Student Leadership

Birchwood High School is very proud of the way in which student leadership is developed across the school.

There are many ways in which students can get involved with wider school life, developing cross-curricular skills which may support them in both their academic studies and personal development.

We firmly believe that students are our most important asset and therefore involve them heavily in many aspects of strategic and organisational planning. You will also see many of our students supporting school events and assuming the role of ambassadors for our school.

School Council

As well as the House System Leaders, Birchwood operates a vibrant School Council Team who are committed to raising standards across the school. Representatives taken from across the school – from the youngest to the oldest – meet regularly to discuss Teaching and Learning, Behaviour and Attendance and all aspects of the wider school community. Working alongside the Senior Leadership Team, they are instrumental in developing and communicating change. They regularly attend Senior Leadership Team and Governors’ meetings to ensure that student voice is at the forefront of new initiatives and developments.

Recent initiatives which have made a difference from our School Council include:

  • Amendments to our Home Learning Policy in response to student feedback
  • Amendments to our in-house On Call system
  • Feedback and contributions to our Creativity teaching and learning agenda
  • Feedback and improvements to site safety
  • Involvement in recruitment process for senior members of staff
  • Presentations and delivering workshops to overseas visiting teachers

Sixth-Form Leadership

At Birchwood, we recognise that Sixth Form students often have issues that are pertinent only to them. To this end, the Sixth Form Leadership Team highlight and address everyday issues that concern our upper school students. Currently, their feedback on personal development, UCAS preparation and financial understanding is shaping our wider curriculum in the Sixth Form. Although we recognise the unique nature of Sixth Form study, we are keen for Sixth Form students to work alongside the main student body. They are active members of the School Council and join with younger students through meetings, training and extra-curricular activities. Some of our Sixth Form Leadership Team are also members of the town Youth Council where they have an opportunity to shape town planning and strategy.

BLISS

Better Learning in School Society

The BLISS team are a group of conscientious students who are committed to raising standards of teaching and learning across the school. Students are interviewed carefully and chosen as a result of their understanding of what good learning looks like and interpersonal skills. After extensive training, students are invited to observe teachers and feedback on the quality of teaching and learning. The BLISS team are an integral part of our monitoring and development of teaching and learning.

SNAG

School Nutrition Action Group

The SNAG team work alongside our Catering Manager to ensure that the food on offer in the Café is both nutritious and inviting. Students are invited to discuss the meals on offer as well as being responsible for communicating key messages to the wider student body. Our Café is very popular at all times in the school day; we believe this is because our catering staff respond quickly to the needs and feedback of the students.

Feedback

What our students have said about their work on the School Council

“The School Council has helped me to increase in confidence. It feels good to be able to have a say and that someone is listening to you.”
(Yr9 student)
“I joined the School Council as I was frustrated when certain things weren’t as I expected them to be. Being on the Council has helped me to understand how the school works and has given me a greater understanding of the decisions that are made.”
(Yr11 student)
“I think the School Council has helped me in preparing for jobs and interviews; because I am forced to think about what I say and the way in which I say it, I am better prepared when it comes to communicating my ideas and opinions to others.”
(Yr10 student)
“Being one of the youngest members of the School Council, I thought it would be difficult to share my ideas with people who were older than me. It isn’t like that at all though; the team are very helpful and it’s good to talk to some of the older students about what might be coming up in the years ahead.”
(Yr7 student)
“As part of the School Council, I have had loads of opportunities that I wouldn’t have done otherwise; I have spoken to overseas teachers, presented to staff and been involved in some really big decisions about the school. It’s made me feel like a much bigger part of Birchwood.”
(Yr8 student)