04 Oct

This week I’d like to focus on our Student Council elections and results. Early on this week, the remaining two student candidates gave their election speeches to their respective year groups. Both Joseph S. and Sabeel did themselves and their year groups proud. Here’s just a taste of their speeches:

  • “I will be a good councillor because I always follow the rules and would set the right example for other students. Some other qualities I have include being good, nice, kind, friendly, hard-working, polite and helpful. I always listen to other people’s points of view and will share those views in the councillor meetings that I attend.” ~ Joseph

  • “I would like you to vote for me to represent you on the School Council. I will listen to your requests and views about the Learning Centre and put them across for you as best I can to the people who can get things done.” ~ Sabeel

All the votes have been counted and verified, so I am very pleased to announce that the Learning Centre Student Council Representatives this year are:

  • Year 12: Saif and Kaitlin
  • Year 13: Joseph S. and Jacob
  • Year 14: Sabeel and Josh

A massive well done to you all, I am looking forward to working alongside you all during the coming year.

The student council plays an important role in the life of the Learning Centre and their contribution is much valued by all, as acknowledged by one our Governors, Ken Stapleton:

A Governor’s thoughts and reflections

As a prelude, I would like to recount an encounter I recently had with an ex-student of the Learning Centre who is currently participating, rather successfully I believe, in a Future Finders placement at the Atrium Cafe. I was part of a small group of Directors who were being given a ‘Cook’s Tour’ of a number of placements where students spend quality time on work placements under the auspices of Daniel and his team. These guys are not role playing, this is the real deal of life in work.

As I entered the bright open space I saw a young guy speeding his way towards me shouting enthusiastically, “You’re a Guvnor, Student Council!” One of the truly wonderful experiences I have had as a ‘Guvnor’, from what, to the rest of the world, would have been a taken for granted, nondescript piece of interaction. We actually know differently!!!!

Throughout my time as a ‘Guvnor’ at New Bridge, I have always carried with me the values of actually ‘Valuing People’, striving to maximise the opportunities for ‘the outsiders’ to be supported to achieve what most people take for granted; valued roles, as much independence and choice in life as the rest of us, the opportunity to take as much control over their lives and decisions affecting their well-being as possible, to understand as far as possible their human rights and to have the opportunity to act on behalf of their peers.

Within the forum of the Student Council, the representatives of their constituents have worked hard and with clarity on behalf of their peers. Discussion has exceeded my expectations, a bit of an issue for me as I’m always banging on about removing our barriers to what each individual student might aspire to.

Within the council meetings I have witnessed a student being able to express anxiety, perfectly natural, but none the less uncomfortable, about moving on. Another student spontaneously supportively put a reassuring arm around the student and proceeded to remind the person of how well they had done at Learning Centre, and what a good friend they had been.

The key issue of representative democracy which is all but collapsing around us, has been successfully demonstrated as being alive and well at the Learning Centre.

Going forward, we cannot do enough preparation with young people to give them understanding of their rights and their rightful place in their communities and neighbourhoods, what it means to co-produce and collaborate on any plans and assessments, what real choice is about and how to achieve it.

On behalf of Cathy and me, I would like to thank the students for allowing us to participate in their meetings, and to Miss Allison and Mr Barker for facilitating such positive communication during meetings and their persistent belief in the abilities and value of each student.

Regards,

Ken.

Just to finish I have to share the following picture of the amazing home grown produce currently on sale at the Learning Centre..

This is a sample of some of the produce grown in Hortus by the students I had last year, there are some stunning carrots and a crop of healthy looking potatoes and baby beetroot. The swede and turnips looked fantastic as well (but the critters must have felt the same and, as we don’t use any bug sprays , they have eaten the lot!) ~ Tony Blackman, Head of Hortus

Have a great weekend,

Dawn

You can find Gavin’s blog for the school site here

For news on our Key Stage 5 pathway groups at Medtia Square please click here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham

You can find my previous blog posts here