Pupils at Hunslet Carr Primary School were put in charge of the recent upgrade to their playground facilities.
Members of the School Council explained to me how they had been charged with choosing new equipment for the school playground. They talked to their classmates about what the children would enjoy and what would be safe.
They chose a “really big and expensive” climbing frame as the centrepiece, but also had enough money left in the budget to improve the football area with two new goals; create an outdoor classroom; and a line of ‘pencils’ to segregate the children from parents collecting children from the nursery.
“Play time is a lot more fun, there are more things to play on.”
“Children are excited about play time”
“It’s good that we had a say in the design, it’s good to know that we helped.”
This isn’t the first time the children have been involved in designing spaces. They also worked with a garden designer to plan the new school allotment. Again the School Council discussed ideas with the wider school and then had a meeting and worked through ideas with the designer.
The allotment now boasts herbs, lettuce and fruit trees amongst its raised beds. Each class spends time once a fortnight on planting and maintaining the crops.
Like the rest of the country, Hunslet Carr is currently gearing up for an important election. On 20 July the school will vote for its new Head Boy and Head Girl. The candidates are working on their campaigns: writing speeches, designing posters and handing out leaflets and badges.
They have been visiting classes to find out pupils’ views and learning a lot about how democracy works.
Outgoing Head Boy Joe explained:
“It’s about helping to make school better, making people feel welcome and finding new things to do. We want everyone to be involved and feel their voices are heard.
“The best thing about being Head Boy was Takeover Day in November when the School Council took over running the school. I became Mr Lumb (the Headteacher), but it was quite boring really – he spends a lot of time in meetings.”
Other members worked in the office ordering supplies and answering the phone, whilst Henry from Year 2 taught a Year 6 class!