Volunteering is an activity that everyone can get involved in and benefit from. At Yardley Gobion Primary we promote and encourage pupils’ active citizenship and positive contribution to the school and wider community. We offer lots of opportunities for pupils to take on new responsibilities and be involved in successfully supporting the life and work of the school. These include elected representatives on our Children’s Council, Eco Committee & Play Leaders.
Our School Council is made up of representatives from each year group. Councillors are rotated during the year so as many pupils as possible have the opportunity to be the “voice of their peers”. They also work on fundraising activities that the whole school can get involved in. Events include Macmillan Coffee Mornings, Children In Need & Red Nose Day.
Involving children as volunteers is very empowering:
- It helps them to develop self-confidence.
- It promotes self-esteem.
- It develops their skills as leaders.
- It involves them in making their own decisions.
- It gives them a voice in the life and work of the school.
- It offers them opportunity to take responsibility
- It enables them to make a positive contribution to the work of the school and wider community.
- It helps to prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of adult and working life.
Pupils tell us that they enjoy the opportunity to volunteer to help make their school an even better place to be, and rising to the challenge that additional responsibility brings.
The Eco-Committee meets each term to discuss Eco matters. The pupil members are drawn from Year 1 to Year 6. Each representative was chosen by his or her class via a nomination/election process.
What is Eco-Schools?
Eco-Schools is a scheme, which supports schools to raise pupils’ awareness of environmental issues through curriculum work and specific environmental projects.
The eco-schools programme links to most if not all curriculum areas. In particular, many cross-curricular issues such as citizenship, enterprise and personal, social and health education can be tackled through involvement in Eco-Schools.
It is an accredited award scheme. Schools who achieve eco-school status receive a Green Flag to display in their school. If a school achieves four Green Flags then they can be awarded permanent eco-school status.
Our Yardley Gobion family takes the environment very seriously. We have our own Eco Council made up of all age groups across the school who meet once a week to discuss, plan and carry out ways of making our school, school family and community more eco conscious.
So far they have:
Created posters and made the school aware about saving electricity and turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use.
Made the school more aware of paper recycling by turning our paper recycling bins into fun characters.
Setting up and maintaining a compost heap.
Tending to our school garden and wild area by adding more plants, flowers and adding vegetables to the raised beds.
Held a school assembly to inform the school about which materials can and can't be recycled.
At the moment they are:
Making more plans for our garden area.
Thinking of ways in which we can reduce, reuse and recycle.
Playground Leaders are Year 5 and 6 children who lead fun physical activities for our other children at lunchtimes. The volunteers take part in training and then work in small teams to organise games and fun sessions to help keep themselves and others active. They take it in turns to give one lunchtime per week to the scheme. In doing so, they gain valuable experience of leadership and volunteering, including team work skills, organisational competence and developing their powers of communication.