‘Ousedale School is a community in which students are fully integrated in student leadership roles that support the work of the school and the wider community, while at the same time developing their leadership skills preparing them for the next stage of their education or employment.’
Aims of Student Leadership at Ousedale School
· To empower students to work in partnership with staff towards shared goals.
· To provide opportunities for students to flourish within the school and wider community
· To provide a chance for students to develop leadership skills through a variety of opportunities which impact positively within school on learning, teaching and well-being for both students and staff, as well as out of school in the local community.
· To prepare students holistically to excel in life after formal education.
Please look out for updates and new leadership roles throughout the year.
Below is an overview of their work in the 2017/18 academic year:
The Year 7 council have been looking at writing their transition booklet that will help the new Year 7’s when they start in September; our ideas for the transition also helped the inductions days this year and have also helped in the wider community by informing primary schools of what they should be doing to help the Year 5 and 6’s now. As a side campaign, we have also looked at the environment, and our suggestions have been used to help tailor ACE days, IMPACT mornings and Assemblies so that they are focused on the environment and reducing the amount of plastic the school is using.
The Year 8 council put together a presentation on litter and delivered it in assembly. Also looking at ‘target bins’ to help reduce the amount of litter. The Council are looking into the possibility of vending machines for water in order to reduce the canteen queue times. They have also recommended the use of paper cups rather than plastic and this is going to be done at both canteens. Two new food outlets have reduced the pressure on the canteens and there are many more seating areas for students to go at break and lunchtime. The council are still working on making the area by the eco centre tidy with the addition of some flower pots. They have worked closely with the free time leaders and have improved and promoted activities at lunch time. They also played an integral part in charity week by organising stalls. They were very helpful at the parent tutor evening as guides and meeting and greeting parents on arrival. They also did a fantastic job of setting up parents’ evening and acting as guides throughout the appointment times.
It has been a very busy year for the Year 9 council with plenty being achieved. The Year 9 council put forward the idea of opening up the astro-turf at lunchtimes and were instrumental in putting together the rota for the various year groups. They have also opened up the use of the main hall at lunchtimes for the Year 9’s. They are currently working on ways to ease congestion around the school during lesson change over as well as looking at what other clubs could be on offer during lunchtime.
The Environment Leaders have been working on a recycling project and currently looking to get recycling bins in every classroom. During enrichment, we have been clearing the small astro-turf and will be clearing the pathway outside the back school gate so students can safely walk on the pavement. They are currently planting new flowers and plants outside the PILC to create a positive first impression. Earlier on in the year, the Environment Leaders have also been working with the Sixth Form Leadership team and have been working on helping to improve the appearance of the site and noticeboards for prospective parents evening. They were also integral in preparing the site and room for the David Dein ASPIRE session.
The Free Time Leaders were joined by Brandon East and Elisabeth Browne from Year 13 and are made up of students from Years 7, 8 and 9. The focus has been working on creating designated quiet areas at break and lunch e.g. pringle and tunnel and designated areas for year groups to play ball games. This has all been achieved and students also have use of the astro-turf for football at lunchtimes. This is done on a rota of year groups. Posters were also created for promoting Drama and there are many students involved in productions of ‘Macbeth’ and ‘The Sound of Music’.
There are a vast number of extra-curricular clubs at lunchtime and after school and students have been encouraged to attend by tutors and in assemblies. Debating society and basketball have been particularly successful.
The Charity Leaders have worked with the Year 10 council and were particularly busy in the autumn term attending meetings to prepare for charities week, which was a great success. The team led by Ellie Reed Smith organised the annual Ousedale’s Got Talent with all year groups participating in a variety of acts. They organised the charity stalls in the hall which ranged from cakes to lucky dips.
The week finished with a non-uniform day with all proceeds going to Children in Need and Willen Hospice. Since then the leaders have met to review the charities week and looked at ways this could be improved and ideas for the future. It is hoped that we can work with the environment leaders next year to raise money to develop the tennis court area by the eco-centre and make it into a social area at lunch and break times.
The Enrichment Leaders have been working with staff to ensure this runs smoothly and have also suggested new ideas based on feedback from form groups. Some of their ideas have been implemented this year and will look to build on this next year. They have also been involved in the evaluation of the programme representing the views of their peers.
The Technical Ambassadors continue to work tirelessly with high profile school events and their work is widely acknowledged.
Olney's KS3 Student council have been an effective team that have worked well within their own year groups but also as a whole cohort to produce a number of engaging and helpful resources. Year 7 have designed a series of tutor time lessons they would like to see in action with our prospective year 7s that tackle the issues surrounding creating and maintaining friendships. Year 8 worked tirelessly to design an assembly to educate their KS3 peers on the stigma surrounding mental health. Through thorough research they were able to provide an overview of a number of different challenges faced by teenagers but most importantly, offered some day-to-day strategies and places to seek advice. Year 9 have focused on the importance of physical health. Again, the team were able to research and deliver an engaging assembly to the rest of the key stage that looked at the impact of living a sedentary life as well as providing some shocking statistics about sugar in our food and drink.
To finish an excellent year, all three year groups have supported the ongoing Transition process. The councillors were paired to the groups of Year 6 students who have visited the campus for the day. They have also provided resources to be used in the sessions such as a guide on 'how to use your planner', a school map and 'a letter to my year 6 self'. Some councillors even ran a question and answer session on one of the transition visits to help settle some nerves and answer questions about Ousedale. They have been an excellent council and look forward to their future ventures.
The Olney Environment Leaders have taken on their leadership positions with true enthusiasm. They were the spokespeople for student leadership during our Prospective Parents' Evening and proudly showed off the leadership area which they had organised. As well as small projects like creating 'out of bounds' signs and tidying up the campus site in their own time, the group took on a project with the Enrichment leaders where they sought to improve areas of the school's environment. They were able to help the site team with some gardening in the courtyard as well as exploring the different areas for nature. This work has been carried on in this term's enrichment, where the group seek to plant some more flowers across the site and work with their peers to maintain the beauty of the courtyard. Raising environmental awareness has been a real focus of the group.
This was evident in the assembly that the group designed and delivered to the rest of the key stage that opened our eyes to the human impact we have on a local, national and international scale. Their enthusiasm and dedication has been fantastic.
This year the Key Stage 4 council team at Olney have been excellent. They were instrumental (in conjunction with leadership teams from Key Stage 3) in helping to set up and run charities week; Student Council have helped to set up two new leadership and information boards in the English area and have conducted an ongoing dialogue with staff: I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting with them. The second Key Stage 4 board will highlight important events for Key Stage 4 as well as outlining all of the revision opportunities that are available across the campus.
In addition to this, a special mention must go to last year’s ambassadors across both campuses whose efforts were outstanding. Our ambassadors helped at parents’ evenings both meeting parents and helping tired teachers to gain much needed refreshments. They were positive and wholehearted in their support of teaching staff and students throughout the year.
Students were asked how it made them feel to have a leadership role
- ‘It makes me and others take pride in the environment’
- ‘I can make the School better’
- ‘It’s a source of independence and development’
- ‘Gave me a real sense of pride’
- ‘Allows you to become a leader from a young age’
- ‘Helps me deal with failure’
- ‘Developed me as a person’
- ‘Makes me independent, although in context of a group’
Well done to everyone and we will be introducing some new roles this year so watch this space.
‘Student Leadership Accreditation’
Further opportunities to develop Leadership skills is through the SSAT Student Leadership Accreditation where students focus on: