I hope that everyone is enjoying a great Easter break.  The sun is shining here and we have our summer clothes out of last year’s mothballs!  The forecast is good for the bank holiday weekend, so time to relax and enjoy the warmth.

Whilst you are all on holiday and relaxing, we are still working away, coming up with new ideas and new resources to help you and your School Council!

We reviewed the badges we sell, and could find no reason why the metal enamelled School Council badges were only available in 3 colours, whilst the Year Council badges are available in 4 colours.  In our experience, many schools have at least four Houses or Communities and often those groups are represented by Red, Blue, Green and Yellow.  So…. we decided it was about time to add YELLOW SCHOOL COUNCIL ENAMELLED BADGES to our stock.

Do visit our shop by clicking on the link, or give us a call on 0845 456 9428 to place your order!

Yesterday we attended the 5-12 Year Olds Children’s Forum run by the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham to talk about SCUK and to spend a couple of hours working with the children who attended to help them improve upon their School Councillor Skills. 

What a fantastic morning!  The children were brilliant, they engaged with us and thoroughly enjoyed their training.  Mr Terry Purcell, the Pastoral Support Leader who accompanied the students from Marsh Green Primary School has already said

” The students had a wonderful time and I feel that it was the most beneficial forum we have been to.”

The session was for two hours and we packed a lot into that time! The students covered Basic School Council Skills, Communication and Decision Making as well as having time for some games that actively demonstrated and reinforced the subjects covered.  Each student went back to their school with a booklet to finish completing with the rest of their School Council and a new pen, and each accompanying teacher took a sample copy of our brand new Primary Handbook.

Thank you to Sem for leading the training with the students and to Kevin Donovan for inviting us.

SCUK E-Newsletter 29/03/11

WHO?  We are a team of people working to help schools run effective school councils, and also to promote the general well-being of children throughout the UK.  We work within the wide area of Pupil/Student Voice, Citizenship, Young Leadership and Pupil/Student Democracy, which doesn’t just stop with School Councils, but we believe that School Councils are where it starts.

WHAT? We offer a wide range of resources to assist schools in running effective School Councils.  We also offer Training, both for the School Council members and for school staff involved with their School Council.  There are free resources available for download from this site, and more resources on sale in our online shop at www.schoolcouncilshop.org.  We also have a network of Members who benefit from discounts in the shop, a monthly Members Email and at some levels, a set of free resources each year.

WHERE?  We are based in Felixstowe on the East coast of England.  We can almost see the North Sea from our windows and can certainly eat our sandwiches on the beach at lunchtime (if the sun is shining!).  Felixstowe not only the home of SCUK, it is also the largest container port in the UK.

WHEN?  We are generally in the office from Monday-Friday, 8.30am-5.00pm.  However, our online shop is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

WHY?  Why do we do this job?  Because it’s great!  We help students understand that their opinion is of value, that their voices should be heard, and that their suggestions have merit.  We help them to learn how to communicate effectively with the adult world, and show them how to develop skills that will remain with them throughout their lives, all through the vehicle of their School Council.

School Councils UK, The Old Dairy, Victoria Street, Felixstowe, IP11 7EW

Email: davidwhiting@schoolcouncils.org

Tel:  0845 456 9428      Fax:  0845 456 9429

www.schoolcouncils.org     www.schoolcouncilshop.org

Our latest Newsletter – an offer on the School Councils for All Toolkit, a survey to complete and information on Bog Standard’s “School Toilet Award”.

The recent Primary School Councils Fun Day at Cardiff Millennium Centre was “brilliant”.  This fantastic day, which was organised by Barnardo’s Cymru and the Children & Young People’s Parnership has paved the way for a Grand School Council in Cymru!

The event was covered by, a Trainee Broadcast Journalist at Cardiff University Journalism School.

Children in Cardiff encouraged to “stand up and speak out”

Children from across the city have been learning about how important it is for them to have a voice, at a School Councils Fun Day down at the Millennium Centre today.

Today’s School Council Fun Day was organised for primary school children, to encourage them to speak out and have their opinions heard.

Almost one hundred children attended the fun day, which was organised by Barnado’s Cmyru and the Children and Young People’s Partnership.

Eryn Williams, Media and Communication Manager for Barnado’s Wales believes the event supports what Barnado’s is all about.

“The main remit of the charity is to give children a voice and make sure they are treated as adults”.

Aside from children and teachers, CBBC presenter Sid Sloane and the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Keith Tyler also attended the event.

Keith Tyler told CJS that the fun day’s focus “centres on the UN Conventions on the rights of a child, which clearly says children should have their voices heard in decisions which effect their lives.”

“We as a society need to recognise that children’s voices are really important”.

“Sometimes adults don’t give children enough credit for great things they do and the contributions they make.”

“What we’re seeing today is children making a real difference, not just in their school life, but their community and home life.”

As well as plenty of fun activities, such as junk modelling and a graffiti wall, the event was all about promoting the importance of School Councils.

Teachers also had the opportunity to participate in a number of workshops, and share their views on School Councils.

A School Council is a representative group of students, elected by their peers to represent their views and raise issues with managers and governors of their school.

They can also propose initiatives and projects on behalf of their peers, and elected pupils can play an active role in making their school a better place.

Another aim of today was to promote the creation of a Grand School Council for the children of Cardiff.

A Grand Council would bring children from across the city together to share their views and opinions.

Stephen Page, a Director of School Councils UK believes “children have the right to say what they think should happen when adults are making decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions taken into account”.

“This is the main aim of any School Council”.

She believes that a Grand School Council would be “a way for Cardiff pupils to join together to put forward to local authorities the views of primary children in Cardiff, and is a powerful way of getting the voice of all the children heard.”

A report commissioned by the Schools Action Research 2007* found that when School Councils were involved in school management, 71% of teachers saw an improvement in decision making and 58% reported an improvement in relationships between staff and students.

Watch out for more follow-up info soon!

Do take a look in the “Free Downloads” section.  There you’ll find a selection of updated and refreshed information sheets to help you and your School Council.  If you can’t find what you need, then do give us a call on 0845 456 9428 and we will do our utmost to help.

If you have any downloadable resources that you have compiled yourself to help run your School Council, we are happy to post them here for others to share.  Just let us know.

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School Councils UK