At St Augustine’s we aim to enable and empower our students to ‘be the best they can be’ not only through achieving academic excellence, but in supporting them to develop a wide range of transferable skills, a lifelong love of learning and a desire to support and enrich our community.
We strongly believe that our students should be afforded a wide range of opportunities to develop and implement leadership skills. This is of benefit to both the school and wider community in preparing our students for life beyond the classroom. Student Agency forms a vital component of our school vision of Faith, Hope and Love. St Augustine’s staff play a vital role in both promoting and enabling student voice, with through acting a link teacher to their subject society, or supporting the work of the three committees.
In addition to our School Council and student led committees, each department supports the enrichment of their subject through an academic society. These groups build on the academic curriculum by encouraging students to delve deeper into their interests and passions. In addition to our leadership programme, which also forms an integral part of our form time schedule, we have recently applied for the Jack Petchey Leadership Award scheme. This will award students who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to leadership, and who have acted as a positive role model across the community. Up to 9 students each year will be invited to spend a £300 grant to further support their work.
Aims of our Student Leadership Programme:
- To empower students by working in partnership with staff and the wider community to implement our school vision
- To provide opportunities for students to develop leadership skills through involvement in the school council, committees, subject societies, mentoring, supporting the work of the Primary School and work-related learning
- To prepare students for Higher Education and the world of work, through work-related learning, PSHCE, a diverse extra-curricular programme and guest speaker talks/workshops
- Student Leaders self-nominate and are then interviewed/appointed by subject teachers in March, serving for the next 12 months. The following roles are available to students (dependent on year group; other roles may be created at teachers’ discretion)
Prefects: We appoint between 12-16 Prefects, (including 2-3 Head Students) in the Spring Term of Year 12. Each Prefect represents one of our school values, promoting this across the school community, working with student support, the primary school, departments and acting as ambassadors at both school and external events.
Form Captains (Leaders Year 11-12): Every form from Year 7-12 will appoint a Form Captain & Deputy each September. It is the expectation that the Captain or Deputy will attend the School Council meetings each half term and that every form tutor will support the captain’s leadership in form time discussion, in order to prioritise council agenda items in advance of the next meeting.
Charity/Wellbeing/Eco and Sports Council Chairs: Year 9-10 students are eligible to apply for the position of Chair on one of these Committees, promoting the work of the committee, organising focus weeks, form time activities and working with Prefects and designated ‘link’ teachers in this role. Deputy and Junior Chair positions are also advertised to Year 7-8 in support of the committee/council work.
Subject Chairs/Mentors: Year 9-11 students are eligible to apply for the position of Chair to one society (a subject club promoting the work, vision and importance of the specific subject across the school community.) Their work may involve subject enrichment, mentoring younger students, supporting with revision or organising displays/collective worship/subject led themed weeks (e.g Science Week). Deputy and Junior Chair positions are also advertised to Year 7-8 in support of the subject societies.
Our main student voice comes through School Council, made up of our Form Captains as outlined above. This body meets once a half term and is a chance for all of our leaders to come together, raising issues, questions and proposing solutions which are then taken to the school’s Senior Leadership Team. School Councillors may also meet with external representatives to discuss ideas on areas such as; food, the school environment and playground equipment.
Our Pastoral Programme complements this approach with a specific student voice session for each year group, each week. The questions posed will reflect the theme of the week such as Integrity- Doing the Right Thing or, Faith- Keeping the Faith in what we do. This is also the time for the Form Captains to lead discussion, taking minutes of anything their peers wish to raise with the Headteacher and senior leadership team.
In addition to this, our Assistant Headteacher in charge of Student Leadership meets with the Prefect Team every fortnight, and the Head Students every week. Together, they discuss issues which younger students have brought to them, or propose initiatives which are then taken to senior leaders, before being given approval. These meetings have led to events such as Cultural Day, the Green Flag Award through the Eco Committee, the use of Year 12 students to support lunchtime duties and the development of playground equipment for younger years.
Encouraging a healthy dialogue and open communication across our community is integral to both our trauma informed approach and our vision in supporting our young adults to be the best they can be. Our student leaders are positive, creative and dynamic in their approach, with the thriving committees and School Council testament to their hard work.