Student’s opinions are very important and should play a key role in shaping the Academy. In order to achieve this, we have formed Student Voice; key roles and groups within the Academy which allow pupils to have their say and to voice their opinions as well as supporting other students. All students involved in student voice have the opportunity to develop key skills of leadership, responsibility, team work, organisation, the opportunity to raise self esteem and build self confidence.
Student Voice is led by the SV President, Gabby Mann and supported by 3 Vice Presidents who all sit within the DEEPs; DEEP Leadership, Support, Learning and Experience. These students work alongside the Senior Leadership team, discussing and working on key projects within the academy.
Each Vertical Mentor Group nominates a VMG Rep at the start of the year. This representative attends the VMG meetings every half term and is responsible for feeding back items to their peers, collating ideas from their VMG and bringing ideas to the meetings. There are 39 representatives in the Academy.
Sitting beneath the Student Voice Leadership team are three satellite mentor groups; peer, reading and numeracy mentoring. The mentor groups focus on working with key staff and supporting identified students within the academy. There are currently approximately 70 mentors working within the three areas. Peer mentoring has been a particular success, starting with 9 trained students and growing to over 50. The training has now been developed in school with a more focussed handbook for mentors and mentees.
During Anti bullying week 2017 our students took part in a variety of activities during assembly and VMG time reminding them what bullying is, how to report bullying and where to seek extra support and advice both in our academy and outside. Along with staff, student wore blue ribbons to show their collective support against bullying. They also amazed us with their insightful and thoughtful comments on our anti bullying wall, which sits in our atrium as a reminder of our commitment to this. Next term our anti bullying ambassadors will be working to find new ways to provide peer support to students who need it and also raise funds so that further work can be undertaken.
The Charity Committee currently has 30 members ranging from Y7-11. To date they have supported MacMillan Cancer Support, Remembrance Day, Children in Need, Hallam FM Cash for Kids Christmas Appeal, the Barnsley Hospital Tiny Hearts Appeal and Red Nose Day- raising £759 in one day! In turn they have planted over 500 trees at Grimethorpe Springs, working alongside local conservation groups and visited the Town Hall to meet with mayor and discuss the role within the town.
The charity committee would like to organise a school based ‘Race for Life’ event during the summer term and continue to work closely with the fundraising liaison officer at Barnsley Hospital. These students also support school events, parent’s evenings and a number of students expressed interest in organising the school prom.
New student voice groups set up this academic year are the Teaching and Learning team (3 students) and Digital Ambassadors. We also have four students who are the academies nominated School Youth Council representatives.
The student voice groups are continuously growing and developing and we are hoping for more students to become involved throughout 2017/18.