In order for children to achieve well, they need to take ownership of their learning and school environment and feel valued for the contributions they make. One powerful way of ensuring all children feel that they have a pupil voice within school, is to have an elected house council which is integral to the life of the school.
Through an effective house council, children can learn:
- about democracy and begin to understand politics;
- how to handle budgets and the value of money;
- more about persuading others, discussing their opinions and justifying their views;
- how to coordinate their ideas and work within leadership groups;
- how to become caring and effective leaders;
- how to bring about positive change by action planning, monitoring and reviewing;
- how to listen to other people’s opinions and ideas, challenge other’s appropriately;
Each September, children in Y3-6 nominate three children to stand as candidates for an election campaign. The candidates will receive support on how to lead a fair, honest and persuasive campaign to have as many votes as possible on election day. The child with the most votes will be elected as class representative. Foundation Stage, Y1 and Y2 children become involved in other ways throughout the school year.
The process is managed to ensure a fair, but sensitive approach to the elections, teaching children important life skills about competing, speaking and listening.
House councillors meet once a week, setting their own agenda to discuss the development of whole school issues which they feel are important to them. In addition to their own plans, they will be involved in a range of activities throughout the year such as fund raising and supporting school events.