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The School Council at Lynch Hill enables pupils to develop as individuals who can make a positive contribution to their school community. Our School Council is made up of two representatives from each class, who are elected democratically at the start of the academic year.
The School Council meets regularly to discuss issues and ideas that need to be addressed across the school. The elected pupils represent the views of their own class at the School Council meeting and then report back to their class on the outcomes and ideas discussed. They show that they are able to listen to the needs of pupils when making decisions on their behalf. The School Council provides opportunities for children at Lynch Hill to become more involved in decisions affecting the School and helps develop their role with the wider community.
In previous years, the School Council has raised large amounts of money for charities. They have also been allocated funds by the Governors to spend on the playground. They came to a collective decision across the school to purchase the Pavilion, seating, PE and playground equipment and new library books. More recently, they have taken the lead in the organisation of the Children in Need fundraising days, selling cakes and running various activities for their peers to enjoy and raising funds to develop outdoor learning areas, particularly the ‘Pond’.
To encourage pupils to become more active at lunch times and develop healthier lifestyles, we have an active Sports’ Council, consisting primarily of Year 6 pupils. They lead a rota of activities for pupils to enjoy, which include many sports like football, basketball, boules, rounders, cricket, and many others. The Sports’ Council members also help pupils develop other important sporting skills, such as hand-eye coordination by teaching skipping games or throwing and catching reaction balls.
The Sports’ Council takes a lead role in fostering the values of healthy competition by encouraging pupils to work as a team; recognising the contributions of each individual and ensuring pupils find ways of improving practice to achieve personal bests. They also aim to promote the benefits of sport.
As well as supporting pupils to develop their sporting abilities, the Sports’ Council lead fundraising activities, including raffles and Beat the Goalie. They work alongside the Play Leaders in KS1 and lunchtime staff to make the playground a fun place for pupils.
The Eco Council aims to reduce waste throughout the school and increase energy efficiency in the building. Last academic year (2021-22) our Eco Coordinators and Eco council sowed the seed to follow the ‘Seven Step Framework’ towards achieving Eco-Schools Green Flag. They will continue to work on projects linked with our school environment and Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) themes such as Sustainability and Healthy Lifestyles.
From 2022-23 onwards our school council are merging with the eco council to place young people in control of environmental actions at Lynch Hill, the local community and beyond. They are made up of children from Year 1 to Year 6, all of whom have shown a passion for the environment. The children apply to join this council by giving a short speech to their classmates stating why they would be a good councillor. The class then elects their representative.
The Eco Council is also to be responsible for keeping an eye on the news to help raise awareness of worldwide environmental issues. They share Eco news and ideas with other pupils in their class and then represent their views in council meetings. The Eco Council meets regularly with the lead teacher to develop these ideas and work on projects that will improve the school environment.
At Lynch Hill, we operate a ‘Peer Mentoring scheme.’ It encourages children to be supportive of each other during playtimes, and reinforces our work on rights and respecting others that is embedded across the school.
Pupils in Year 6 apply to become a Peer Mentor and the successful applicants are trained in friendship, preventing and dealing with bullying, and listening skills. They are also taught about the importance of confidentiality. Mentors are responsible for getting to know and supporting a ‘buddy’. They help empower their buddy to ensure they feel happier during recreation times.
Peer Mentors are also able to support children who are upset or feel lonely. They work alongside the Sports Council to set up playground activities and games for the other children. Finally, Peer Mentors are responsible for helping the lunchtime staff to solve playground disputes fairly.
The scheme is very proactive as Peer Mentors help spot friendship issues and address them as they arise. Our current peer mentors take considerable pride in their role and are easily recognisable in their green t-shirts.
Although the staff at Lynch Hill School work very hard, they cannot be in all places at all times, particularly during lunchtime. To help overcome this difficulty, staff enlist the help of committed and responsible Year 6 pupils to become Prefects.
The Prefects’ role is extremely important as they ensure all other pupils are following school expectations and the school charters. They will also gladly offer help when other pupils need it. They are proud to wear their red t-shirts and recognise that they have been given an opportunity to demonstrate their people skills and leadership qualities. Our Prefects work alongside Ms Surrage, who supports them with their weekly duty rotas and ensures that they carry out their tasks to the best of their abilities.
At Lynch Hill we place great value on developing our young people and preparing them effectively to become well respected adults and global citizens. It is not just about developing pupils’ academic skills and talents but recognising the key interpersonal skills required to be successful in the wider world. We actively promote pupil voice and young leadership and support the Berkshire Young Ambassadors programme, part of the Youth Sport Trust's National Young Ambassador Programme, which aims to develop young leaders and volunteers in sport and beyond.
Having formally applied for the role and undertaking the interview and selection process, the appointed Young Ambassadors wear their black Ambassador t-shirts with pride. As part of their role, they help to take a lead in the school newspaper, ensure that they are available to act as tour guides for visitors to the school, work to promote a greater awareness of health and fitness, including healthy eating and act as role models, demonstrating the Olympic values that the Young Ambassador programme was initially based upon.
During the course of Y6, they are actively seeking out pupils from Y5 with leadership qualities and outstanding sportsmanship, and will hand over to the next group of ambassadors for the following year when they leave Lynch Hill in July.