We believe it is critically important that young people begin to engage with democracy and the role it plays in British society, whether that is voting for their representatives on the school council or getting involved in social action campaigns. The Academy Council aims go further in equipping our pupils with the leadership skills and knowledge to play a full and active part in our wider community life through student voice and social action projects.
There are various roles within the academy council which include senior representatives and form representatives which are elected positions and have detailed job descriptions. As our school grows this will include prefects in year 10 and 11. Every elected member must:
1. Model the Ark Pioneer Values of Aim High, Have Integrity, Be Kind and Model Determination in all that they do at school and the local community.
2. Represent their year group at academy council meetings with commitment and full attendance and report back to their tutor groups keeping them up to date.
3. Promote honesty and respect by engaging in discussion and debate with fellow pupil representatives and understand the importance of teamwork.
4. Believe in the importance of representing their year group’s point of view even if they do not always agree with it themselves.
5. Represent the pupils of Ark Pioneer Academy at important events throughout the school year e.g. Open Evenings, assemblies and special visitors.
6. Keep the form representatives board up to date with the guidance of a member of senior staff.
7. Carry out extra responsibilities, such as ‘Living our Values’ duties and being an anti-bullying ambassador.
Academy Council Meeting take place on the first Wednesday of every term and follow the agenda below. Additional meetings may take place if required for any social action/charity projects or school events.
Meetings and Brief Agendas
1 - Autumn Term - 1st Half - JD and Roles & Tour guide
2 - Autumn Term - 2nd Half - Pupil Voice, Strong discipline - safe environment
2 - December -Christmas Jumper Charity
3 - Spring Term - 1st Half - Pupil Voice, High Aspirations – careers and trips
4 - Spring Term - 2nd Half - Pupil Voice, Instilling Values – give first social action
5 - Summer Term - 1st Half - Pupil Voice, Revision and Assessment
6 - Summer Term - 2nd Half - Pupil Voice, Sports Day, planning for the new academic year
At Ark Pioneer we also run a peer mentoring programme as part of our pupil voice. We know that sometimes pupils feel more comfortable to speak to a peer rather than a member of staff. To support with this, a special peer mentoring team have been trained on how to listen to their fellow pupils and guide them to an adult in the school community who can support further.
Peer mentors make themselves available for drop in sessions during lunch time and regularly check in on new pupils who join our school community to ensure they are settling in.
Each term pupils complete a feedback survey and/or participate in focus groups allowing our pupil voice to be heard and as a school, for us to take action to improve. The survey covers different aspects of school life alongside looking at pupil wellbeing.
Here at Ark Pioneer we value pupil voice and ensure pupils know they will be listened to, includign for example, changes to our food and enrichment offer following pupil feedback. Below you can read a selection of pupil comments and responses:
"Teachers send extra resources or pieces of information that we can read outside of class and make sure to set us helpful homework/home learning"
"I would like to say that this school is amazing and I feel so sure that already that I will reach my dream career"
Staff at Ark Pioneer care about me and support me to achieve my best
Being part of Ark Pioneer allows me to grow into the person I want to be
"We are set quizzes on most lessons, so teacher knows what we need to improve on"
"The teachers give me knowledge organisers to help me learn"
I have used 'copy, cover, check' and other techniques to learn key knowledge and prepare for autumn assessments
"If you need help staff will come over and help you and we know that we will get the help that we need"
"I think the most helpful things my teachers are doing to support my learning at home is working really hard to teach us at home and they are also trying to explain the subject very well"
"I find the explanations they give us helpful"
"The teachers don't rush us"
"The teachers always ask if anybody has any questions and I know I can email them if I need help out of lessons"
"When we complete our independent work whilst still on the lessons so we can ask questions"
"If I don't understand the work or if I'm a bit confused they will ask me what I'm stuck/struggling on and they will help me"
I knew what I was expected to revise for each of my termly assessments
Diagnostic assessments have helped me to understand how much progress I made in lessons this term and where I need to improve
"Teachers are really nice and show us kindness"
"They have taught us a lot and made me laugh sometimes"
Being part of Ark Pioneer helps me to understand and respect people from other backgrounds
"If at any time I have technical issues the teacher would not give me a check. I am glad that after learning anything new, the teacher will make sure that every single person is 100% focussed and that they understand everything 100%"
"They are teaching us techniques on how to complete our work and homework"
"Sending regular emails and remainders and are always there to help"
I understand the importance of lesson routines and expectations for behaviour in lesson and around the school