Marlbrook Student Voice (SV)
Marlbrook Primary is very proud of its fantastic Student Voice (it used to be the school council). In the last few years the SV has really grown in strength and confidence and has had some remarkable achievements. The SV is run and led by the children supported by a member of staff (Paula Preedy), and takes an active role in making decisions and suggestions on behalf of the children in the school.
How we work
Each class from Years 2-6 has two children who are elected by their classmates to represent them at SV meetings. Each class elects a Chairperson and Secretary to give structure to the class council meetings and to take note of any ideas and queries. The two class representatives then feedback at SV meetings. Each class has a SV folder that is used to keep records of class council meetings. The class representatives bring this folder to the SV meetings that take place every Tuesday morning for approximately 20-25 minutes. The SV also has a Chairperson and Secretary who guide the meetings so that all the representatives have a voice. A record of what is discussed at each meeting is kept and fedback to the classes through their elected representatives and the agenda is set for forthcoming meetings. We hold regular whole school assemblies (until is was put on hold by Covid) to keep the whole school informed and they can also raise any concerns or issues. We have several noticeboards around the school and in the playground.
Inclusion for all children
All children attending Marlbrook have a voice in our Student Voice. No child is
excluded from participating and contributing to SV. All children from Years 2-6 take part in the class council meetings and any child can put themselves forward as a chairperson, secretary or class representative. No child is ever removed from a class council meeting to take part in another activity. The younger children in Reception and Year 1 attend the regular whole school assemblies and take part in any activities that we organise.
Dealing with bullying
Here at Marlbrook, the children encourage each other to be friends not bullies. SV instigated a 'Good Friends' award in 2010 which are presented by Miss Kneale. Following Covid, these are now presented in class. The scheme is still running in 2021. Every week, a child from each class is acknowledged by their peers for being a good friend. A 'Good Friend' sticker is then handed out during Friday Celebration Assembly to the children who have been nominated.
Our voice is heard
We often work with the Student/Family Support Team and the teachers when they are keen to get the children's point of view such as issues at playtime and lunchtime. We help Mr Hulse, the school IT coordinator, to raise issues such as keeping our children safe when they are on-line. We are often asked by Mrs Jenkins and Miss Kneale to help interview potential support staff as we will be the ones working closely with them. We have put Hilary (Breakfast Club Manager) and Miss Kneale in the 'hot seat' when putting forward our questions and our ideas about what we want in school. However, we do realise that for Health and Safety reasons not all our requests, ideas and issues can be resolved to our liking. For example, we are allowed to have a Summer House, climbing equipment and multi-coloured canopies on the playground but not a swimming pool.
Here at Marlbrook, the catering facilities have recently changed and we have been working in partnership with the catering provider, AiP. We invited them to a SV meeting as there were some concerns raised by the children. They were happy to listen to us and made a note of our suggestions and queries. Louise from AiP told us that the company would be happy to help us raise money through cake sales and themed lunches and would also make a monetary contribution. The web page link to AiP is on this page if you would like to find out more about them.
Working hard to make a difference
We hold regular cake stalls and special wear-what-you-like days to raise money for the School Fund and charities such as Help the Heroes, Sports Relief, Children in Need and our local hospice. We have been working with the pupil eco-council to raise awareness of environmental issues within the school and beyond. We have children as litter pickers and there are recycling bins throughout the school. We actively encourage all children to be proactive about recycling issues and to conserve energy where possible such as turning of unnecessary lights.
Forging links with the wider community
Many parents come into school and help us with our cake sales, with reading and they also volunteer for other events such as the Summer Fayre, Christmas fayre and disco's.
We have lots of generous parents/carers who donate cakes for our cake sales and bring in many items for the Summer Fayre and Christmas Raffle. Our parents/carers are always very supportive when we have our wear-what-you-like days and are happy to help us raise money for charity.