Smart School Council
At Norwich Primary Academy we believe that every pupil’s voice is important and should be involved. We launched our own Norwich Primary Academy Smart School Council in 2019 to help us achieve schools this in a simple, practical way.
There are three core parts to our Smart School Council : A Communication Team, Class Meetings and Action Teams.
1. Communication Team
The Communications team is made up of a class representative from each class across the school. This small group of pupils help to run the Smart School Council and get everyone involved. They are elected every year and each pupil has a specific role which helps the Communication Team to run.
2. Class Meetings
Class Meetings are pupil-led meetings held in every class. They run every couple of week's and take about 5-10 minutes to run. The Communications Team lead these in their classrooms with their class and use the Class Meeting Tool to run these. The class teacher sits back and supports, the pupils lead the meetings. The class meeting tool runs via the computer and guides pupils through the process of running the meeting. Each meeting is based around a single question that small groups in each class discuss and pupils turn and talk and debate and agree on an answer. Votes and ideas are entered into the tool for the Communication Team to check and discuss with the Principal.
Class meetings have been used to discuss school improvements such as the catering, playground equipment, book choices for library, rewards, trips and anti bullying policy.
3. Action Teams
Action Teams are small groups of pupils who help lead school improvement and they try to improve things about the school.
Our Action Teams are based around Charity & Fundraising, Rights Respected Schools, Eco Warriors, Sports Champions, The Arts & the Brilliant club.
Our Action Teams open up opportunities to other pupils across the school that care enough to make a difference to our community and school.
Action Teams are just one part of our pupil leadership here at Norwich Primary Academy
There are some key features of Action Team:
1. Any pupil can join one of our Action Team
2. Action Teams are pupil-led but supported by a member of staff
3. Action Teams are led by Action Team Leaders
4. Action Teams are supposed to feed into whole school improvement.
5. Actions and attendance at Action Teams should be recorded to analyse involvement
Our Action Teams, students have to complete an Action Team’ form with their staff sponsor. They need to name their Action Team and plan what they are going to do. They need support from a member of staff. This member of staff will give support to the Action Team when they need it.The staff sponsor should be a point of contact for the Action Team to go to if they need a particular question answered, or need some information that a member of staff is better-placed to answer. The Action Team may also need a budget so they need to plan and have an idea of any money that they think they might need to get the Action Team up and running.
By being a member of our Smart School Council our pupils develop social skills and give them experience of being part of a team that makes a difference. It helps pupils get involved with school life and allows them to be more engaged in a positive school community.
Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) says that children and young people should have a say in decisions that affect their lives. Smart School Council also provides a meaningful way in which our pupils can voice their opinions and have their views taken into account in decisions which impact upon them.It allows pupils be involved with a democratic community, teaches them about British Values and also brings life skills to the forefront of their school lives
Smart School Council is an important and useful way for our schools to provide leadership and development opportunities for all of our pupils. It is an excellent way in which to increase participation, teaching our pupils about democracy, local and global citizenship and accountability.