The Student Council of 2018 has been highly motivated, happy, opinionated and above all passionate about bringing to the forefront the importance and efficacy of student voice.
Our projects to date have included: a personalised teacher appreciation card service, planting fruit trees in the school grounds to commemorate 125 years of women’s suffrage, running three charity mufti days, an inter-house gameshow and financially supporting a myriad of initiatives such as the outdoor music concert and the theatre sports group which took part in a National competition earlier this month.
As chair, perhaps the project which I am most proud of is the teacher appreciation one- which is still being carried out. This project was the Council’s response to nationwide teacher union meetings which called for improved pay for our teachers. As students, we have very little power when it comes to determining our mentors pay; however, pay can be regarded as a form of appreciation and as students, we certainly do have influence over that. Thus we developed a plan whereby at the start of each meeting we have a five-minute ‘positives only brainstorm’ where members call out things that they truly like and appreciate about the teachers of the week. Our wonderful secretary Mary Locker then transforms into the card fairy and writes up the council’s input onto individualised cards. I have seen that this project has been great for students and teachers alike- as there is something about being appreciative for what one has that makes one feel happy and content in life.
It has been my intention that the 2018 Student Council would drastically challenge ideas of what a Student Council does and become a beacon for all student ideas; a place where any student can come to be heard and empowered by their peers. I think that we are well on the road to achieving that reality- with people coming in asking for more comfortable science stools, hooks for bags in the bathroom or inter-house competitions which aren’t solely focused on sport. The main reason that the Student Council has been able to harness and act upon these student ideas is because of the responsive nature of senior management and their willingness to cooperate and take us seriously.
I have truly loved and appreciated being the head of this wonderful, motivated, ambitious, positive body of people who all truly care about the world and people around them. I have learned so much from them - like the importance of food and the fact that year 9’s often have the best ideas. I hope that those who follow on in our stead next year will continue to be ambitious about the power they have to do good in the world.