School parliaments are a great introduction to the process of democracy and teach pupils how to become active democratic citizens by being involved in all aspects of school life. They also teach pupils essential skills such as:
At Stondon Lower School, we have two representatives from each class from years 1-3 and four students from year 4. Year 4 pupils take on the roles of: chairperson, secretary and two treasurers.
At the beginning of the school year, pupils are able to put themselves forward for the position of school parliament or and then the class votes for the two pupils who will represent their class. The positions are held for the whole school year.
The school parliament are responsible for bringing forward for discussion ideas and suggestions from their classmates, for example, should we have paper napkins at lunchtimes? In Autumn 2014, the school parliament conducted a survey about the school lunches which helped to provide feedback for the people who supply our lunches. In Autumn 2015, the school parliament have conducted a survey on pupils’ enjoyment of playtime and lunchtime.
At Stondon Lower School, we encourage pupils to be involved in all aspects of the school. Each year the school parliament looks at the key priorities in the School Development Plan for that year. In 2015, the school parliament undertook a review of the school website, met with the Chairperson for the Governing Body and conducted learning walks around the school to see how well the school was working.
The school parliament are responsible for raising money for the chosen school charity each year. The whole school (staff and pupils) voted on three charities nominated by the school parliament. In 2015-2016 the school raised over £700 for Children in Need. This year, we will be supporting Unicef.
Year 3 and 4 school parliament were fortunate enough to go on trip to the Houses of Parliament in March 2015. The trip is a great opportunity to see how politics work in action. We started with a tour of the Houses of Parliament and in particular, the House of Lords. After our tour the pupils participated in a Making Laws workshop and were able to create their own law and see the process that laws go through before they are passed. This is a great learning opportunity and it demonstrates how democracy works, enabling pupils to think about the reasons for and the value of having laws.
Stondon Lower School