Why have a Pupil Parliament?
Over the past five years, Benhurst’s School Council has evolved from a small group of ten children to a vibrant and successful Pupil Parliament. Its design promotes pupil leadership opportunities and enables children to develop valuable communication, organisation and debating skills through key roles, responsibilities and new experiences.
This Pupil Parliament structure provides opportunities for more than one hundred and thirty pupils from Year 1 to Year 6 to be actively involved in the way that Benhurst Primary School is run. Pupil Parliament benefits all pupils, staff and parents and the wider community because it provides opportunities for pupils to voice their opinions as well as influence the decisions that are made on their behalf. Pupils relish the opportunity to become a greater part of school life, enjoy making their voices heard and seeing the results of their decisions.
What are the aims of the Pupil Parliament?
- Represent all pupils and include as many people as possible.
- Take time to listen to all pupils and communicate their views.
- Feedback to pupils about what happened about their views.
- Action decisions that have been made or explain why they can’t happen.
How does Pupil Parliament Work?
Pupil Parliament is divided into eight sub-committees which regularly meet with their team leader to discuss issues raised by their classes and other important areas that they want to promote and improve.
Each committee runs meetings with clear agendas where members take on different roles as responsibilities. The Chair Person(s) sets the agenda and leads the meetings, the Secretary takes the minutes (which are updated below for you to read) and the Treasurer is responsible for committee’s budget. The committee members work together on their chosen projects, lead meetings with their own classes and discuss challenges and resolutions with different members of staff. This is to ensure that the views of the school are listened to, debated and acted upon so that Pupil Parliament gets the best outcome for every project.
Once a term, all the committees meet together as a full Pupil Parliament. Pupils work together to evaluate the progress that has been made, the steps that need to be taken next and to prepare for their full school assembly where classmates are updated on the projects that have been undertaken. During assembly, pupils get the opportunity to question them on their completed work and plans going forward. Pupils are held to account, not only by their peers, but through a yearly presentation to Governors and termly newsletters to the wider community.
Who can be a member of a Pupil Parliament committee?
Any pupil from Year 1 to Year 6 can apply for a position on a committee. Each candidate can give a short speech or presentation explaining why they want the responsibility of a role on a given committee and then a class election is held.
What committees are there?
- Curriculum Team
- Science Ambassadors
- Junior Travel Ambassadors
- LIFE Ambassadors
- Outdoor Learning Committee
- Pupil Voice
- Resolution Role Models
- Wellbeing Champions
What examples can you give of the work that Pupil Parliament has completed?
Remember, these are only samples of the work that Pupil Parliament has been able to complete so far!
1) Pupil Parliament Fundraising
- Fundraising events have included:
- Purchasing lockers for each child in KS2.
- Buying sets of reading books for each class.
- Selecting and ordering 3B4Me resources for each class.
- Buying games for the playground and board games for the lunchtime club.
- Organising new recycling bins around the school.
2) Pupil Parliament Projects
Projects that we have completed include:
- Researching and promoting learning behaviours across the school with the introduction of weekly awards now being given in assembly.
- The development of the allotment area, designing the KS1 climbing area and modernising the toilets.
- The introduction of the Golden Lock has improved the number of children cycling and scooting to school.
- The introduction of the class worry monsters has resulted in children opening up about their concerns, discussing them with their peers to come to a successful resolution.
- Representatives have worked hard to review and evaluate the new Cornerstones scheme to ensure that it engaged pupils as well as to develop a new marking policy that enable the children to easily understand and follow it.
3) Pupil Parliament Charity Work
Pupil Parliament has supported numerous charities both big and small. Many of our chosen events have been brought to committees by class representatives who want to support an organisation close to their hearts. Charities that we have supported include:
- Children in Need
- Epilepsy Awareness
- Sal’s Shoes
- Christmas Shoebox Appeal
- Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
- Cancer Research
- National Deaf Children’s Society
- Comic Relief
- Wear Yellow for Mental Health Awareness Day
What projects are being worked on?
Children in Need
If you have an idea about how our school could be even better, see your class representative today or email us at: email@example.com