This year saw the introduction of Nightingale Primary School Young Governors! At the start of the year, children who wished to volunteer themselves to become their class representative submitted their self-nomination to their teacher. These children then prepared a speech to give to their classmates, persuading them that they were the candidate to vote for. To mirror our British electoral system and sense of democracy, the children attended our school Polling station and filled in their anonymous poll card to cast their vote. The poll cards were then counted by members of the Year 6 cohort and the successful candidates were announced in assembly.
The Young Governors meet every Monday morning with Miss Hay and Mr Thomas-Bond to discuss the needs and requests of the school. The Young Governors have a say in how money is spent, how the school runs, have input into their curriculum and have the opportunity to suggest changes and new ideas they would like to see in their school. The Young Governors strive to organise charity work throughout the school year to benefit both the local community, the wider community and those less fortunate overseas. This fostering of commitment to charities is another way in which we teach a sense of Britishness.
This year’s Young Governors have worked extremely hard to make Nightingale Primary School the best it can be. Each meeting they have discussed, developed and challenged different ideas and have made a whole school impact. Some of the things this year’s Young Governors have planned, promoted and supported are:
- Children in Need – Spotty day!
- Identifying the safest areas in the school and developing other areas
- Walk to school week
- Road Safety mascot
- Clear Air Day
Each class celebrate democracy around the school. At the beginning of the year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these which they then sign in agreement. Each class works hard to earn class rewards which are voted for by the children to ensure that every voice is heard. The children at Nightingale understand that they have the right to have their voice heard and are constantly provided with opportunities to do this.
This year the children in Year 4 took part in voting for the new name of the new Year 5 class next year. We carried out a debate after watching a video showing The Junior Parliament debate linked to whether animals should be kept in zoos or not. We looked at how laws to protect children have changed since Victorian times as part of our Victorian topic.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Positive behaviour management strategies are implemented throughout the school and rules and expectations are reinforced through school assemblies and every day in class.
In Year 6, the children take part in Bikeability which teaches them the rules and laws of the road. Bikeability is run by the Department of Transport and is about gaining practical skills and understanding how to cycle on today’s roads. Bikeability gives everyone the skills and confidence for all kinds of cycling.
Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, PCSOs, Hampshire Fire Service and many more. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our pupils.
Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year. We know that the work of our school council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.