The Pupil Leadership Team is a vital part of school life at Penketh High School. It is an important and useful way for our school to provide leadership and development opportunities for our pupils and it is a great way for students to take on leadership roles, promote the voice of the student body, problem solve and have an impact on the wider school community.
Being a part of the Pupil Leadership Team enables pupils to develop a personal moral code and explore values and beliefs, whilst encouraging the development of a climate which supports the proper exercise of responsibility. It offers pupils an opportunity to be involved in decisions about features of their life at school and allows them to have some control over the use of their time.
Working as part of a team provides pupils with improved communication skills and improved self confidence. It helps pupils to form better relationships with peers. It increases self-awareness and helps improve confidence when making decisions. Working with a group of pupils who they wouldn’t ordinarily work with also helps to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion within school.
It is a DfE requirement that schools promote British Values within their everyday practice. Having a Pupil Leadership Team promotes Democracy, the Rule of Law, Individual Liberty and Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs.
As detailed above, the Pupil Leadership Team promotes the development of the Dual Curriculum skills in a variety of ways; Leadership, Teamwork, Community Connectedness, Problem Solving, Listening, Speaking, Positivity, Creativity, Emotional Intelligence and Aiming High.
This year’s Pupil Leadership Team was elected just before half term following a rigorous application process. Pupils completed an application form for their roles answering questions in relation to their skills sets and why they would be good at the role. Applicants were then invited to interview where they were required to talk in more detail, in person, about their skills, what makes them a good candidate, and what they would do if they were successfully appointed. Pupils were appointed positions following successful interviews, however, for the role of President and Vice President, six applicants were shortlisted to take part in a weeklong campaign. Pupils created and presented a manifesto to staff and pupils and handed out leaflets and spoke with pupils about their manifesto whilst lobbying at breaks and lunch times. At the end of the campaign the whole school took part in a democratic vote, in the style of a general election with a polling station set up in school. Votes were counted and the two candidates with the most votes were appointed as President and Vice President. The four remaining candidates were appointed MPLT roles sitting under the President and Vice President within the leadership team structure. Conservative MP for Warrington South, Andy Carter, attended the election results ceremony in school and announced the results in front of the Pupil Leadership Team members.
The Pupil Leadership Team consists of 5 committees, with 127 individual roles in total occupied by 115 pupils from across the school. The committees are Greener Community Committee, Community Committee, Transition Team, Anti-Bullying Committee and TCAT Parliament. The team has grown considerably this year following a successful year of events last year; with a rise from 59 team members last year to 115 this year.
Last year, the Pupil Leadership Team managed to achieve a huge amount of work and they hope to do the same this year. Last year, in term 1 only, the PLT achieved the following:
- Pupils set up a weekly meeting slot where they met and discussed plans each Thursday after school.
- They set up a pupil-led Twitter account where they could share their work with the wider school and local community.
- Some members of the PLT took part in a Leadership course ran by Warrington Youth Club during their Enrichment time, where they completed safeguarding training, basic first aid and defib training, whilst at the same time gaining valuable leadership skills, communication skills and team building skills.
- Pupils began tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals, starting with goal 1, ‘No Poverty’, where they collected donations of Christmas gifts, warm clothes and toiletries that were donated to families and people in need throughout the Christmas period across Warrington via Warrington Foodbank.
- They continued to work on the UN Sustainable Development Goals by looking at goal 12, ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’, where pupils looked at responsible use of electricity across school, started an in-house bottle recycling scheme, completed research on how to deal with food waste, they extended the school garden to include a new vegetable patch, took part in a tree-planting project supported by the Woodland Trust, as well as planning and running ‘Green Day’ in school, that raised awareness of the importance of responsible consumption and production, as well as raising money that enabled us to buy a spider plant for each form group to support the production of cleaner air within classroom.
- Pupils supported projects within our school community as well as the local Penketh community, for example, TCAT Parliament meetings, Anti-Bullying week, Memorial Day activities (including a design a poppy competition, observance of minutes silence with the Last Post played by one of our pupils, and representation of the school in the local Remembrance Sunday parade), Children in Need activities and fund raising, Christmas cards sent out to local Primary Schools and care homes.
This same level of commitment and hard work from our pupils continued throughout the year and many different projects were executed to the highest of standards. A considerable amount of charity work was completed raising a large amount of money for a variety of charities.
Miss Silver’s Says: “My role as Pupil Leadership Team Coordinator at Penketh High School allows me to work with a dedicated and committed group of pupils who want the very best for our school and the local community. It is a privilege that I am able to witness the most incredible projects ran by our very own pupils each and every day. This year is already proving to be just as successful as last year with the PLT, and I am excited to see what our new team of fantastic pupils will bring.”