Ousedale School is a community in which students are fully integrated in student leadership roles that support the work of the school and the wider community, while at the same time developing their leadership skills preparing them for the next stage of their education or employment.
Aims of Student Leadership at Ousedale School
· To empower students to work in partnership with staff towards shared goals.
· To provide opportunities for students to flourish within the school and wider community
· To provide a chance for students to develop leadership skills through a variety of opportunities which impact positively within school on learning, teaching and well-being for both students and staff, as well as out of school in the local community.
· To prepare students holistically to excel in life after formal education.
Please look out for updates and new leadership roles throughout the year.
Currently over 360 students have a leadership role within the school, with some new roles now established such as ‘Host Leaders’, whilst existing roles such as the Year 11 Ambassadors continue to be an integral part of student voice at Ousedale School.
The first few Olney Key Stage 3 student council meetings have been an excellent chance for students to voice their ideas on how they would like to make the school an even better environment for learning as well as how they, as Ousedale students, can have an impact in the wider community.
In the meetings so far, students have been focussing on the rewards system and the transition experience from Year 6 to Year 7. They have also recently been invited to partake in improving the green spaces in Olney with the Milton Keynes Environmental Records Centre (BMERC) which they look forward to pursuing in the New Year. An exciting collaboration with the Environment Leaders.
Students have also had a core team keeping the ball rolling on Wednesday afternoons during enrichment. These students have focused on the organisation and advertising for charities week. This hard work has paid off as we saw an amazing turn out at all the week’s charities events, and superb efforts on the student ran stalls. As teachers, we were extremely impressed with the variety of stalls and the time spent putting the stalls together. All of this means we have raised a significant amount of money for Willen Hospice and Save the Children - totals to be revealed!
Year 9 students have also been working hard on a Student Council Display board which they hope to finish ready for the New Year to share important information and council work.
Year 7 Newport Pagnell Student Council have spent time discussing how to improve the use of plastic in the school canteen in an exciting collaboration with the Environment Leaders. The focus for the new calendar year will be to help plan one of the school ACE Days.
Year 8 Newport Pagnell Student Council are working on a lunch club for those who are struggling socially or simply want some ‘down time’. Their focus is also rewards and are consulting with their respective forms.
The Year 9 Newport Pagnell Student Council has focused this term upon the issue of rewarding good attendance. We wish to encourage everyone to be in school and so we surveyed the tutor groups as to what rewards they would like.
There will be a draw every two weeks for all those who have 100% attendance. The prize is a pass to skip the canteen queue for a week. All students with 100% attendance for a term will receive a certificate.
They are also planning on larger rewards every term and are securing funding to provide various prizes to the form with the highest attendance. They are still in the consultation process in terms of the reward for the best attendance for the year.
The council have also looked at the provision of external water fountains which has been done and working with Enrichment Leaders to develop sessions Year 9 have proposed. These will be included in the Spring and Summer programme.
The council are working hard to promote the wide variety of clubs and extra-curricular activities and have encouraged students to use the hall at lunchtime for relaxing and socialising.
In the new year they will be looking at raising the profile of epraise and other rewards for great progress and behaviour.
The Year 10 Newport Pagnell Student Council have been concentrating on creating a ‘progress card’ to be used following students’ progress reviews. Following the Year 10 PR1, the council students have piloted their progress card and will feedback to Miss Green before the end of term. From this pilot study, the progress card will be used by other students following their progress reviews.
The Year 11 Newport Pagnell Student Council have decided to focus on three projects to enhance the student experience around school. As many KS4 students revise in the library during lunchtimes and afterschool, a Year 11 audit is taking place to ensure that the revision materials are suitable, up to date and accessible to all KS4 students. When the areas for development have been identified the council will liaise with relevant subject areas for revision materials to be available in the library.
Wellbeing is also very much in the forefront of education and the media in general so another group of students have started to develop support for year 7 students to ensure that they are in a position to share issues and concerns freely during school hours.
The Sixth Form Student Council organised some Castlemead Christmas Carols. A group of 9 students sang and gave out mince pies to the residents in a local care home. They were extremely positive about the students and said that they would like this to be a yearly event as the residents thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
They also thought it was important to celebrate Black History Month with an impressive array of cultural food on sale and also a chilli eating contest. This was also open to the main school and it was lovely to see KS3 and KS4 students in ‘The Gallery’ and joining in. £113 was raised for charity.
Charity has also been a strong focus with Year 12 encouraged to grow their moustaches for prostate cancer awareness, they held a cake sale and had moustache related activities.
The Year 12 Council organised and hosted Ousedale’s Got Talent in spectacular fashion this year.
In addition, Daisie Critch in Year 13 has been raising money for charity, from balloon popping, to name the bear and selling pin badges, raising over £100.
The Sixth Form Council is continuing to develop improved recycling in the Sixth Form Centre and around school.
The ‘Host Leaders’ have made some significant contributions in their new role, assisting in prospective parents’ evening and meeting and greeting high profile visitors such as employees from VW.
This half term the Environment leaders have been investigating the areas in school life that can be altered to create a big difference. One of the hottest topics at the moment is single use plastic and we have been working to find suppliers that offer alternatives. They have also been researching how 'green' they really are and really trying to cultivate solutions to some of our ecological barriers. We have also had the privilege of being visited by an environmental auditor who offered her advice on the best, and most efficient, ways to improve the environmental impact we are having. They are addressing a current topical issue and thinking BIG.
Student Leadership Accreditation
Led by some of our sixth form students who have already been accredited, students in enrichment have been working on their ‘Student Leadership Accreditation’ evidence. This focuses on opportunities to develop Leadership skills. This is a high profile national accreditation facilitated by the SSAT where students can achieve a gold, silver or bronze in:
- Developing themselves
- Developing others
- Contribution and leading in the community
The impact on developing leadership skills is clear and provides substance to CVs, interviews and UCAS forms for example. The SSAT certificate and custom designed badges are a tangible added bonus. We look forward to seeing how they progress.
We look forward to the student council training in January 2019.
Student Council Training | PDF
Below is an overview of their work in the 2017/18 academic year:
The Year 7 council have been looking at writing their transition booklet that will help the new Year 7’s when they start in September; our ideas for the transition also helped the inductions days this year and have also helped in the wider community by informing primary schools of what they should be doing to help the Year 5 and 6’s now. As a side campaign, we have also looked at the environment, and our suggestions have been used to help tailor ACE days, IMPACT mornings and Assemblies so that they are focused on the environment and reducing the amount of plastic the school is using.
The Year 8 council put together a presentation on litter and delivered it in assembly. Also looking at ‘target bins’ to help reduce the amount of litter. The Council are looking into the possibility of vending machines for water in order to reduce the canteen queue times. They have also recommended the use of paper cups rather than plastic and this is going to be done at both canteens. Two new food outlets have reduced the pressure on the canteens and there are many more seating areas for students to go at break and lunchtime. The council are still working on making the area by the eco centre tidy with the addition of some flower pots. They have worked closely with the free time leaders and have improved and promoted activities at lunch time. They also played an integral part in charity week by organising stalls. They were very helpful at the parent tutor evening as guides and meeting and greeting parents on arrival. They also did a fantastic job of setting up parents’ evening and acting as guides throughout the appointment times.
It has been a very busy year for the Year 9 council with plenty being achieved. The Year 9 council put forward the idea of opening up the astro-turf at lunchtimes and were instrumental in putting together the rota for the various year groups. They have also opened up the use of the main hall at lunchtimes for the Year 9’s. They are currently working on ways to ease congestion around the school during lesson change over as well as looking at what other clubs could be on offer during lunchtime.
The Environment Leaders have been working on a recycling project and currently looking to get recycling bins in every classroom. During enrichment, we have been clearing the small astro-turf and will be clearing the pathway outside the back school gate so students can safely walk on the pavement. They are currently planting new flowers and plants outside the PILC to create a positive first impression. Earlier on in the year, the Environment Leaders have also been working with the Sixth Form Leadership team and have been working on helping to improve the appearance of the site and noticeboards for prospective parents evening. They were also integral in preparing the site and room for the David Dein ASPIRE session.
The Free Time Leaders were joined by Brandon East and Elisabeth Browne from Year 13 and are made up of students from Years 7, 8 and 9. The focus has been working on creating designated quiet areas at break and lunch e.g. pringle and tunnel and designated areas for year groups to play ball games. This has all been achieved and students also have use of the astro-turf for football at lunchtimes. This is done on a rota of year groups. Posters were also created for promoting Drama and there are many students involved in productions of ‘Macbeth’ and ‘The Sound of Music’.
There are a vast number of extra-curricular clubs at lunchtime and after school and students have been encouraged to attend by tutors and in assemblies. Debating society and basketball have been particularly successful.
The Charity Leaders have worked with the Year 10 council and were particularly busy in the autumn term attending meetings to prepare for charities week, which was a great success. The team led by Ellie Reed Smith organised the annual Ousedale’s Got Talent with all year groups participating in a variety of acts. They organised the charity stalls in the hall which ranged from cakes to lucky dips.
The week finished with a non-uniform day with all proceeds going to Children in Need and Willen Hospice. Since then the leaders have met to review the charities week and looked at ways this could be improved and ideas for the future. It is hoped that we can work with the environment leaders next year to raise money to develop the tennis court area by the eco-centre and make it into a social area at lunch and break times.
The Enrichment Leaders have been working with staff to ensure this runs smoothly and have also suggested new ideas based on feedback from form groups. Some of their ideas have been implemented this year and will look to build on this next year. They have also been involved in the evaluation of the programme representing the views of their peers.
The Technical Ambassadors continue to work tirelessly with high profile school events and their work is widely acknowledged.
Olney's KS3 Student council have been an effective team that have worked well within their own year groups but also as a whole cohort to produce a number of engaging and helpful resources. Year 7 have designed a series of tutor time lessons they would like to see in action with our prospective year 7s that tackle the issues surrounding creating and maintaining friendships. Year 8 worked tirelessly to design an assembly to educate their KS3 peers on the stigma surrounding mental health. Through thorough research they were able to provide an overview of a number of different challenges faced by teenagers but most importantly, offered some day-to-day strategies and places to seek advice. Year 9 have focused on the importance of physical health. Again, the team were able to research and deliver an engaging assembly to the rest of the key stage that looked at the impact of living a sedentary life as well as providing some shocking statistics about sugar in our food and drink.
To finish an excellent year, all three year groups have supported the ongoing Transition process. The councillors were paired to the groups of Year 6 students who have visited the campus for the day. They have also provided resources to be used in the sessions such as a guide on 'how to use your planner', a school map and 'a letter to my year 6 self'. Some councillors even ran a question and answer session on one of the transition visits to help settle some nerves and answer questions about Ousedale. They have been an excellent council and look forward to their future ventures.
The Olney Environment Leaders have taken on their leadership positions with true enthusiasm. They were the spokespeople for student leadership during our Prospective Parents' Evening and proudly showed off the leadership area which they had organised. As well as small projects like creating 'out of bounds' signs and tidying up the campus site in their own time, the group took on a project with the Enrichment leaders where they sought to improve areas of the school's environment. They were able to help the site team with some gardening in the courtyard as well as exploring the different areas for nature. This work has been carried on in this term's enrichment, where the group seek to plant some more flowers across the site and work with their peers to maintain the beauty of the courtyard. Raising environmental awareness has been a real focus of the group.
This was evident in the assembly that the group designed and delivered to the rest of the key stage that opened our eyes to the human impact we have on a local, national and international scale. Their enthusiasm and dedication has been fantastic.
This year the Key Stage 4 council team at Olney have been excellent. They were instrumental (in conjunction with leadership teams from Key Stage 3) in helping to set up and run charities week; Student Council have helped to set up two new leadership and information boards in the English area and have conducted an ongoing dialogue with staff: I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting with them. The second Key Stage 4 board will highlight important events for Key Stage 4 as well as outlining all of the revision opportunities that are available across the campus.
In addition to this, a special mention must go to last year’s ambassadors across both campuses whose efforts were outstanding. Our ambassadors helped at parents’ evenings both meeting parents and helping tired teachers to gain much needed refreshments. They were positive and wholehearted in their support of teaching staff and students throughout the year.
Students were asked how it made them feel to have a leadership role
- ‘It makes me and others take pride in the environment’
- ‘I can make the School better’
- ‘It’s a source of independence and development’
- ‘Gave me a real sense of pride’
- ‘Allows you to become a leader from a young age’
- ‘Helps me deal with failure’
- ‘Developed me as a person’
- ‘Makes me independent, although in context of a group’
Well done to everyone and we will be introducing some new roles this year so watch this space.
‘Student Leadership Accreditation’
Further opportunities to develop Leadership skills is through the SSAT Student Leadership Accreditation where students focus on:
Updated September 2019