Student Council at Whitecross NS
The aim of the Student Council at primary level is to provide students with greater involvement in the decision making procedures of their school and to help them learn about how democracy works. Generally two children from third, fourth, fifth and sixth class are elected by secret ballot and are appointed as representatives for their class to the council for the duration of the school year. Children in the senior classes can run campaigns asking their fellow students to vote for them ahead of the election.
Student Councils generally meet each term. These meetings are facilitated by a teacher with council representatives collecting ideas and suggestions for the agenda from each class ahead of each meeting. Suggestions are then discussed, prioritised and are brought to the attention of the school’s principal and to staff meetings. In Whitecross N.S., Student Councils have been responsible for a number of positive changes such as organising school celebrations and fundraising for new equipment for the school.
We will be electing a Student Council after Easter and when the election has concluded, we will organise a trip for the elected members to attend a workshop with the Ombudsman for Children.
Whitecross N.S. Student Council Policy
Role and Purpose of the Student Council
Whitecross N.S. considers it important that the pupils should play an active, positive role in the life of their school and believes that our Student Council helps to achieve this.
The role of the Student Council is to:
- Provide an opportunity for pupils to voice their opinions and offer suggestions in relation to many aspects of school life.
- Discuss issues relevant to our school and encourage and promote initiatives from the pupils.
- Offer an opportunity for all pupils to voice their opinions on proposed changes and thereby play a very significant role in improving our school.
- Act as a channel of communication within the school organisation between pupils and between home and school.
- Encourage pupils to organise events central to the life of the school.
- Provide an opportunity to raise funds for charities or for school funds.
The Election Process
Each year, two representatives from Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Classes are elected by secret ballot and take a seat on the Council for the duration of that academic year. Nominees are invited to make public presentations in classes to explain why they should get a vote, prior to election. The elected pupils are required to be active participants in the Council, to attend meetings regularly, participate in activities and be a role model for other students. All Student Council members wear specially designed badges for easy identification.
Members meet once a term. Council Meetings are facilitated by a designated teacher Prior to these meetings, the Student Council representatives collect ideas and suggestions from all classes, for the agenda. These items are then discussed, brought to Staff Meetings and sometimes to the Parents’ Association Meetings, for further deliberation. As well as bringing matters to the Council for discussion, the members are required to report the outcome of meetings to the other classes. The committee will visit each classroom with this report as well as post it on our website.
The Council has an important role to play in the organisation of: Open Days, special occasions, special presentations of Flags/Awards/Certificates etc. and having an input into relevant school policies.
Through our Student Council we hope to give our pupils a more active role in the organisation of our school and ensure they are listened to and respected for their ideas and concerns. It involves the students in many of the decisions that are made regarding students in Whitecross N.S. Discussions in classes and at Council meetings help to develop social and learning skills in many areas including speaking and listening, problem solving, brainstorming and the decision-making process.
Discussion Topics and Activities
Topics that come under discussion at Student Council meetings may include the following: school rules, behaviour and discipline, green issues, health and safety, health promotion, active school, homework, friendship/ anti bullying, lunchtime games and activities, vandalism, school uniform, fundraising, making yard a happier place, school tours and school events.
In an effort to give back to the community and the wider world the student’s council will help in the organisation of a fund raiser for a chosen charity each year.
In addition to their role in communicating and problem solving, the Student Council acts as an agent for school news, as journalists and reporters through notices for the School Newsletter, putting up posts on our website. It is hoped that this makes school news more child orientated and more engaging for the student body.
Whitecross NS, are very proud of the role played by our students in developing our school and believe that we achieve a more pleasant and vibrant learning environment, as a result.