The Kids Council was established in 2014 and achieves a number of outcomes for the children involved– it gives children a voice in how they wish to work with children from other schools alongside how the alliance works generally, it provides children with a role in reviewing and feeding back on the learning and the environments in other schools, and it provides children with enriching activities that it is sometimes difficult for individual schools to provide.
What’s The Impact?
The Council provides the pupils with a sense of responsibility, but also an enthusiasm and motivation for learning and working with others and contributing ideas to their own schools. The children are all very keen to take ideas away from other schools and bring them back to their own schools, sharing them with their pupil councils and their teachers.
The Council has a big influence in improving the confidence of some pupils who really benefit from these opportunities to interact with other children and adults outside their own context. The opportunities provided through the activities, having a real voice within schools and experiencing social opportunities can be transformational for some children.
The success of the Council has built momentum over the years and in 2016 the Kyra East hub was formed, allowing for more schools and pupils to be involved.
Kyra Central Council
The children play a really valuable part in school improvement through their learning visits to other schools. When the Kyra Kids Council visits a school within the alliance, there is usually an opportunity for the Headteacher to identify an area – very often based on the school’s improvement plan –The learning visits usually involve a learning walk, pupil interviews, and the chance for children to complete a feedback form, which is then shared with the school’s Headteacher. A number of heads have described the visits as being amongst some of the most powerful school improvement activity they have experienced. It is certainly about putting the voice and the views of children at the heart of school improvement activity wherever possible.
“The Alliance’s DNA embodies everything that I believe an education system should: children at the heart of everything we do and being the lead for pupil voice has further highlighted the importance of this. It’s been great to see children, who have only known each other for a matter of minutes, interacting and engaging in purposeful discussions about the things they like about the host school while also identifying ways to make it an even better place to learn based on their experiences at their own schools. Providing the Kyra Kids Council with a platform to share their wisdoms, thoughts and views is something, among many other things, that makes The Kyra Teaching Alliance a unique and welcoming beacon”
Kyra East Council
The Kyra East council comprises of a group of predominantly small schools where there is often more than a single year group in a class, we felt that it was important that we take advantage of the meetings and allow the same year five and six pupils to attend each time, enabling them to build up social relationships. The idea being that when they transfer to Secondary school there will be familiar faces, supporting the change.
Each school that is being visited this year has identified something that they are great at and together we are celebrating this and then taking new ideas back to our own schools. In the Autumn term pupils worked together to create a Kyra East banner from felt flowers and embraced creativity together, in the Spring term we have a member of Andy Cope’s The Art of Brilliance leading a workshop on how we can be brilliant and then in the Summer term we are spending a morning celebrating sport.
Pupils are also given the wonderful opportunity to complete a learning walk with their teachers and members of the host school, where they are able to identify similarities and ‘steal’ new ideas. The hope is that School Council members will then feedback the things that they have learnt to their full School Council and new things can be implemented as good practice is shared.
“The success of the school council has been phenomenal. The experience allows new friendships to grow, ideas to be born and the pupil voice to be heard. We already work together as teaching professionals, Headteachers, Governors and the School Council meetings allow the pupil voice to be heard. The confidence that members of the School Council have gained is incredible and this is partly due to the experience of working with new children and new teachers in schools they are unfamiliar with. They know that they can instigate change and that their ideas are listened to and implemented. Kyra East School Council is a group of motivated children who want to seek new ways to improve their own schools and the educational experience for all. “