Student leadership in the Secondary school
Each mentor class elects a Class Representative to join the Student Council. Student Council meetings are chaired by the Student Representatives, and supervised by a teacher.
Being a Student Representative is an important role in the school. Student Reps sit on the Secondary Participation Council, to make sure the ideas and concerns of the students are heard by school management. In order to fulfil this responsibility, they also meet frequently with Class Representatives, who share with them any feedback, ideas or concerns of their peers. The role also presents students with a wide range of new opportunities and experiences, and helps them develop leadership skills that they can build on in their future careers. Student Reps are elected by their peers.
The Student Mentor programme gives S5 students the opportunity to become Student Mentors for our new S1 students. The programme not only forms an important part of the transition programme for new Secondary students, it provides our older students with more opportunities to complete acts of service and develop their leadership skills. The relationships developed between the students and their Student Mentor has the possibility of extending long-term to ensure strong social relationships within the student body.
The role of the Student Mentor encompasses tasks such as taking part in P5-S1transition activities, being present at the S1 induction days, attending S1 mentor lessons and assemblies once a month, and joining in activities such as the mentor Christmas lunch and sing-along. During mentor lessons, the Student Mentors help out with things like, social climate, study skills and planning, discussing the use of social media, and helping Class Representatives prepare for Student Council meetings. Student mentors may also be asked to attend or participate in information evenings, information mornings, and parent evenings etc.
Recruitment for the programme is conducted in spring, so that the students are prepared to begin the role as soon as the new S1 students begin in the new school year. Student Mentors participate in training to prepare them for the role, which focuses on learning to listen, mediation techniques, role-playing common social situations, and working in groups.
Under the guidance of the Student Council, students are invited to show their interest in forming new student committees, such a social, environmental or fundraising committees. A team of students have created a student newspaper called ESH Today. The students decide which topics their articles cover and which languages they write in. Interested students are invited to join the editing team meetings, or email their written, photographic or artistic contributions in to the newspaper team.
ESH Green Club is another student-run initiative, aiming to go down a path of eco-friendly sustainability and recycling for our school. Led by highly-motivated students, this ambitious project has the potential to transform our school environment, and stimulate a cultural change at the school. The club has already created a website and released a survey for staff and students to gather feedback and ideas on what actions can be taken to achieve their goal. Visit their website for more information.
Student leadership in the Primary school
As educators at ESH, we have a valuable opportunity to help students develop and exercise leadership in a responsible manner. Therefore ESH plays a role in helping students, who are members of the school council, develop their leadership skills in order to reach their full potential as future leaders.
Benefits of student councils:
- It gives the students a voice in the school
- It reduces apathy when students are given the opportunity to critique systems
- Having multiple stakeholders in school decision making can lead to improved decision making
- Student Councils may contribute to improved student relationships with peers and adults within a school
- Some studies have shown Student Council initiatives lead to improvements in student perception of agency, self-esteem, belonging and competence – which also affect academic outcomes.
P5 Student Council
Each P5 class elects a class representative. These class representatives make up the Student Council. All p5 children are given the opportunity to be elected and may put themselves forward as a potential candidate. These children put together a short presentation about why they wanted to be part of the council and why they would be good as a representative. These presentations were delivered to their classes and the children in the class voted for the person they wanted to be the rep.
P4 Eco Planet Team
The Eco-team is in the driver seat of the process of becoming a sustainable school. Within the Eco-Schools programme the approach is ‘student-led change’. The students are in the lead to make the difference. In seven steps the Eco-team will lead the school to the award: The Green Flag. The Eco Planet Team is made up of P4 children. We had our first and only meeting in February 2020, before school closed. All children and staff involved signed an eco agreement to show their commitment to improving and maintaining the sustainability of ESH.
The children have named their team the "Eco Planet Team" and will use the motto:
'The future is in our hands'.
Eco Planet Team goals for when school reopens:
- to carry out an environmental audit of each of the 10 Eco-Schools themes,
- to use the results of the audit to decide on a focus area for ESH Primary to begin our ESH sustainable journey.