At Simonside Primary School, we are committed to instilling British values in our pupils, one of these core values is democracy. Our School Council plays a vital role in embodying this value, It gives pupils a platform to participate in a democratic process and actively contribute to the decisions that shape the school.
We aim to create a democratic society within the classrooms, but The School Council is a result of a whole school democratic decision and process. Within the role of the Council, representatives support other children in expressing opinions, respecting differing viewpoints, and participating in decision-making. The council members are able to act as a bridge between the children and the staff to ensure that all pupils have the chance to share their voice to bring positive changes to the school community. The school councillors have a pivotal role in sharing the views of others in meetings throughout the school year.
We mirror the process of selecting leaders in a democratic society. Students exercise their right to vote, by electing members of their class, understanding that every voice matters. They demonstrate respecting others through listening to manifestos and making the decision of who to vote for based upon what candidates share as part of their campaign.
The Council meetings provide a forum where ideas are debated, decisions are made through collective agreement. Council members witness and are active members participating first-hand in the power of collaboration and compromise. The start of the process begins with putting themselves forwards as candidates, planning their manifesto and campaign ideas and culminating in a speech to their class pitching for the vote.
Participating in the School Council nurtures active citizenship and civic responsibility. It equips students with skills they’ll carry into adulthood, such as effective communication, negotiation, and advocacy. It requires active use of our curriculum drivers:
Being a team player,
Showing independence when needed,
Resilient to continue and
Motivation to take part.
These experiences empower them to engage with the wider world as informed and responsible citizens who understand their role in shaping their community.
Ultimately, our School Council is a living example of democracy in action. It reflects our commitment to nurturing not only academic excellence but also character development. Encouraging the children to participate and enjoy the wider opportunities that are offered to them. By promoting active participation, open dialogue, and respect for others’ opinions, we ensure that our students grow into individuals who embrace democratic values and contribute positively to the society they belong to.
Class elections are held at the start of the year and consist of two representatives from each class. Reception children practice democratic voting within their own learning environment. The children in Year 1 are aware of the school council and are given time to see the process in action before making the decision themselves whether to stand for class council during the Summer term, if appropriate.
We have, during the past 2 weeks, been building up to our election for the School council.
The process began with an assembly to share the role of the school council and share its importance within our school.
Children from Year 2 and above were asked to consider whether they would like to put themselves forward as a school council candidate. We were delighted with the response and an election was needed. The number of candidates shows the motivation of the pupils within school; children want to be involved in shaping our school.
The candidates then created their manifesto’s. Children worked independently to complete these, considering the qualities they had and their thoughts about different aspects of school. It took time to plan for some, but their resilience showed a quality that would be needed within the school council.
The children then had the opportunity to share their views and thoughts about why they wanted to be the school council representative for the class before a vote was made. Candidates and voters had to be confident in themselves and the decisions they made to make the vote fair and democratic.
When the results were shared with the school, the respect shown by the children towards each other was a moment of pride. Unsuccessful candidates applauded the elected council and we are safe in the knowledge that we have several children who will be ready to be deputies, if they are needed.
We are delighted to announce the school council for 2023/2024 and all the staff are sure that as a team they will support their class in making decisions within school that share pupil voice fairly and clearly.