Senior School Council – Meeting 1 – Tuesday 9th October 2018
This week our Senior School Council had their first meeting. This one focused on improving the school environment for sixth form students. In particular, they looked at ways that the sixth form study and social areas could be better organised and additional facilities which would make them more user friendly.
They appreciated the addition of sofas to the social area and wanted to thank Mr McDowell for organising these. They did request that staff consider a kettle, toaster and hot drinks machine where they could make their own lunch and enhance the space.
They also discussed the timetabled periods that sixth form pupils have for social / study time and are in talks with Mr McDowell as head of sixth form on how this time can be used more flexibly. They also discussed the role of sixth form study supervisors and raised key areas with Mr McDowell, which he will feed back to those in this role. Other issues such as use of headphones for sixth form pupils are being considered by Mr Hodge and Mr Massey.
The next school council meeting is taking place on Monday 15th October in the drama theatre at 12.50pm.
Junior School Council – Meeting 1 – Thursday 11th October
This week our Junior School Council had their first meeting. We focused on the role of a council member and what the year ahead will involve. The Council discussed ways to gather student opinion and feedback from form classes on areas which need to be discussed and actioned as a school. It was agreed that we would try two methods of information gathering. The first will be a sheet put into registers to gather focused opinions. It will be titled a ‘we need your opinion’ sheet and will have space for pupils to write their thoughts and ideas on a specific topic. The second is to have a suggestions box in each form room for students who are less comfortable to write their ideas for school improvement onto and put into the box anonymously.
The council have also been asked to come up with ideas for a ‘pupil help card’. This is a card which will be given to all pupils outlining where they can find help in school and organisations they can contact outside school. The council have agreed to explore organisations and agencies to put onto this and will gather opinions from form classes on the ‘we need your opinion’ sheet throughout next week.
Lyla and Abbi have agreed to design the ‘we need your opinion’ sheets. All other members will gather suggestions and do personal investigation into organisations.
Chelsea raised the idea of having an ‘anxiety card’ for students who suffer with anxiety and panic attacks. This would allow them to take a short break from a room without having to explain too much to a member of staff. Chelsea has been asked to design this and bring forward to the next meeting.
Molly and Katie suggested having junior Halloween / Xmas disco as a fundraiser. This is something the council will explore further in future meetings.
The next Junior School Council Meeting is Thursday 18th October at lunch in the drama theatre.
At Glengormley High We pride ourselves in offering a wide range of extra curricular activities for all our pupils.
- Fitness Club – yr 11-14 4pm-7.30pm – fitness suite
- Art Club- Senior – 3.30-5pm
- Dance – yr 8-14 – 3.30-4.30pm – gym
- After school study – yr 11-12 3.45-4.30pm – 14g
- Boys football – yr 9-10 – 3.30-4.30pm
- Boys football – yr 12-14 – 3.30-4.30pm
- Choir – yr8-14 – lunchtime – 15g
- Art Club- Senior – 3.30-5pm<
- Adrenaline (scripture union) – junior school – lunch – 20g
- Uplift performing arts lessons- yr8-12 llunchtime – drama theatre
- Fitness club – yr 11-14 – 3.30-7.30pm – fitness suite
- Cookery Club – yr8-14 – 3.30-4.30pm – HE
- Boys football – yr 8 – 3.30-4.30pm
- Netball – yr8-9 – 3.30-4.30pm
- Art Club – Junior School – 3.30-5pm
- After school study – yr 11-12 – 3.45-4.30 -14g
- Rugby – yr 8-9 – 3.30-4.30pm
- Boys football – yr 11 – 3.30-4.30pm
- Science shack – yr8-10 – 3.30-4.30pm 39g
- Adrenaline (scripture union) – senior school – lunch – 20g
- Girls Hockey – Yr8-10 – 3.30-4.30pm
- Art Club- Senior – 3.30-5pm
- Auditions / rehearsal for theatre at the mill – 2.35-3.15pm – drama theatre
- Netball – yr10 –lunctime – Assembly hall
Bronze / Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award – Days / Times announced throughout the year
What is it? Why should I consider being a member?
A School Council is a group of people elected to discuss and analyse various school issues and project ideas and to come up with practical solutions for improvement of pupils’ education and opportunities. This group will have a major impact on our school! They will be the voice of the students, representing their views and putting them forward to school leaders and governors.
What is a Rep?
Reps are elected by the students in their year group to represent the people who elected them.
- They act as a link for their year group and other groups associated with the school (teachers, support staff, parents, Board of Governors, EANI etc).
- Reps have to be willing and able to put forward other people’s views.
So if I were a rep what would I actually have to do?
As a rep you have four main jobs:
- Considering the views of your year group and discussing them at school council meetings.
- Letting your year group know what goes on in the meetings you attend.
- aking an active part in meetings.
- Coming up with initiatives / ideas to bring about school improvement
To do these jobs well you should have regular talks with form classes, gather views from questionnaires / suggestion boxes, listen to concerns and issues and note them down. Remember that not everyone likes talking in front of a class, so you need to be approachable in other ways. Make it clear that people can talk to you at break / lunch times. You will then need to put forward your year group views at junior / senior council or whole school council meetings.
You are the link between the council and your year group so you need to let them know what happened in the meetings, any decisions that were made or questions that need to be asked. It’s your job to let people know that their ideas are being taken seriously.
You need to be prepared to go to meetings and make yourself heard, but also be willing to listen and discuss. Remember, you are there to represent all the different points of view that people in your year may have, so you need to spend time listening and be flexible enough to put across a range of opinions.
Where do I sign up?
This year we will have 2 student councils –
- Junior Council for YR 8-12 pupils
- Senior Council for YR 13-14 pupils
The Junior Council will be made up of 3 students per year group.
The Senior Council will be made up of 8-10 students, who may also perform the role of House Captain for their respective house.
Your form tutor will have applications for Student Council that you complete if you’d like to be considered. These should be filled in and left into the school office. Mrs Jackson will then use these to shortlist candidates for each year group.
The deadline for applications is Friday 28th September.
Here is the application form for the being a rep.
After shortlisting manifestos will be published online and on plasma screens around school so that pupils can see what each candidate offers and decide which person they think would best represent them. However, the manifestos will be blind, no names, pictures etc to indicate who wrote them. This way, people will not vote for friends but for the best person for the job.
Guidance for writing your manifesto
There will then be an election day on Thursday 4th October, where each year group will come to the assembly hall at an allocated time to make their votes. The successful candidates will be notified on Friday 5th October.
The Student Council gives a voice to all students and provides a forum for them to discuss any issues which may concern them in and around school. The Council listens to the view of pupils, staff and the wider community and aims to improve some aspects of school life.
Glengormley High School has two Student Councils
- Junior Council –years 8-12
- Senior Council –years 13-14
The School Council is overseen by Assistant Vice Principal, Mrs Jackson, who meets with each respective group on a fortnightly basis to discuss:
- Teaching and Learning
- The School Environment
- The Community
- Extra-Curricular School Life
The work of the School Council will be directed in a range of ways;
- Pupils will be asked to voice their opinion on matters impacting them via an online platform
- Staff will also have an open forum to suggest items for the council agenda
- Key school issues / actions which require council support
We love keeping in touch with our ex-pupils and seeing their progress. One such student that we want to focus on this month is Molly Barbour. Molly joined the GHS family in year 11 after a challenging time in her previous school. Despite the black hair and pale make up that Molly had adorned to hide herself because of the circumstances she had faced, I couldn’t help but feel drawn to her sense of humour, dry wit and infectious laugh. Molly made friends of all types quickly and soon threw herself into all aspects of school life. As this happened more and more of her personality shone through and she truly could be herself, which was an absolute delight! A budding actress and artist she particularly excelled in the creative arts and went on to study Performing Arts, Art and Design and Media Studies at A Level.
Molly was exceptionally bright and always had a fantastic work ethic, often staying behind after school for long hours of rehearsal or to finish a piece of art work. But behind this Molly silently struggled with severe scoliosis. This caused her to miss significant periods of time during her A Level studies and meant that when she was in school she was often in severe pain. However, her grit, determination, work ethic and will to succeed meant that she finished her studies with fantastic final grades (A,B,B). Her final examination piece for performing arts focused on the Holocaust. Molly played the role of ‘Irma Grese’, the ‘Beast of Belsen’, at the Courtyard Theatre. Her performance was chilling, unsettling, entirely convincing and fully deserving of the A grade she achieved. People certainly couldn’t have known how much pain Molly was experiencing throughout the show and how just the week before she had been unable to stand due to the severity of her condition.
Molly went on to further education at Liverpool Hope University; but life has not been plain sailing for our girl. Last year Molly discovered she has a spinal fracture, which has been compromised by her scoliosis meaning it can never heal correctly. The nerves at the base of her spine have also been permanently damaged by the scar tissue. With the risk of paralysis too high, surgery is not an option and Molly is faced with chronic nerve pain for life. This has meant that she has had to accept being wheelchair bound for periods when the pain is high, one of many adjustments she has had to learn to cope with.
True to form Molly has not let this stop her! She has recently started her own art business specialising in ‘fluid painting’ and one off commissions. While for many, these circumstances would be debilitating, Molly has realigned her focus and channelled her energy into something creative and positive. Again true to character she always finds time for others and I recently spotted an article written by Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary thanking Molly for art work she had commissioned and donated to them. I couldn’t help but feel so touched and proud of this girl who is going through so much personally, who is having to deal with a completely different life physically than she could ever imagine, putting that aside to reach out and help others. Molly we are so proud of you! A true Glengormley High School girl.
Molly’s Art shop on Etsy