Throughout Junior School Council this year, our team has been taking many different types of actions to change and making different improvements to our school but also to always make sure that our fellow classmates have a voice in what we do.
Within J.S.C., we have been searching for different ways to improve the school. In Term 2, we looked at ways to improve the behaviour management system, the ‘Traffic Light System’, by adding a fourth traffic light to give students another warning before the red traffic light. This allowed teachers to give students an additional verbal warning prior to moving their name to the ‘orange’ traffic light. This change was received incredibly positively by all staff and students. We loved how eager the teachers at M.P.S. were to integrate this suggestion into every classroom across the school!
In Terms 2 and 3, Mrs. Foster informed us that we would be remodelling our Junior Playground area (near the Swimsafe Pool). We have been looking at different playground ideas to add to our playground and this project is being taken into place throughout next year for the new playground. Through discussing architecture ideas, we looked at the future, which included more working places, classrooms and also adjusting other parts of the school!
We made some final decisions about the design and features we wanted integrated into our playground, which included accommodating special needs and physically impaired students to ensure that all students are included and can play safely and happily.
In Term 3, we had visits from members of the government and other local school principals, asking us about our school and what we do as Junior School Council members to improve the school. We also discussed improvements to the Junior School Council program itself, including more representatives and to make sure that all students had more of a say in what we do! Throughout this time, we added ‘Junior’ Junior Council Representatives. This meant that we welcomed two more representatives per class in each and every Grade 1 and Grade 2 class. We were thrilled with this change, as the younger students brought new ideas, views and a new sense of excitement to our J.S.C. team.
Whilst making decisions related to our school carnival, including adjusting the carnival motto, one of our amazing Junior School Council representatives, Evie (year three J.S.C rep) came up with a fabulous idea for our carnival motto to be “kids just want to have fun.” We also came up with an idea with the help of the carnival committee, for the theme to be ‘Around the World’ and this theme and motto were turned into massive billboards which are within and without the zone of Murrumbeena. It was a huge success throughout our carnival. We are very proud that our ideas helped to shape the wonderful carnival that we had this year, and we acknowledge the parent council’s contributions to this, as the carnival took a lot of time, effort and hard work from everyone involved!
This year, the J.S.C. suggested (quite early in the year), that we wanted to have more positive behaviour systems, rewarding students for doing good around our school and in the community. We suggested making the house point system more prevalent in the school and also have been looking at stickers ideas and how we can reward student who are representing our four school values which are respect, resilience, responsibility and relationships (the stickers also translate into specific amounts of house points). The J.S.C team have finalised the winner of the stickers and have created coloured houses that will represent the stickers. This reward system will hopefully start next year, which is extremely exciting for all students!
We also discussed all of the positive behaviour systems that teachers have in place, and made a list of suggestions to guide teachers to find a consistent and useful system that works for their class.
In regards to our school canteen, we have been looking at healthier solutions for our canteen menu and have already surveyed our classes to look at their views about the canteen menu. We have also been looking at different ways in which we can make our canteen more sustainably friendly, and have achieved this by adding reusable cups and spoons in our canteen. Another idea that was brought up by a J.S.C member was trying out a Mother’s Day breakfast next year and trialing the idea due to the reason that many mothers also would love to have a Mother’s Day breakfast instead of a stall! As a Junior School Council team, we are looking at different ways to put all of these ideas into action in the near future.
Overall, our Junior School Council team have been taking amazing actions to accomplish different goals within our school, but to also look at issues around the school and different ways to fix these problems! All of the Junior School Council team are extremely grateful for being able to be part of this fabulous and precious leadership experience and can not wait to see what is put in place for the 2020 Junior School Council team.
We would also love to give a massive thank you to Miss Callanan and Mrs Bongers for helping us run Junior School Council, as well as Miss Vesikko and Miss French. Without them we could have not done it!
Written on behalf of the The Junior School Council Team (Maleesha, Britt and Hayley - J.S.C Reps from Year 5 2019).
A note from Miss Callanan and Mrs Bongers:
We are so stoked with all the incredible progress the Junior School Council has made this year.
We found that all students who participated, from Grade 1 to Grade 6, were incredibly crucial in the discussion and decision making process and we are absolutely thrilled to see the number of capable and wonderful leaders in our school. Meetings ran fortnightly, sometimes more often than that, for at least 30 minutes at lunch times, and students attended them conscientiously, contributing amazing ideas and bringing the notes from discussions they’d had with their class, based on our J.S.C. focus.
A massive “thank you” to all Junior School Council representatives this year; we are so proud of your hard work and thank you for your incredibly dedication to Murrumbeena Primary School.
We are extremely excited to continue developing J.S.C. in 2020, and look forward to all the new and exciting ideas that the new school year will bring!