The De Warenne Academy Council provides an opportunity for pupils to have their views heard and influence decisions made which impact upon them, their education and their community. They form an integral part of the communication between their peers and the Academy leadership team, allowing them to express and represent the views of each and every pupil. In addition, Academy Council representatives are empowered to take a leading role in organising a number of events throughout the academic year such as:
- Fundraising for The Children’s Air Ambulance (The chosen charity for Delta Academies Trust)
- Additional fundraising for community projects
- Listening & recording students’ views and sharing these at meetings
- Feeding back to the wider Academy progress from council meetings
- Supporting and being involved in assemblies and presentations for pupils
- Representing pupils as part of the interview panel for teacher & support staff recruitment
- Representing the Academy at local events
This year the logistics of putting together a council have been challenged by the need to keep pupils and staff safe within the year group bubbles however, the council members have not been deterred!
All pupils have the opportunity at the beginning of each academic year to apply for a position on the Academy Council. Each application is supported by a reference from a member of staff and pupils are encouraged to apply from Year 7 through to Year 10 so that representation is inclusive. Year 11 are included in the communication process, however due to their final year commitments do not attend formal meetings.
This year due to current circumstances all applicants were set a challenge to further support their application. Applicants were tasked with taking ownership of The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal Collection. They took responsibility for selling the poppies on a rota and collecting and returning collection boxes to the office. This initial challenge raised £330.
The current academy council is made up of 14 students both male and female and represented over the year groups. They meet each Tuesday at 2.30pm for one hour and discuss ideas for fundraising events and events that could support the community wellbeing. They are so committed that even during the lockdown weeks we meet online through Teams meetings and discuss ideas for the future. In the Autumn term the Academy Council raised over £1600 in total for The Royal British Legion, Leukaemia UK, the NHS and the Children’s Air Ambulance.
This year so far, the academy council members have successfully organised two events whilst dealing with the challengers of meeting whilst keeping a social distance, advertising the events, gaining support and donations and being fully committed to running the events from start to finish.
The first event came together through having the opportunity to raise money for our local NHS hospitals through sponsorship of a Star displayed over the Christmas period at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, and the sad loss of our Site Manger of 9 years Steve Asquith. The students wanted to make this a very special event, they themed it as colours of the rainbow to denote the NHS connection. Everything was rainbow themed and on the day of the event the academy was full of life and colour. Generosity was in abundance even through these difficult times. A rainbow bear was named, guess how many rainbow sweets in the jar and through the generosity of students, staff, parents and local schools we had an enormous chocolate raffle. The students also wanted to pay their respects to Mr Asquith by each year group holding a 2-minute clap outside at break time to show their appreciation and honour his passing. This was a very moving moment and one the academy council and students felt strongly about observing. The day successfully raised £1075 to be split between sponsoring the star in Steve’s memory and a donation to Leukaemia research.
Our second event occurred in quick succession just before Christmas and off the back of their previous success the council representatives were full of enthusiasm and ideas. They held a teddy bear raffle (teddy bears donated by our Principal Mrs Rooney) and wanted to make 2 large Christmas Hampers, one to be donated to a local family drawn randomly and another to be raffled. The main raffle prize was won by Mrs Dunn (Year 7 Learning Manager) who then kindly donated it to our local foodbank. This event raised £330 for The Children’s Air Ambulance.
In the very short time that our current academy council have been together they have raised an enormous £1665, gained confidence and organisational skills and worked brilliantly as a team. They also are full of ideas for the future which they are already working behind the scenes on.