To further develop effective student leadership and students’ sense of being valued in the whole school community, we created our first ever school council residential trip.
The main aims were – through developing an anti-bullying campaign – to develop students as effective leaders, provide an intensive experience for our students to make a positive impact to school life and to develop practice as an effective school council.
By having focused time away from school students have been able to get to know each other better, through outdoor challenges, which has had a positive impact on the amount of focused work that they have produced. These outcomes in turn have raised the profile of the student council back at school and meant the students have delivered a fantastic anti-bullying campaign that has been well received.
Throughout the residential, a whole school anti-bullying initiative was planned to contribute to a positive whole school community. This led to the students on the residential creating of a campaign video and leading assemblies for every year group in the school. They then raised awareness throughout the year in various ways, from charity fundraising to a project with 6th form drama students. The project developed two Theatre in Education (TiE) performances for the whole school community and anti-bullying workshops for year 7 students. School council students worked with Year 13 drama students to lead workshops, which developed excellent leadership skills.
Our whole school approach to student voice evolved to give students more ownership and input into the school, raising the profile of school council. We also explored using new technologies to create more cohesion with the whole school community through running a school council blog and Twitter account. This created a good platform for student voice to share our work on a national and global level, which was recognised by Beat Bullying UK.