The School Council: The Voice
At the Crypt listening and responding to “the pupil voice” is very important to our ethos. Not only do pupils deserve to be heard and consulted on issues concerning them but they also need to develop the skills of forming a point of view and putting it across in a reasoned and effective manner.
The School Council is an integral and extremely effective focus for pupil voice at the Crypt. Two representatives are elected each year from each tutor group. Their role is to put forward and discuss any issues concerning them and their peers. Meetings of the lower school take place twice a term, to give enough time for pupils to come up with their own ideas for fundraising and issues which are important to them. These meetings have formal agendas and minutes, which are then submitted to the school’s senior management team for action. The School Council is also allocated its own budget which is has full control over.
The work of the School Council is wide-ranging and includes consultations on curriculum matters and building projects, planning whole school events and charity days, liaising with the wider community and looking after and enhancing the school environment. In recent years, effective lobbying by the School Council has seen the introduction of food technology onto the curriculum, a complete redesign of the pupils’ toilet block, and a major development of the school’s outdoor “quiet” areas with the building of a canopy and seating. Future plans include further enhancement of outdoor play facilities and a continued commitment to raising money for various charities through cake sales and different events.
The School Council also has regular meetings with the catering manager to discuss prices and menus in the School Canteen and how best to implement guidelines for food-based standards for healthy eating in schools.
The role the School Council plays is a highly respected one and its representatives are frequently asked to join interview panels for new member of staff. Not only is it is a thoroughly rewarding experience for those pupils who get elected on to the Council, but its work also impacts significantly on the whole school community, making the Crypt a place where its pupils can feel that their voices are heard and that they can make a difference to their school and to themselves.
Much of its success over the last few years has been down to the contribution of a very special and much-loved member of staff and all those who served on the Council with Ruth MacKellar hold her dearly in their memory.