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Bradfields Academy

Bradfields Academy

Student Council and Curriculum Committee

Student Council

Our Student Council plays a vital role within our community. Elected student representatives from all communities and all year groups across the whole academy meet termly enabling students within all forms to have a ‘voice’. Students are able to ask questions, share ideas and suggest developmental changes as well as submit requests for additional resources and facilities.

The Student Council structure consists of:

A hierarchy showing full student council on the top and key stage 2 & key stage 3 student council committee, key stage 4 student council committee and sixth form student council committee, in three seperate boxes.

The three Key Stage committee meeting outcomes feed into the agenda and discussions of the Full Student Council Meeting which consists of student elected representatives across all the Key Stages who make the final decisions as to which actions to take forwards and which they feel has already been addressed. The minutes of meetings are shared with all students and staff. Additionally, any members of the community, staff, students or external representatives may be invited to attend the meetings to be asked questions about the provision and respond to any concerns/requests raised and make a decision with them on any outcomes. The council regularly invites the Principal to a meeting where they ask her to explain how the academy is run and enquire as to how they can support her in it being successful.

In addition, to their work supporting the academy’s improvement and development the Student Council is fully involved in all staff recruitment. Every time a new member of staff is interviewed and appointed a small team from the Student Council are included in the interview.  Bradfields recognises the value of 'student voice' in this process.

The Student Council is supported by Mrs Gill Williams, Student Council Lead and Fortis Trustee with responsibility for School Council Liaison ensuring that Student Voice is heard at Trustee level.

Honorary Members 

Tracey Crouch MP is a supporter of our Student Council and has been an honorary member since 2012.  Councillor Andrew Mackness is also a supporter of our Student Council and has been an honorary member since June 2017.

Successes of the Student Council 

From 2011-2013 inclusive the Student Council took an active role as part of the Comenius Funded Euro-Partnerships 2011-13 [Inclusive] towards the International Youth Parliament award [linking with schools in Turkey, Finland & Portugal] and gaining the Full International Schools Award in July 2011. They went on to gain Comenius Funded Award 2012-14 [Youth Parliament].

In June 2013 Bradfields Academy’s Student Council was awarded the Medway Try-Angle Award for School Council, ‘Recognising the Efforts & Achievements of Young People in Our Community’.

In 2015 the Student Council’s work was recognised through gaining ‘Highly Commended’ status in the House of Commons Speaker’s Awards.

The Student Council also took a lead role in supporting Bradfields Academy to be accredited with the Investors in Pupils Quality Mark initially in 2013 and reaccredited in July 2018. The Investors in Pupils Quality Mark demonstrates our commitment to all members of Bradfields Academy’s learning community, it demonstrates that we are committed to listening to, involving and actively engaging pupils in their learning and wider school community. The Student Council were able to demonstrate these strengths and their impact on our community successfully to the award assessor and were commended for their passion and drive.

2018-2021 The Student Council have been active supporters of Medway Student Parliament.

Impact of the Student Council 

These students meet each term to discuss and decide on topics that will have a positive impact on the academy day. 

Previous impacts have included new water fountains being available in and outside of buildings; a new goal area on the lower playground; and, a football and basketball cage area on the upper playground. New equipment provided and the expansion of enrichment activities and clubs on offer during the day and after hours.

Already, this year the Student Council have had a positive impacted on a number of areas across the academy. One area of particular note was their work with Chartwells who provide lunchtime catering for the academy:

The Student Council requested some changes to the academy dinners.  These requests included: large portions, hot desserts, stuffing with roast dinners, more salads, jelly and baguettes.

From these requests, Chartwells has made changes to the Autumn/Winter menu.  These changes include age-appropriate portions, at least 1 hot dessert with custard a week, stuffing with roast chicken and the self-serve chiller; where students can choose salads, dressings, cold desserts (including jelly) and pre-ordered baguettes.

In the period of 2012-14, the Student Council played a leading part in the Comenius Project 'International Youth Parliament of Change'.  This project also involved the Student Councils from schools in Turkey, Finland and Portugal.

Meeting dates 

The Student Council Committee Meetings for 2020-21 are:

  • Tuesday 18th January 2022
  • Tuesday 1st March 2022
  • Tuesday 26th April 2022
  • Tuesday 14th June 2022
Key Stage 2 & 3 Key Stage 4 Sixth Form
9.20am 10.15am 11.25am

The Academy Full Student Council Meetings are:

  • Friday 21st January 2022
  • Friday 4th March 2022
  • Friday 29th April 2022
  • Friday 17th June 2022

The meetings begin at 9.20am

The success of our Student Council has led to the development of a number of smaller focused committees that support the academy in its development:

Meeting Minutes 

Student Curriculum Committee

This team of students involves students from Year 7 to Year 14, with a range of abilities and needs. The team have taken a full and active role in working alongside the Middle Leaders and the Leadership Team in influencing and leading on curriculum developments.

Their work has included:

2013-15 

Reflecting on the quality of teaching and learning and identifying which subjects/lessons they enjoyed the most and which learning strategies they particularly enjoyed or preferred.  This was shared with teaching staff to inform practice and celebrate success.

Identifying whether or not there was a need for Home Learning.  This work included determining: its purpose; whether it should or shouldn’t be set; what would be suitable for home learning; and, what should be the consequences for failing to complete Home Learning (which resulted in a final unanimous vote that home learning should be set by all subjects).  The outcomes from these discussions influenced the decision as to whole academy practice for setting Home Learning.

Giving presentations to staff from our International Partner Schools (as part of a Comenius Project) and to the Investors in Pupils (IiP) assessor. These presentations helped to explain their role and the impact of their work on teaching and learning.

2016 

Assessing and discussing a wide range of reading books and posing questions to the representatives.  They then fed back their decision to the Head of English with a clear preference for the book series they wanted and also highlighting the need for the resource books so that they had a purpose to the reading.  This has led to the purchase of the books they had identified as being most suitable. These have resulted in the majority of students positively engaging with reading and making good progress with their reading. This work led to the introduction of the Beanstalk Readers and Buster’s Book Club Schemes across the academy.

2017-21 

The Student Curriculum Committee have been working closely with the Subject Leader for PSHCE to develop our practice to become a Rights Respecting School as part of the Rights Respecting School’s Award.

The students involved in these committee have grown in confidence and work productively as a team. As a result they are able to articulate their own opinions and justify their decisions.  They have recognised that over time they have positively impacted on whole academy decision-making.