Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Improve the effectiveness of your School Council for the coming academic year with School Council Training

As Link Teacher, how confident are you that your School Council is operating at its absolute best?  Are you sure that your students fully understand just how important their role is?  Do the SLT really listen when you or the students report back?

If you would like to improve the effectiveness of your School Council, then we have a very cost-effective answer for you.  We are very excited to be able to offer a new School Council Training option.

We have two very experienced Trainers who will  provide one-to-one training sessions for Link Teachers.  Each session is an intensive two hour personal tuition time to help you work with your School Council to achieve their very best.

So, if your school is within approximately one hour travel time from either:

SUTTON, in Surrey

OR

FRODSHAM, in Cheshire (ie, Halton, NW Cheshire)

Then do get in touch.

Each session is just £175.00 plus VAT, plus the Trainer’s travel expenses (train fares at cost or mileage at 40p per mile).  If you are more than one hour travel time from the above locations, this training option is still available but additional costs may apply.

Resources are included to help you continue to develop the ability of your School Council to contribute fully to the improvement of the school as a whole. (NB: Secondary Toolkit provided as a PDF on CD)

Secondary Resource PackPrimary Resource Pack

 

Email me: davidwhiting@schoolcouncils.org

Call me:  0845 456 9428 (local rate call)

Solar Energy saves money and cuts carbon!

SCUK has been asked by The Solar Schools Project to let you know about their great fundraising kit that helps schools to raise the money they need to install solar panels, and make the most of Solar Energy!

The Solar Schools Project provides each participating school with:

  • A webpage on the Solar Schools site – designed by experts to make it easy and appealing for family, friends, businesses and ex-pupils to donate.
  • Printed resources like banners, posters and stickers to help spread the word
  • Training sessions on everything from fundraising to press work
  • How-to packs, case studies and videos to help along the way
  • Staff support throughout the journey – their team is always on hand for advice.

The Solar Schools Project says:

“Investing in solar energy cuts carbon and cushions schools against rising fuel costs.  Plus, thanks to government Feed-In Tariffs which provide an income to anyone installing renewable energy, (such as solar energy) our Solar Schools will enjoy an additional boost to their budgets for 20 years”

The Solar Schools Project brings far more than just finances to your school:

  • An exciting new way to teach pupils about energy by involving them in a positive, practical project that tackles climate change
  • New enthusiasm for eco-work within the school
  • Improved links with parents and local businesses & organisations
  • Boosting the profile of their school in the local area
  • New skills and confidence that can be applied to other exciting projects in the future!

Visit their website now to find out more about solar energy, how The Solar Schools Project works and make an application:

www.solarschools.org.uk

or contact them at: hello@solarschools.org.uk

 

 Calling all young green champions!

Enter today and you could win £6000* funding from Ecover

The Observer Ethical Awards in association with Ecover is calling on teachers, parents and youth group leaders to encourage their Young Green Champions to enter their world saving ideas into the Ecover Young Green Champions Award competition so that they have the chance to win £6000* funding from Ecover to help make them happen.

The Ecover Young Green Champions award is open to classmates, youth groups, friends and individuals who are under the age of 18 with ideas so good they’ll make everyone around them leap in the air with joy!  Perhaps you know of a student already saving the world (or at least your local community or school) through their brilliant recycling scheme or a youth group rescuing wildlife or busting carbon footprints.  If so, the judges want to hear about it, and more importantly what they plan to do with the prize money to really make a difference.

For all the enormous effort that you, as adults, put into making these projects work, there is a further reward:  Nominate the project of the group you work with and encourage your Young Green Champions to enter and you could win a three night stay for a family of four at The Coppice Woodland in Hertfordshire with Sawday’s Canopy & Stars.

So what are you waiting for - www.theguardian.com/observer-ethical-awards

*subject to terms and conditions

Student Voice research has been carried out for The Children’s Commissioner in 16 schools in England with a reputation for excellent student voice practice. The schools studied have very different circumstances and take a variety of approaches to student voice, but these approaches share some important elements:

Laying the foundations

Take a look at what school is for.  Think about what your school is actually trying to do.  Distinguish between the aims (eg creating able learners) from the external measures (eg exam results).  Ensure the school’s ethos and practice flow towards these aims.

Put student voice at the heart of learning and school life.  Schools see better learning when student voice is included.  Giving students control over aspects of their learning leads to much more engagement.

Make sure that your ethos is applied consistently.  Whatever the ethos of your school, both staff and students must be treated with respect.  That means senior leaders, teachers, teaching assistants, lunchtime staff, students and parents all giving each other a voice and being given respect.

Start small.  Some schools found it useful to start with small projects with younger students that gradually ‘grow up through the school’.  Students then can demonstrate concrete results and improvements which they then use to convince reluctant staff.

Do it for real, rather than as a simulation.  Students learn from being exposed to real life issues and challenges.  They should learn that they don’t always get what they want, but that their voice is heard in real decision making about things that matter to them.

Creating the right structures

Everyone is included.  Make it clear that the aim is to include everyone in the school.  Respect ideas wherever they come from, and work hard to hear quieter, less confident students.

Have a wide range of ways to be involved.  This will encourage a wide range of students to get involved.  The schools researched did not see a school council as enough on its own.

Encourage regular interaction between students.  Set up ways for students to get quick access to space to meet, resources, permissions and each other.  This might be regular class council meetings or a student voice room.

Reflect your ethos in policies and governance.  The school’s values should feature in school policies, job descriptions, the curriculum, school developments plan and governance.  Make sure that key documents are written together with students and made accessible.

Making it powerful

Show impact.  Student voice is about action, so make sure that success and achievements are visible to students, staff and the community.  Collect research and evidence to prove it.  Student voice will not work if nobody can see what it’s for and what it does.

Link with the core work of the school.  Student voice shouldn’t be seen as an add-on.  Students can be involved in teaching and learning.

Trust students.  Have trust as a starting point, rather than something that they have to earn.  ‘Yes you can’ was the common default answer in the participating schools.

Show commitment by giving student voice a budget.  This doesn’t have to be large, even a small budget for the school councils shows trust and that student voice is taken seriously.

Communicate regularly through different channels.  Encourage students to lead on keeping up good communication with students, teachers, parents and governors.

Maintaining it

Support student voice with staff time.  Successful schools give staff time and resources to support student voice.  It doesn’t just happen without this.  Make student voice news a standing item in staff meetings, and ask students to get involved in keeping teachers up to date.

Link with governors.  Encourage students to input into governors’ meetings, have a standing item on their meeting agenda.  Ask a governor to come along to school council meetings.

Experiment, evaluate and reflect.  Look back and evaluate student voice projects and events.  Participating schools are not complacent about success, but trying new methods, evaluating them to improve things the next time around.

Click here to download as a PDF

www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk

Please note that with effect from 2nd November 2012, our new address will be:

5, THE QUADRANGLE CENTRE

THE DRIFT

NACTON ROAD

IPSWICH

IP3 9QR

There is no change to the telephone and fax numbers, and no change to email addresses.

You never know until you try!

 

Hello everyone 

My name is Dalton Grant and I am a former World Class High Jumper.  I am a three time Olympian, European and Commonwealth Gold medallist.  I was Captain of the British Team and a Board Director of the London 2012 bid team, bringing the Olympics to London.

I would like to give you an insight into what I believe it takes to become a world class person, be it in sport or any other path you may choose.

The first thing you need to do is embrace the challenge set out before you.  Life is full of challenges and it is how you deal with the situations that face you that can make all the difference.  You can gain knowledge by reading, physical experience will be totally different and will give you a realistic idea of where you are in comparison to where you want to be.

Mental and physical preparation is the key to success, so you need to overcome any problems which will prevent you from preparing properly – eg, peer pressure, punctuality, discipline, respect (for yourself and others).  Overcoming these things will set you up in life and lead you down the correct path.  We may find it difficult to do these things at the start, but with perserverence and sacrifice it will become easier and turn into a habit.

Another area of importance is having the correct nutritional intake.  Be aware of the types of foods you are eating and the calorie content.  A healthy mind needs a healthy body.  What tastes good might not always be good for the body.  Everything in moderation!!

It is important to have the right mindset in whatever you choose to do.  This is something that may take time to develop, but it is worth it in the long run as it will change your life for the better!!

You have to make mistakes to improve, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

Regards

Dalton

Would you like an ex-Olympian to visit your school?

Are you having an Olympic week?  What a great time to invite Dalton to visit your school, bringing his medals and video of his highjumping!

Would your pupils/students benefit from hearing how sport, exercise and healthy eating all contribute to raising aspirations, increased self-esteem and can help build transferrable skills?

Do read the info below!

Click here to download the pdf

Foundation TV have asked us to promote the fact that they are looking for…..

14-18 YEAR OLDS TO TAKE PART IN THE THIRD SERIES OF

FORT BOYARD

Closing Date:  11th June 2012

Please see the info on the poster below.


To download the pdf poster please click here