Student voice at St Mary's
Image: Olivia B. Year 13
Student voice is incredibly important here at St Mary’s. Our school’s ethos and values are based on the life and work of Mary Ward, who by all accounts, knew her own mind and campaigned actively for what she believed in.
All of us have our own thoughts and opinions about school life and in order for our school to reflect those beliefs, we each need to speak up and make our thoughts known. There are many avenues for student voice at St Mary’s which are detailed below.
The Student Council meets once a half term and so far has discussed how the Council will operate (as it has been revamped this year), uniform, extra-curriculars and the safe use of IT. There are representatives from every form group who canvas their form groups for opinions on subjects before each meeting. In order to ascertain the student body’s position on certain matters, surveys are sent out and the Council looks at the results during discussions. This year, the Council was successful in campaigning for wearing polo shirts all year round and getting a wider selection of shoes in our uniform policy.
The Wellbeing Committee was established this year. So far, topics discussed include self-care and mental health and how these can benefit the St Mary’s community. A core project has been developing a Wellbeing Room - a safe space in which students can relax and access wellbeing-focused activities.
The room will include plants, bean bags, board games, fidget toys, art supplies and mindfulness activities. It is hoped that one wall will be painted with paint that can be written on and decorated by students. This space will be used for workshops and seminars on wellbeing strategies such as meditation and being a good friend. The Wellbeing Committee welcomes ideas from all of the student body using the suggestion form on the wellbeing page, found by scrolling down to the ‘All-Student Wellbeing’ tile on the student learning site.
St Mary's has a diverse student/staff body of nationalities. The International Committee aims to support, integrate, recognise and celebrate all cultures, traditions and issues. The Committee creates assemblies, projects, displays and much more to recognise a variety of international days of celebration.
Our Eco Committee is a dedicated group of students passionate about raising awareness about environmental issues and finding solutions to help us all live more sustainably. A key way that the Committee is working towards making St Mary's more sustainable is through our application to gain the Eco Schools Green Flag Award. This process has involved assessing how the school is already sustainable and implementing new ways to improve sustainability.
For the Award application, the Committee has chosen to focus on three key topics: Waste, Marine and School Grounds. In honour of World Wildlife Day, the Eco Committee upcycled plastic waste to create a piece of artwork raising awareness about plastic pollution in our oceans and the negative impact it has on wildlife around the world. This can be viewed in the school’s Cortile.
The Inclusivity Committee focuses on promoting diversity and inclusion within our school community. The Committee meets formally once a half term to discuss issues such as boarder integration, neurodiversity, and how to make our uniform inclusive of all body shapes. The Committee also holds weekly informal discussion groups, exploring topics such as how to develop empathy within a community.
Written by student representatives from each Committee
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