One of the big focus areas for us in Secondary this year is that of ‘student voice’ and wellbeing. Over the last couple of years, we have tried to encourage a student council to come together to represent the views of the students. This year, we are building on that and being even more ambitious by having our own student ‘parliament’. I asked Mr Larmour, who is helping to facilitate the parliament, to write about it for you:
What is the Student Parliament?
The student parliament is a representative structure through which students can become involved with the affairs of the school, working in partnership with teachers, school management and parents for the benefit of all involved with BVIS school life.
Why have a Student Parliament?
Students have a valuable contribution to make to the effectiveness of their school and their involvement in the operation of the school is itself a valuable part of their educational process. A Student Parliament provides a platform for students to engage in a structured partnership with teachers, parents and school managers to help improve the operation of the school. Research indicates that Student Councils can not only improve levels of engagement but also improve academic standards and increase levels of student wellbeing.
The establishment of a Student Council gives students an opportunity to acquire the sort of communication, planning and organisational skills which will be of benefit to them for university and their future working lives. With coaching and guidance, students can take greater responsibility for designing and implementing meaningful school wide projects which they can see through to successful completion.
The Student Parliament can also help improve the effectiveness of school policy. Through engaging with student voice, the parliament will play an integral role in ensuring that students opinions are acknowledged when new school policy drafted ensuring that it is relevant to students. Moreover, the parliament will help staff communicate any new policy with the wider school.
The Role of the Student Parliament
The Student Parliament will be led by the students and will set its own objectives with support and coaching from teachers. General objectives could include:
· Enhancing communication between students, management, staff and parents
· Promoting an environment conducive to educational and personal development
· Promoting friendship and respect among pupils
· Supporting the management and staff in the development of the school
· Representing the views of the students on matters of general concern to them
My thanks to Mr Larmour and Mr McKie for all their efforts in helping to launch the Parliament.
You may also remember me writing about the new look translation project that we had running for the first half of this term. We were attempting, as a school, to translate the book “All the Broken Pieces”. Overall, it has been a great success. The whole book has now been translated, with now only some proofreading to be completed by our KS4 students. The students have worked so hard on this; it has been great to see. My thanks again to Mrs McKie and Ms Giang Tran for making this happen.
New Parents Evenings this week
It was a great pleasure to welcome the parents of new students that have joined the school this year. It was a relaxed chance to discuss how the children have been settling into school over the last five weeks, and to discuss ways that we can all support the students in their BVIS school journey. My thanks to all of the parents that attended, and to all the staff for two very late evenings at school.
I hope you all have a great week ahead.