School life: The work of Brighouse High school council

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Last year’s school council was focused on three main topics: bullying, health and exercise and homework. Within these subjects were power points and information which was read out to the pupils of our school.

We gained feedback on homework through questionnaires and they said it was given too often, too close to the end of lessons and in most cases not useful to the lessons.

The students in charge of the bullying group focused on cyber bullying and found out that it was a common issue between pupils in Brighouse High. We then decided to make a ‘RESPECT box’ where pupils can go to share their problems anonymously or not, depending on how confident they feel on the subject at hand. The respect box can also be used for positive things so rewards can be handed out for extra-curricular/ out of school activities.

We also worked on health and exercise which resulted in a new canteen being purchased, and designed by the school council pupils. As well as this, we created more extra-curricular activities to put the great P.E facilities to use. In an assembly in front of the school, we gave the other pupils facts and information on healthy eating and what we plan to do.

Another school council group focused on homework. We found a few issues which were fixed with a meeting with staff and from feedback from the questionnaires. Some issues we found were minor such as homework is not related to the lesson; setting it at the end of the lesson and computer based homeworks were hard to work out how to use if the students had not been taught how to navigate the website.

After we carried out the three main topics, we took part in a school symposium with other schools such as Rishworth, North Halifax and Crossley Heath. The more confident school council members performed a PowerPoint at Huddersfield University to the other schools. We shared ideas with the other schools, and everyone enjoyed the day gaining lots of ideas.

This academic year we plan to focus on: creating a new dining area to divide queues; mental health issues and recognizing symptoms of different illnesses; sexual education and making it more up to date and relevant to today’s society, and bullying which will include LGBTQA. Our Y7 Students are also focusing on improving the Transition from Y6 to Y7, especially from non-feeder schools. We look forward to addressing these items in our ongoing meetings.