What is Pupil Leadership
The term pupil leadership refers to education principles and practices that reflect the importance of providing children with the opportunities and support to play a role in making the decisions that affect them. The principles of effective pupil leadership include:
*Recognising that learners have logical perspectives and opinions on issues that matter in the classroom, in the school, and in the community.
*Giving learners an active role in influencing decisions about these issues as well as in the implementation of these decisions.
*Enabling learners to participate as active young citizens.
What does Pupil Leadership look like at Warren Mead?
Across both Warren Mead Schools, we want our learners to play an active and positive role in all aspects of school life. We believe that all children should be given the opportunity to lead an initiative or hold a position of responsibility that impacts the school as a whole, so we offer a wide range of leadership roles, including:
*Head Boy and Head Girl
As of 2019, Warren Mead Junior Schools began working with 'Smart School Councils' to create an innovative and inclusive way to involve every single learner from across both schools to engage and lead change at Warren Mead.
Using the Smart School Councils approach, our Pupil Parliament is made up of three core elements: A Communication Team, Class Meetings and Action Teams.
Pupil Parliament Communication Team
The Communication Team is made by our very own Members of Parliament who were elected by their classes after presenting the most amazing manifestos back in September. These MPs meet together fortnightly to discuss, debate and make changes to policies and practise; they run our Pupil Parliament and help to get everyone involved by holding Class Meetings every two weeks.
Pupil Parliament Class Meetings
Class Meetings are short, pupil-led meetings that take place within every classroom from Year 1 to Year 6 at Warren Mead. Each meeting takes about ten to fifteen minutes and is led by the class MP, who is guided using the ‘Class Meeting Tool’ (an online slideshow provided by Smart School Councils and edited by the Communication Team). The class teacher sits back and supports, rather than leading the meeting to ensure that pupil voice is promoted. Each class meeting is based around a single question that small groups in each class discuss and try and agree an answer to (thus promoting debate, compromise and democracy). Votes are entered into the tool by the MP for the Communication Team to check.
Questions such as, ‘Where in school do you think student behaviour needs improving?’ have been previously asked in Class Meetings – through these class meetings, our MPs found that across both schools, children felt that behaviour could be improved on the playground and went on to set up Playtime Pals, a child-led system to support peers in making good choices at break and lunchtimes.
Since introducing Class Meetings, we have seen our learners engaging in conversations and decisions about teaching, learning and assessment and our wonderful MPs have encouraged all learners to engage in debate as well as to develop and share their own opinions about issues and whole school changes.
Pupil Parliament Action Teams
Action Teams are small groups, clubs or teams of learners who get together to share an interest, organise an event or try and improve something about the school. Action Teams open up opportunities to any learner that cares enough to put some effort in. Some of Our Year 6 children recently came together to start their own Revision Club held on Thursday lunchtimes in the Year 6 Block.
Our Pupil Parliament has allowed us to involve learners in peer support, buddying, mentoring and coaching programmes and will continue to grow for years to come!
At Warren Mead Junior School, our Year 6 Lunchtime Leaders facilitate a ‘Family Dining’ approach to lunchtimes. Our Lunchtime Leaders promote family dining values by: serving each child around their table; modelling table manners such as how to use a knife and fork; facilitating inclusive conversation; being role models to their younger peers.
(Josie, Sophie, Poppy, Alicia and Katie showing off their Lunchtime Leader badges!)
Playtime Pals was initiated by our wonderful MPs who found that children at both schools felt they’d sometimes like some extra support on the playground. Playtime Pals support peers who aren’t sure what to play or who to play with, give positive reminders of our school rules (Ready, Respectful, Safe) and are trained to have restorative conversations when minor friendship issues take place. Sometimes they’re just available as a friendly face if they spot someone feeling blue. Our Playtime Pals regularly communicate with staff if they have any queries or concerns.
Head Boy, Head Girl, Deputy Head Boy and Deputy Head Girl
At Warren Mead, a Head Boy and Head Girl, along with a Deputy Head Boy and Deputy Head Girl are elected by their peers. These four Year 6 children are ambassadors of the schools; they demonstrate our rules and values on a daily basis. Their roles include: helping to set up and lead KS2 assemblies; showing visitors around school; taking active roles as MPs in our Pupil Parliament; writing and making changes to policies (such as our Anti Bullying policy) and lots more!
This year (2019-2020), Katie, Matthew, Emily and Ben have already been very busy indeed and play a vital role within and across our schools.
At Warren Mead Schools, we have four ‘houses’. Each House has two, Year 6 House Captains. House Captains are responsible for leading and arranging fund-raising events, sports activities and more. Most recently, Nikki and Dylan (Year 6) organised a whole schools event for Children in Need! They organised for every class to take part in a Jo Wickes workout, a mufti celebration and raised a huge total for charity; they even displayed all coins raised in a giant picture of Pudsey Bear!
Because we have such a range of sporting talent at Warren Mead, we are currently looking to select some of our budding athletes as Sports Leaders! We will be training children from Years 5 and 6 to lead sports activities and games for KS1 and lower KS2 – stay tuned for more information!