Pupils as Leaders
At Chestnuts, we are passionate about encouraging our pupils to take an active role our daily school life and help drive improvements that are based on a shared vision. We believe that it is important to provide the children with the opportunities and support to play a vital role in the decisions that affect them. Many of these roles require pupils to take part in a ‘real life’ recruitment process, thus developing communication skills and resilience.
Chestnuts School Council consists of 12 pupils from Years 1 to 6 to ensure that all voices are heard. Before election, the candidates in each year group deliver a speech summarising why their peers should vote for them. When election day arrives, each class member secretly votes for their representative and places their voting slip in the ballot box. The results are shared during an assembly so that all children know who the elected Council members are. Elected School Council members have the important job of collating pupil’s views within their class and sharing these within their monthly School Council meeting. An agenda is followed which covers a diverse range of topics set by the Councillors to aid whole school decisions, as well as to answer questions posed by teachers to gain an insight into pupil voice. All decisions are then fed back to classes.
Chestnuts Digital Leaders have many responsibilities within school. Their main aim is to encourage others to use technology in a positive way both in and out of school. They host assemblies, liaise with the School Councillors to obtain pupil voice and support across the school. If the children wish to be a Digital Leader, they must apply for the position by sending in a presentation (via email) demonstrating their interest, skills and expertise in the use of technology as well as a statement about why they would make a good Digital Leader. The children are then selected to perform this role for the year.
Within school, a Play Leader’s role is to initiate games at lunch time and encourage their peers to participate. They also support the children in the younger years. As part of the programme, they undertake training opportunities where they devise and practise lots of fun games and activities to deliver. This provides all Play Leaders with the necessary organisational and leadership skills which are vital to the role but will also support them throughout all aspects of their lives.
At Chestnuts, we aim to ensure that all of our children feel happy, safe and valued. With this in mind, we have trained and equipped a group of KS2 pupils who act as an extra layer of pupil support. The Peer Mentor scheme is a proven asset for us as it allows the pupils to access help from their peers as well as the adults within the school. Peer Mentors are pupils from Year 6 who support children across the school. They have been chosen for their positive attitude to school and learning, their caring and supportive nature and their ability to communicate clearly. They have taken part in a lengthy training programme, especially designed for pupils of their age, and have developed multiple skills to enable them to confidently carry out this role.
House Captains and Vice House Captains
House Captains and Vice House Captains are children elected by their peers from Years 5 and 6. As a House Captain, the children must be good role models, good leaders and amazing listeners; the title is much more than just a title and badge. The role requires the children to be dedicated and committed for a whole year. In a similar way to the School Council, the House Captains are elected by the other children in that house. Should they wish to be considered for the role, the children write a proposal outlining what they would be able to offer. All children in Years 3 to 6 are allowed to vote for their chosen candidate. Those elected are tasked with helping the sports teachers with sporting activities, such as sports day, as well as organising interhouse competitions.