In the words of our student Leaders.
“At Haggerston we believe student leadership is one of the central strands of student achievement. Learning is not something that is done too us, it is a collaborative process with adults and young people working in partnership. At Haggerston we believe that the more engaged you are in your school the more likely you are to succeed.”
“In the past, student voice has been about ‘own clothes day’ or ‘the toilet facilities’. At Haggerston we wanted that to change. We wanted to have conversations about teaching and learning. We wanted to take an active role in supporting others learning and shaping the school.”
We want as many students as possible to be able to take on a leadership role. This is our story so far…
Sixth Form Future Leaders
As our Sixth Form develops, so does our leadership programme. Sixth Form Future Leaders provides opportunities for Sixth Formers to take on leadership roles around the school that expand their skill sets in preparation for life beyond Haggerston. Sixth Form Future Leaders can be identified by their black and gold lanyards.
Our Future Leaders have hosted visitors to the school during the annual Open House London event. They support Year 8 with their reading and have lead school tours for prospective students and their parents.
In 2018-2019 two initiatives began for Sixth Form Future Leaders.
These initiatives gave our Future Leaders a chance to support our Year 7 students on a one-to-one basis. They work alongside Heads of Year, school staff and were supporting our Year 7s with transition, friendship concerns and their academic progress.
This initiative pairs Year 8 students with a Sixth Form partner. Year 8 students who would benefit from a role model to help them with transition from Year 7 into Year 8 are buddied with a trained future leader. They meet regularly and support students with their academic work and learning. This is overseen by the Head of Year 8.
Head Teacher's Ambassadors
This is the most senior responsibility at Key Stage 4 in the school. Every September Year 11 students are selected by staff for this prestigious position. The students meet regularly with the Headteacher and act as a conduit between senior staff and students. The ambassadors have been involved in many areas of school life. They are going to help run the Student Union. They have spoken to prospective parents at open evenings and have addressed parents at the Year 11 awards ceremony. They have taken part in staff interviews and regularly make themselves available to all students in order to feel they know what is happening “On the playground”. The Headteacher’s ambassadors can be identified by the distinctive gold trim on their blazers.
The Year 10 seniors are a large group of Year 10 students who wanted to be involved in shaping the school. Any student in Year 10 can apply for a leadership role which involves filling in an application form and successfully completing a training course. Seniors will then be assigned to a member of staff and will have one responsibility only. The idea behind this is to ensure that Year 10’s main focus is their own progress. Currently seniors support learning in most areas of the school. They help run science, maths and English clubs, plan and deliver the Year 7 drama club, listen to younger students read and assist members of the leadership team . Seniors can be seen wearing a navy and gold tie or a green shirt.
The student union is a re-packaged and re-launched Haggerston version of what many might know as the student council. A range of students from different year groups from Year 7 to Year 10 are involved in this important role. As with seniors, students had to apply in writing for this position and successfully complete a training course. At Haggerston we believe time and effort needs to be spent in preparing for a responsibility as important as the student voice. The training enables students to feel confident about the unions’ purpose. We talked about being a role model both in and out of school. We have looked at different ways of collecting information and how listening to others is as important as speaking. So far, the student union has worked on the Mental Health and Well-being section of our school website as they advised staff on the design and necessary ingredients of this part of our school website. Furthermore, it has also advised staff on issues to do with well-being and their experiences of school via an online survey portal- these results were shared with staff and the WAMHS(Well-being and Mental Health) working group. The Student Union is currently subdivided into committees and it is looking to discuss key issues linked to diversity and the school culture and a particular section of the Student Union would like to discuss their role in assemblies with their Year group too. As with all role of responsibility the union members are recognisable by the green shield on their blazers.
At Haggerston we take the transition from primary school to secondary school very seriously. We know how much work teachers and parents do in order to make the move as smooth as possible. In order to support Year 7 in their first term at school who better to offer guidance and support, if needed, than students who have been through the exact same experience only the year before. We call these year 8 student’s ‘buddies’. In the past they have written letters to the new Year 7’s in the summer before they started school. They have performed at the first assembly to parents, students and staff and they have also designed the buddy benches. Buddies wear a gold shield on their blazers.
Pride Youth Network
The Pride Youth Network is a new addition to the Haggerston School. It is a group of selected students that are being equipped to become ‘inclusion activists’ and who are confident and empowered to speak out about social justice issues within the school. This group of students feel empowered to point out equality issues and they are making our school a more welcoming place for everyone. The PYN has developed and ran a successful IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) awareness day where staff and students took power poses with rainbow flags and developed resources together to celebrate ourselves. They will also be attending the annual Pride Youth Network conference with a range of schools nationally to work collaboratively to raise awareness of key issues that face LGBT+ students and their allies.
How Do I Get Involved In Student Leadership?
We are always keen to recruit as many students as possible who want to contribute to school life. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you proud of your school?
- Can you see yourself as a role model?
- Do you want to take an active role in your learning?
- Can you listen as well as speak?
- Do you have something to say?
If the answer is YES look out for student leadership opportunities. They will be publicised in assembly and tutor time. The end of the summer term will be when we ask for applications for the student union, seniors and, buddies. We look forward to hearing from you.