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Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Students at Bolton School Junior Boys' Division have entered the Speaker's School Council Awards to recognise their achievements in completing an exciting and successful project to improve their play area.
The awards are run by Parliament's Education Service and the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, who launched the scheme to recognise the most inspiring and engaging achievements of School Councils across the UK.
The Junior Boys' School Council was set up in September of last year and the 'Improving the Play Environment' project was an ideal project for them to be involved with to help the children understand what a School Council do. The Council were asked what they thought of their play space and how new space created following building work could be used. They in turn canvassed opinion from their classes and finally decided on some climbing equipment. They approached the Parents' Association via the Head teacher for support, and following various fundraising activities the Council then made a shortlist of equipment that they could afford within the budget and took proposals to their classes to vote on.
The result was activity equipment that allowed climbing and enjoyable activities for children, which changed the playtime emphasis away from football alone and encouraged more cooperative play and different kinds of physical activity. In addition, it showed the children that they could affect change in their school through the newly created School Council.
Before the project the yard was boring, but now there is a chance to do things that we couldn't normally do that are fun and challenging. It was School Council that made it happen-they got the ideas and talked to the classes and Mr Whittaker
Pupil, Aman Kumar
The children were excited about the project and enjoyed working out what they could afford from the money they had available. All the School Council boys, including my son, felt a big responsibility in choosing something that was right for the whole school, and have pride in the fact that it was they who made it happen
Parent and Non-teaching staff, Michelle Moores
The Junior Boys will now wait to see if they make the shortlist to attend the awards ceremony to be held in parliament in June. The winning schools will receive a variety of prizes including money to go towards a new project or a piece of equipment to contribute to the School Council and how it is run.
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