At Grange Farm, we know that when children feel safe, comfortable, happy and engaged they can make the most of their potential.
As well as having a very open culture in terms of listening to children, we also have plenty of opportunities set up for children to feedback their views and ideas and to get involved in making their school an even better environment for learning and enjoyment.
Every year, classes elect representatives to form our School Council. Within the School Council, a chairperson, treasurer and secretary are then elected to ensure that meetings run purposefully throughout the year.
Our School Council is an example of democracy in action at Grange Farm and a way of educating all of the children about this key value. To see this operating in practice, we have to make sure that the School Council’s work has real results and is not just an empty gesture.
In the past year, the School Council has played an active role in:
• Identifying the need for improvements in Year 3 & 4 toilets with refurbishment to be completed ready for September 2017/18
• Forging links with the school council at Sherbourne Fields School (SEND school)
• Identifying film nights as an idea for Friends of Grange Farm fundraising events with the first one taking place (very successfully) in Spring 2017
• Identifying charity ideas and events for the whole school
• Generating ideas for road safety strategy
• Organising the annual “Grange Farm’s Got Talent” show
• Meeting with members of the Coventry Youth Council
• Meeting with School Councils from across the city to contribute to a whole of Coventry anti-bullying strategy
Every year a group of volunteers attend after-school training to take on the role of a lunchtime play leader.
This is a role that requires a considerable amount of commitment, resilience and responsibility, both in the time needed to complete the training and then carrying out the role itself.
Play leaders run activities for younger children during lunch-breaks and learn a lot about communication, organisation, patience and dedication. They also play a key role in developing new ideas about activities that we can run to make our lunch-times more fun and active for all.
Roles and Responsibilities
Children from across school take on different roles and responsibilities throughout the year that help to make Grange Farm run smoothly. Within the past year, this has included roles such as:
• Junior librarian
• Breaktime bell monitor
• Register monitors
• Milk monitors
• Dining room helpers (Year 6 assisting younger children with their lunches)
• iPad monitors
• Assembly audio-visual team
As well as really enjoying taking on these roles, the children learn a lot from them and it is often the children themselves who come up with better ways of doing things!
Every term, we have a focussed week where governors come into school and talk to children of varying ages about a wide range of topics. These have included:
• Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education
• Aspirations and Ambitions
Governors start off with a suggested list of questions but often let children’s ideas take them into other interesting areas. We find the information we get back invaluable – the children’s honest views are frequently positive but they also give us great ideas for how we need to improve.
The school has a long standing tradition of being as environmentally friendly as possible.
In 2017/18, the redevelopment of our woodland walk area will be at the forefront of a wider project about making the most of our environment and looking after it at the same time. An Eco Squad will be being appointed to help ensure that children’s views are right at the heart of what this looks like moving forward.