Student Leadership is very important at the academy, as are the number of opportunities we provide for students to be involved in.
What is Student Leadership?
The process of consulting students in order to help find ways of improving the school experience: either the teaching and learning that goes on in classrooms or more general aspects of life at school. Student Leadership is a tool through which we can allow students to have a say in improving their own education now and to participate in developing new ideas for the future.
Why use Student Leadership?
Student Leadership can help to achieve change in a more collective way, building positive teacher/student relationships. Giving students opportunities to lead and build a range of skills develops young people. They use communication skills, build confidence and learn to express their ideas and opinions in the correct manner. Students who do this enable teachers to understand and respond to the needs of the student body both in and out of the classroom and inform decsions of staff at all levels.
Through being involved with Student Leadership, learners will feel a greater sense of membership in their school and their lessons and share the school’s goals because they have had a handle in shaping them. Individuals can feel that their voice counts and that what they have to contribute is valued. Student Leaders can help to build positive and mutual relationships between students and teachers, encouraging participation and involvement with one another. Crucially, expressing your views can help to develop your self-awareness and confidence in yourselves as citizens and as learners.
What does Student Leadership look like at Shelfied?
Each opportunity is designed to develop a range of skills and offer different experiences to appeal to a broad range of students.
Student leadership representatives:
Each Tutor Group has a representative who will gather opinions and solutions to school matters, they are known collectively as the Student Leadership Team.
The student leaders meet frequently to feedback student opinions, suggest ideas and give their opinions on new school stretegies. Most recently, the Student Leadership Team were involved in the refresh of the Rewards and Recognition system in school. They gave their own opinons and also had the opportuntiy to dicuss with their Tutor Group in order to feedback ideas from there too. These directly shaped the changes to the rewards system for all students.
Our Academy Ambassadors are students who consistently demonstrate our school values in everything that they do; Positivity, Responsibility, Aspiration and Achievement. They are nominated by staff and wear a badge created especially for them, which too, incorporates our values. Academy Ambassadors are role models for others and involve themselves in a range of activites which includes meeting and greeting and helping school events to run smoothly such as Parents' Evenings and Open Evenings.
Making A Difference Committee (MAD committee):
Students who volunteer to join the MAD committee fundraise for the academy's chosen charity throughout the year. This year (2017/2018), the MAD team chose three charities which they put to a vote. The Little Princess Trust who provide real hair wigs for children who have lost their own hair through cancer or other serious illnesses were chosen. The MAD team have also led on a range of other fundraising activities, for example The Poppy Appeal which raised over £456 this year for the Royal British Legion.
Throughout the year, mentors are the support network for vulnerable pupils. They have recieved training both internally and externally through the NHS and Walsall Street Teams on a range of issues, including mental health awareness. Mentors are assigned to younger Tutor Groups and visit regularly to help support and be a friendly and familiar face.
Students from older year groups volunteer as Transition Buddies. Their role is to primarily help support Year 6 students during their Transition Days. This includes helping to show them around, eating their lunch together to 'show them the ropes' and being a familiar and friendly face during transition.
These are students from Year 8 who are each have the oppotunity to spend one day as a Reception Monitor. Their role includes greeting visitors, running errands, deliver messages and assisting the admin team. This role is specifically designed to develop the students comminication skills, independance and confidence.
The Student Council are a cross-section of students from all year groups. They are responsible for taking the ideas and suggestions from the Student Leadership Team and decide which will move forward to discussions with Mr Turnbull and members of the Senior Staff. Decsions include students wishing to bring a compulsorary tie for all students (which they helped to design), choosing venues for end of year whole-school trips and choosing to purchase communal Table Tennis tables with some money that had been raised.