Bobmore Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1JE
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School Council

All students at Great Marlow School have the opportunity to contribute their ideas and opinions in school council meetings.

The council aims to:

  • develop student voice
  • promote personal development
  • strengthen mutual respect and understanding
  • improve communication and relationships
  • develop responsibility and respect
  • support learning and achievements
  • increase working knowledge of citizenship
  • foster links between year groups
  • be innovative
  • improve the learning and school environment

The year councils meet every half term and the whole school council meets once a term. All student views and ideas are considered. An important part of students having a voice is that they feel their opinions are being listened to and are valued, and this ethos is at the heart of the council.

ORGANISATION

At the beginning of each school year, directors of learning for each year group select two students to represent their year group on the school council. Representatives may be changed at the discretion of the director of learning so that the student voice becomes a shared experience.

There are year councils that feed into the whole school council:

  • Year 7 chaired by Miss King
  • Year 8 chaired by Mr Ross
  • Year 9 chaired by Mr Payne
  • Year 10 chaired by Miss Tuddenham
  • Year 11 chaired by Mrs Craig
  • Year 12/13 chaired by Mr Hollyman

The school council is chaired by the head boy and head girl. Members of the senior prefect team represent Years 12 and 13. These meetings occur each half term and minutes are circulated to all form groups. An agenda is circulated before each meeting.

These meetings will occur each half term and minutes will be passed onto the whole school council which will meet in at the end of each term and will be chaired by the head girl and head boy with Mr Hollyman

WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF THE SCHOOL COUNCIL IN 2016/17?

  • to make the student voice more consistent and stronger
  • to ensure the council remains student led
  • to ensure that students are kept informed about the latest news and feedback from the council(s)
  • to continue the work the council has carried out in regards to improvements to the school environment and fund raising

AGENDA – Whole School Council Meeting – Wednesday 22nd September 2016

Attending: Year 8: Tom Riley;    Year 10: George Vaughan, Corinne Fisher;     Year 11: Kasib Yasin

Chair: Head Girl Poppy Corbould and Head Boy Sean Bergh

Minutes: Head Girl Poppy Corbould and Head Boy Sean Bergh

AGENDA – Items for Discussion:

  • What went well at the beginning of the school year.
  • What can be done to make the beginning of the next school year better?  EBI
  • Feedback on the school environment: classrooms
  • AOB

FEEDBACK:  Whole School Council Meeting – Wednesday 22 September 2016

Question : The start of the year WWW

  • Year 8 – Tom Riley: I think the teachers have accepted the fact that some of us have forgotten some information and they have refreshed our memories
  • Year 11 – Kasib Yasin: Coming back was good it’s a fresh start especially now I’m in year 11 I have to focus for exams and the teachers helped me so far. Also year 11’s having their individual mentors is good so they can help you personally with things you struggle with.
  • Year 10 – George Vaughan: In all lessons we are offered the best equipment in order to improve and help our learning, we are then able to achieve better grades and enjoy it more.
  • Year 10 – Corinne Fisher: The start of my year was really good, the classrooms were in good condition and I like that there is equipment available to use.

Question : EBI

  • Year 8 – Tom Riley: I don’t really have an EBI yet
  • Year 11 – Kasib Yasin: I think too many new methods have been introduced. E.g. taking wrappers off food before you exit the canteen to stop littering

Question : Learning Environment

  • Year 8 – Tom Riley: The classrooms have been a great learning environment and have influenced me to learn harder and work harder.
  • Year 11 – Kasib Yasin: I like sitting in classrooms with posters so they can help me with my work. Also I like to work with computers more so I can have a different working scene.
  • Year 10 – George Vaughan: The learning environment has changed positively and I feel more comfortable and able to learn in almost all of my lessons.
  • Year 10 – Corinne Fisher: The classrooms are in good condition and I like all of my teachers. The learning environment is great overall.

AOB

  • Year 8 – Tom Riley: Nothing much, I feel I have mentioned my problems in the previous questions.
  • Year 10 – George Vaughan: I would really like more prefect run assemblies and to know more about them.
  • Year 10 – Corinne Fisher: More assemblies about prefects so that we know more about them and who they are.
  • Timing of the meeting. Could the meeting be arranged in a lesson time because 40 minutes in a lunch time does not give sufficient time for discussion. LT agreed a lesson out of learning once every half term could be scheduled.

OUTCOME

The leadership team agreed that the whole school council meeting could take place in a lesson, once every half term.  

AGENDA – Whole School Council Meeting – Wednesday 29th November 2016

Attending: Year 7: Jess Taylor and Martin Bignall Year 8: Aysha Jahangir and Ned Squizzoni Year 9: Hollie Platt and Dean Whitely Year 10: Paul Wyborn and Tabi Collins Year 11: Amelia Liebowitz, Kasib Yasin, Mollie Holdsworth

Chair: Matthew House and Danyal Maruf (Year 13)

Minutes: OHL

AGENDA – Items for Discussion:

  • Safety: How do you feel about your safety and well-being at GMS? E-safety:
  • Canteen: Food and lunchtime arrangement: How is the current system working? What do you think of the canteen food at the moment? How might things be improved?
  • Homework: SMHW and VIVOs. How are they working? What could be improved?
  • Building Works: Is the movement around site working? Have you noticed any possible danger areas?
  • Extra-Curricular additions: Are there any extra-curricular activities which are not running which you feel should be?
  • Consultation methods for students: How do you like to be consulted about things? Hands-up survey, Online poll?
  • AOB:

 

FEEDBACK – Whole School Council Meeting – Wednesday 29 November 2016 

Safety : How do you feel about your safety and Well-being at GMS?  E-safety

  • Students reported good feelings about safety in general including E-safety
  • Students acknowledged they had not had a ‘proper’ talk but felt they had covered it a bit
  • Suggested a whole term on e-safety, including warnings about face book given via lessons
  • Suggested assemblies should be provided
  • More information around the school
  • Students remembered Barnardos in Year 10
  • LGS was mentioned as a good source of assistance and support

Canteen: Food and lunchtime arrangement: How is the current system working? : What do you think of the canteen food at the moment? : How might things be improved?

  • Less congestion – works for Year 7. ‘It really works’
  • Food is repetitive
  • Quality is fine, but type is boring
  • Breaktime provision is boring
  • Overpriced Panini’s – price rise noticed
  • Year 10 voiced ideas about staggering lunchtime
  • Some inconsistencies with food pricing. Some products were over priced.
  • Original chicken wrap needs to be returned. Very much liked.
  • Question raised about whether allergies were taken into account
  • Food should be labeled – e.g. diabetic students need to know
  • Healthy options are limited
  • More staff needed on duty in canteen

Homework: Show My Homework and VIVOs. How are they working? What could be improved?

  • A lot easier with SMHW especially if a lesson is missed
  • Sometimes glitches affect attachments
  • Students feel they need homework to be explained, rather than simply say ‘Go on SMHW’
  • Inconsistent use by teachers or set too late on SMHW and not having enough time to do it
  • Vivo logins don‘t seem to be working
  • If you leave it, it logs you off
  • SMHW and Vivo apps are a very good way forward and preferred
  • Improvements – get logins quicker at the start of the year
  • Use of Vivos are inconsistent

Building Works: Is the movement around site working? Have you noticed any possible danger areas?

  • Challenging and cramped movement especially C block to S. Also M block is very congested
  • No teachers are on hand to support
  • Going through Art block – access needs signage to avoid a crush
  • Could E block be used to ease access?
  • More clarity required on what is changing and when
  • Is there any chance of another access way being created?
  • Exams were affected by noise – could they be asked to stop?

Extra-Curricular additions: Are there any extra-curricular activities which are not running that you feel should be?

  • Good provision, good range
  • Too much sport, an imbalance
  • Some clubs are not advertised – a sports’ bulletin equivalent is needed to promote activities
  • More language(s) clubs for conversation and culture
  • Cooking club
  • DT department could run a club – Scalextric?

Consultation methods for students: How do you like to be consulted about things? Hand-up survey or online poll?

  • Form tutor asking questions is preferred
  • Online takes more time, and students need to book out spaces. Glitches can occur.
  • Potential lack of internet access.
  • Print a questionnaire and complete in form.
  • Form tutors have a collective, single response.

A O B

  • KS4 revision plan / booklet
  • Better awareness of mock exam dates
  • Use of SMHW announcements
  • Late information to prefects about helping out for evenings
  • Photos – form tutors did not communicate well
  • Form boxes could be used a lot better. Form tutors don’t check.
  • Library system – Reading scheme
  • Variety in the choice of books to read
  • Time limits to read books are too restrictive
  • Boys especially wanted a wider choice with a task at the end
  • Library timetable could be promoted
  • Priority given to students with needs rather than using PCs for YouTube and Gaming
  • Safety of belongings is not good
  • Change the system outside the library
  • Library should be quiet
  • Library should be open earlier to allow work to be completed
  • Computers are too often out-of-order
  • Prefects need to have more authority and respect as they are being ignored
  • Some abuse of prefect privileges who push-in for food but are not on duty
  • Whole class detentions are NOT appropriate

Meeting with Innovate, Catering Suppliers to GMS – Wednesday 8th March 2017

Attending: Richard Corbyn (Innovate), Sam Weller (Head of GMS Catering) Year 7: Sam Chaplin, Umain Khurrum Year 8: Sophie Hardy, Hayden Simmonds Year 9: Cariad Lucas, Dean Whitely Year 10: Fiona Trew, Joel Langford Year 11: Max Bowles, Louisa Glen Bramley Year 12: Billy Stone, Emily Russell Year 13: Poppy Corbould, Noah Withey

Minutes OHL

Points raised by students about catering at GMS in Year Group Meetings:

  • Peer pressure to buy lunch for others
  • Food prices have risen in the canteen. Requests for more healthy options and variety/change in the menu. The queuing system is a problem.
  • Variety of food in the canteen
  • Issue with paying for food. Takes too long. Queue too long.
  • Quality issue. Quantities less for the same price.
  • Food- Not enough variety.
  • Not enough chicken burgers
  • Premium muffins all gone due to year 7

Minutes: Richard Corbyn:

  • Taster session introduction. The aim is to have x3 taster sessions throughout the academic year
  • Innovate need to understand the customer so student input is vital
  • Products introduced: vegan burger, vegan sausages, onion bhajee burger, falafel rolls, salad bar additions with quinoa or giant couscous, new types of rolls, beef and stilton and peking duck wrap
  • Students had a tasting session

Student responses:

Year 7:

  • The vegan sausage was very good

Year 8:

  • Cost issues with certain products
  • Cheaper water required.
  • The products on offer at the meeting were healthier.

Year 9:

  • Tasty products on offer at the meeting.
  • Another look at wrapping products is needed due to the current school requirement to remove wrapping.
  • Some products would be unmanageable without a bag/appropriate packaging
  • There must be more/visible signs in the canteen asking students to put rubbish into bins
  • More bins needed around the school site

Year 10:

  • Queue time currently too long-packed lunch is now a quicker option for many students
  • Capacity of the canteen will change once the canteen is rebuilt
  • More till points could be added plus a pre-order system potentially using touch screens
  • Options for a meal-deal system is a potential for the 6th Form. What about the rest of the school?

Year 11:

  • From a vegetarian point of view, the new products are good
  • Veg options are often gone too soon
  • Prices have risen but portions are smaller
  • Prices have risen by 0.4%

Year 12/13:

  • Cheapest options are bought the most in the 6th Form café
  • Sales need to increase in order to warrant a second member of staff to serve in the café. If this happens, the offer will be widened
  • Salad bar option discussed
  • Separate 6th form taster session will be arranged by OHL and Richard Corbyn before Easter.
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