their views are heard beyond Ousedale school. This information will imminently be on the website and would argue that it paints a picture of a very effective, impressive and proactive student voice. However, cannot attribute successes equally across groups.
Successes have included:
- Evaluation of classroom activities including PSHE
- Suggesting and implementing new clubs such as debating and comic book club
- Implementation of suggestions of how the school looks such as the ‘Ousedale School’ sign on the lodge
- Evaluation of the ASPIRE programme with changes factored in to the 2016/2017 programme
- Taking ownership of the rewards offered on epraise at Key Stage 4
- Year 8 organised a Key Stage 3 ‘rewards trip’ based on their own criteria
- Members of the Year 8 and 9 councils becoming ‘Energy Envoys’ for the National Energy Foundation which involved an energy audit of the Mayors own house. (Councillor Keith McLean has subsequently implemented their suggestions)
- Year 10 organised an Ousedale ‘mock EU referendum’ involving running assemblies, debates with other schools and organising ‘experts’ in their field to visit to raise awareness of the arguments
- Year 10 and 11 lobbying to reduce the voting age
- Year 10 designed and liaised with companies to design the new ‘Student Leadership Accreditation’ badges
- Tackling and enjoying a positive dialogue with our local MP Mark Lancaster on issues the student councils feel are important such as the ‘Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing Vote’
- Ensuring the views of Ousedale students are heard at a national level such as BBC Question - Time where 8 students were in the audience of 150 to question and seek reassurances from David Cameron on the EU referendum. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07h0q11
Whilst not an exhaustive list it does illustrate the impact our student voice has had at Ousedale School and beyond.
Student Leadership Accreditation
In addition, Ousedale School will introduce the ‘Student Leadership Accreditation’ which
‘is an innovative way of formally recognising students’ leadership skills, encompassing all activities students are engaged in whether it’s in the classroom, across the school, or in the wider community’
Ran by the SSAT (the schools, students and teachers network) students use a self-assessment framework that covers ten core skill sets, grouped into three themes:
• Developing myself
• Working with others
• Contributing to my community
Last academic year 10 piloted the accreditation with great success with four students achieving a bronze accreditation (Emma Wenham, Sophie Luper, Harry Wallace and Holly Jones) and three students achieving a silver accreditation (Shivali Raichura, Rachel Grimer-James and Jack Fell). This is being rolled out to all councils in the 2016/2017 academic year to develop leadership skills. We look forward to seeing how this progresses.
Further information can be found here https://www.ssatuk.co.uk/cpd/student-leadership/student-leadership-accreditation/