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Amazing masterclass week!

We ran our Smart School Council Masterclass training sessions last week. It was great to work with some new school council coordinators and also some teachers that we’d worked with before.

The first day was for primary teachers. We had a fantastic group of teachers who were really enthusiastic about improving their school council, and making it smart. A key part of the day was when three students from Bounds Green School in Haringey gave a presentation on what’s worked with their school council, and also what they’ve struggled with.

They had presented to one of our previous masterclass groups, and this time they gave an even more polished presentation. Thanks guys!

Bounds Green presentation - Smart School Council Masterclass

One of the most important parts of their presentation is the tips for other schools. Take a look below (if you’d like to see the rest of their presentation, you can get it here: Bounds Green Primary School Council Presentation):

Bounds Green Primary tips

Here’s a couple of emails we received the day after – including some great immediate actions. It’s really useful for school council coordinators to hear what other schools do in terms of budgets, when trying to lobby SMT for their own!

‘I just wanted to reiterate how valuable today was in learning practical techniques and language around pupil voice. The materials look great and engaging and we certainly will be using them and promoting them to schools. You so often go to training and come away feeling that it was not worth your while and you  could have been getting on with the “day job”, but the learning I have taken from today, not just about school councils but style and engaging adults exceeded my expectations’ Julia, London Borough of Hillingdon

‘The course was brilliant! I’ve already had a meeting with my head teacher about having a budget and a pupil voice gonernor and lots more!’ Fehmida, Primary Teacher, Barking and Dagenham

The secondary day was just as good. We had Quintin Kynaston presenting their ideas on how to make a school council more effective, self-managing and democratic. Read their full student voice presentation here. They gave a really impressive account of what they’re doing with the school council at QK, why it’s important and what other schools should try to do:

QK Masterclass presentation

Again, some great immediate actions in a email from one of the participants the next day:

‘Just wanted to thank you again for the fantastic training event yesterday – it was fun, practical and inspiring!  I have now organised a meeting with SLT for Monday to go through proposals for School Council and am excited about the possibilities and opportunities to make Student Voice work for us. I learnt so much – and as someone who has been teaching for almost 20 years (that sounds crazy!!!) and involved in Student Voice for quite a while I felt a bit lost but now have a clear idea of where I want to get to!’ Helen, Curriculum Leader PSCHE, Portsmouth

The week finished off with a follow-up day for teachers who had been on one of the previous masterclasses. It was great to hear how these teachers had got on, and the majority had made some great progress with their school council. This event was more discussion-focused with teachers sharing ideas on the strategies that had worked, and the obstacles they were coming up against.


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Importantly, the follow up day enabled us to ascertain that the support, advice and resources that we’ve given to teachers is working. It’s helping them to restructure their school councils in a more democratic, more youth-led way. It’s great for us to hear.

Over the course of the three days, the average score of the 27 participant teachers was: 9.4/10  for enjoyment, 9.3/10 for how much they learnt, 9.6/10 for how relevant the content was, 9.7/10 for usefulness and 9.6/10 for how much they were able to participate.

100% of participants would recommend the course to a colleague.

So many thanks to all the participants, the schools that presented, to Laura and Chris at Platform, and to Community Diner for the fantastic food.

Teachers who came along, all the resources can be found in the smart school council forum. Other teachers, we’ll be booking more courses in November of this year, so drop us an email if you’d like to notify you when the dates are finalised.

Greg


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