Being appointed as the senior team of 2021-2022 has been a great opportunity, with the beginnings of normality having just started to appear and they thankfully grown since, we (Tom May and Amy Moody- Smith, (Head Students) Felix Martindale and Charlotte Annis (Deputy Head Students) were delighted to be able to take on the roles.
To start off our year as the senior team, we hosted the Year 6 Welcome Week. During this week we welcomed apprehensive students, helping them with their transition to secondary school. We took students on a tour of the school to allow them to become familiar with their surroundings making the process of coming up in September a lot less daunting. Throughout the process we took part in various activities such as arts and crafts, baking and trampolining, overall, a huge success!
After a tough couple of years, we were able to welcome the parents and future students into the school for the open evenings. For this event we filmed various videos, talking about our experiences over the years and opportunities we have had, stories from year 7 all the way through to year 13 and what we may be going onto in the future. Some of us do not even fully know now and in recent weeks we have realised that that is okay and to just take one step at a time.
As part of our involvement within the Student Forum, we had the amazing opportunity to chair the discussion between the Upper and Lower School Councils and host the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) who advise the government on emissions targets and report to Parliament on progression. As young people who are either just or just below legal voting age, it was empowering to know that our voices are not only being heard but valued and encouraged. This was a contribution to something far greater than just ourselves and our local community.
As covid restrictions relaxed, we have had the privilege of being able to represent the school in person. We feel very lucky since last year's senior student team were restricted to attending most events virtually. For Remembrance Sunday, we were able to participate in readings in the service at Christ Church, Herne Bay as well as the parade and wreath laying. It was also incredible to see students from Herne Bay High in the Cadets leading the large crowd. The staff and us are very proud.
Within the school, we had the opportunity to speak to Mr. Boyes in termly meetings, we have been able to convey the concerns and successes the students have felt. This year, initially due to maintaining year group bubbles, we trailed a new format. Traditionally, the meetings would involve all year groups being present. But we found that the four of us, alongside Rob Buchanan, bringing forward the voice of our peers and reporting back feedback and plans, the meetings have had a more concise focus and a higher productive impact.
One thing we like to remind our younger members of the forum is that you won’t see a change overnight. If they believe in something and feel that it will make a difference, then they must fight for it, trust their gut – student voice can and will continue to make a difference. A great example is the ethnics and diversity panel now put in place from feedback given in both the Lower and Upper Council Meetings; this gave us the chance to be able to hear opinions from both age groups.
Going forward now we have dispersed of year bubbles; we have advised the new senior student team to include at least one meeting a year with members of the student councils as this has such a positive influence on the younger year groups. Having contact with the younger years builds more confidence and reassures them that they are being heard and can make a difference. We would love to take this chance to thank Rob Buchanan for his constant support and dedication to the forum which is a core component of the school community.
One of our last duties was to help appoint the new head students to their roles, we had 14 applicants this year and after many interviews and discussions with the head we came to a decision - the level of maturity in the students was phenomenal. The wide variety of previous experiences and skills will help them bond as a group and create some amazing events and opportunities for future students. Congratulations to Maddie, Ben, Frankie, Skye and Tom – we wish you luck for the next school year!
Our grand finale is the 6th Form Prom we are hosting on 1 July where we will be welcoming over 110 students and their guests for a James Bond themed night to remember.