Those pupils who effectively demonstrate our STAR values and behaviours and play an integral and positive role in the Academy community will have the opportunity to further develop their leadership skills by becoming an Academy Leader. Such pupils are expected to embody our mission of educational excellence, character development and service to communities through a commitment to excelling in their studies and helping others in their spare time, conducting themselves with integrity and being respectful to everyone they encounter. They will be willing to go the extra mile in terms of helping staff and supporting their fellow pupils, and behave impeccably both in and outside of the Academy.
Our Academy has a vibrant School Council, which gives pupils the opportunity to be actively involved in the leadership and management of the Academy. Pupils from Reception-Year 6 are elected by their peers to represent their opinions and raise issues with our Principal and governors in the school. The School Council can take forward projects on behalf of pupils, and be involved in planning charity events in school and working with parents.
The School Council provides a democratic forum where pupils can address Academy-related issues that affect their lives, ensuring open lines of communication between pupils and Academy staff.
To be effective, the School Council must:
- Represent all pupils and include as many people as possible
- Take time to listen to all pupils and communicate their views
- Provide feedback to pupils about how their views will be addressed
- Make things happen – or explain why they can’t
In doing so, pupils develop an understanding of the importance of freedom of speech and democracy, learning how to effect change in a constructive way. They develop a greater understanding of their rights and responsibilities, and are able to address and debate issues of concern with staff. The School Council gives all pupils a much-needed “voice,” ensuring that they become partners in their own education and are given a say in terms of how they learn and achieve.
The ‘High Crags Pound’
It will be several years before our pupils take on paid work, but we are keen for them to develop entrepreneurial spirit from a young age and understand how hard their families have to work to buy them the things they want and need. All of our Year 6 pupils have the opportunity to apply for “jobs” within the school – for example, behaviour monitors, classroom monitors, lunchtime helpers and conservationists. They undertake a formal application process to apply for these roles, citing any appropriate experience, and fill in makeshift timesheets to log how much time they have devoted to their tasks. They are “paid” a virtual rate of £1 per hour and their pounds become points that allow them to buy items that will further benefit their schooling i.e. stationery and PE equipment. Alternatively, they can choose to work together as a team and pool their resources to purchase a more expensive item.
The ‘High Crags Pound’ scheme is a fun way to give pupils a valuable insight into the world of work and the skills and attributes valued by employers.
Our Reading Mentors selflessly devote their spare time to helping younger pupils improve their reading and literacy skills. By engaging in paired reading activities and listening to pupils read on a regular basis, Reading Mentors are able to help them identify age-appropriate and sufficiently challenging reading material. They discuss content, plot and characterisation with our younger pupils to ensure that they have more than a cursory understanding of the texts they are reading, and ask questions to check that pupils are following all of the key developments within a story. They also check pupils’ reading diaries to ensure that they are continuing to practice their reading at home.
This extra support is invaluable to pupils who have additional needs, those who are experiencing barriers to learning, or pupils who are struggling to catch up with their peers. Through their encouragement, reassurance, and positive approach to learning, Reading Mentors help pupils to discover that reading is something to be relished.