The Pupil Council serves as the voice of the children. It is an elected body consisting of two groups of children: those in Key Stage 2 (7–11 years) and children in Key Stage 1 (5–7 years). Pupil representatives are given an opportunity to put forward their views about the school – the things they like and also, what they feel could be improved. They are given a genuine stake in decision-making at our school.
The Pupil Council has representatives from each class. These elected representatives – one boy and one girl – meet each half term to discuss issues that have been raised by their class. When planning new whole school developments, the Pupil Council are consulted – their ideas, views and opinions are sought. The children’s views and their concerns are always taken very seriously.
Both the Pupil Council and Food Focus Group are overseen by Mr Brookes who also leads on matters connected to diversity and equality within the curriculum. A new role within Barnes Primary School, among other things this has covered areas like the school’s Black History Month and a school-wide Martin Luther King Day remote learning project. It also includes the school’s new Language of the Week initiative to celebrate the many languages other than English spoken by families in our Barnes community.
At Barnes Primary School we want all of our children to have a voice. We are an open and inclusive school and through these groups and initiatives, we want our children to feel comfortable expressing themselves and knowing they can do this in a safe and supportive environment.
Collaboration between colleagues on this work has been key and has been aided by a newly set-up working group, made up of staff from across the school. Likewise, our parents and wider school community have a pivotal role to play and have already aided this by fundraising for a Black History Book Corner.
If you would like to support, contribute to Language of the Week or simply find out more about Pupil Voice at Barnes Primary please don’t hesitate to contact Mr Brookes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Typical content of Pupil Council meetings
- Discuss the role of Pupil Council and how meetings will work
- Microsoft Teams group
- Children’s use of Teams is now greatly reduced but Mr Brookes will keep the PC group for now
- Chair and vice chair
- Discussed the different roles and their importance for pupil council
- Children put themselves forward for the roles
- Due to time, vote will be arranged ahead of next meeting.
- What is wellbeing and why is it important? Discussed and clarified with the council
- Mr Brookes outlined some of the wellbeing work being done by Mr Parkin and how we may be able to help
- Children raised the importance to wellbeing of being safe and feeling welcomed, especially if you’re new to the school.
- Ideas shared:
- Toilets – lights and locks to be fixed. Children don’t feel comfortable using certain toilets. Also addressed, the smell of the toilets. Could air fresheners be placed in bathrooms?
- Buddies and tour guides trained and allocated for new pupils.
- Could there be some form of mentor scheme for the Year 6s to support younger children? Could this be linked to citizenship award or wellbeing award?
- A ‘games board’ in the playground suggesting new ideas and games for children to play.
- Inspirational quotes around the school. Some in and around Year 6 but why not more?
- Children understood the importance of sports and fitness for wellbeing – schemes like the daily mile were popular. Will link in with Mr Pashley.
- Suggestion of a worry station in the playground
- A path or walkway closer to the water to enable people to see what’s in the water was suggested by several children.
- Notices about the wildlife and habitats in the area was seen as an important way to help people learn from their environment.
- Stepping stones and tunnels were discussed as features that may also add to the interactivity of the area.
Food focus group
As a part of our school’s work on Pupil Voice, two other children from each class are also elected as members of the Food Focus Group. These children meet with Mr Brookes and our catering providers, Caterlink, for the opportunity to feedback on school meals. The food options and lunch experience that the children have are discussed in collaborative meetings. The meetings allow our caterers to share future menu ideas, as well as the children being able to share their own thoughts and feelings on what is being provided and what they’d like to see. The meetings are open, productive and, much like pupil council, give children a genuine stake in how their school is operating.
Typical agenda of Food Focus group meeting
1. Feedback from Antonia
a. Menus shared ahead of next term, highlighting FFG decisions which have since
been actioned following the previous group meeting.
b. These included four destination days and four theme days a term.
c. General changes to the food on offer following previous meeting (for example,
2. Feedback from children
a. Discussed token system with reps
b. Year 3 remembered using these in KS1 and felt these needed to be obvious to
find and easier to use
c. Year 4 pointed out that tokens perhaps lacked nuance – what if you like one
part of your meal but not another? Could notes still be available to use and
provide further detail?
d. Year 6 were unsure and suggested that it might need some explanation in
order to ensure they were used correctly.
e. A vote was taken on the use of tokens. 3 children were in favour of using
them. 6 were unsure. 3 were against them.
3. Questions to ask classmates
a. Brief discussion on speaking to classmates ahead of next meeting to gauge peer
Before next meeting:
1. Reps to feed back to classmates on what was discussed
2. Reps to gather feedback from classmates – will need time in class to do so
To discuss at next meeting:
1. Updates and changes from meeting 2
2. Feedback from classmates
3. Packed lunches for school trips