Student council gives Havant Academy youngsters an active voice

(l-r) Karla Jones, 16, deputy head boy Robbie Loveless, 15, Tommy Smith, 14, head boy Alfie Walker, 15, and Bayley Biddell, 14. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142696-9004)
(l-r) Karla Jones, 16, deputy head boy Robbie Loveless, 15, Tommy Smith, 14, head boy Alfie Walker, 15, and Bayley Biddell, 14. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142696-9004)
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Havant Academy values every student’s opinion and listens to every student’s viewpoint which is why it has an active and vociferous student voice, writes assistant principal Nick Giles.

Each tutor group votes for a student council representative who will listen, discuss and argue items on their behalf.

The student council is an ideal way for all students to be heard. It is organised and managed by the Student Academy Leadership Team headed by the head boy and head girl and meets every three weeks to discuss areas for improvement.

To be awarded the positions of head or deputy head girl or boy, candidates went through a rigorous process of student and teacher voting along with a challenging interview by the principal and her leadership team.

The student council has been instrumental in driving the change to the uniform. They agreed their uniform should be smarter and more business-like, which led to a more formal uniform with shirts and ties.

The council decided the colour and style of ties and the students now look immensely smart and ready to learn. Students at Havant Academy look proud, act proud and are proud of their hard work and their academy.

That pride pervades the way in which students interview and help select teachers wishing to work in such a positive and friendly atmosphere.

Student council members take governors, prospective teachers and parents on academy tours and enjoy showing off the academy and talking about their teachers and their accomplishments.

The student council has been working with kitchen staff on providing healthy and balanced menus for break and lunch time using feedback from other students.

The students look out for each other, they work tirelessly and they are determined to make the best of their education.

The council were touched by a local boy who was seriously ill and took it upon themselves to raise money to support him.

They organised cake sales, sporting competitions and activities in the academy’s atrium. This is going to be a busy year for the student council with lots of ideas about what they wish to achieve.

They have their sights set on establishing an academy shop where points awarded for effort, attainment or attitude could be exchanged for a range of goods or services, such as hot chocolate with the principal or reductions in prom prices.

What the pupils say

Alfie Walker, 15, Year 11

‘One of my roles as head boy is, alongside the head girl, to run the student council. I took on the role so I could develop leadership skills. I have been learning how to chair meetings and make effective sensible decisions that are for the benefit of the majority.’

Robbie Loveless, 15, Year 11

‘I think it is really important to address problems quickly and effectively. The council allows us to do that as we meet regularly and as a student leadership team, we meet with the principal every two weeks. It isn’t just about problems though, it’s also about developing leadership skills.’

Karla Jones, 16, Year 11

‘We had to convince the other students and teachers to vote for us to be on the student leadership team. I feel passionately that all students should have a voice. That way we can all have a real impact on our futures. I believe that we really value student voice and opinions.’

Bayley Biddell, 14, Year 10

‘We meet regularly to discuss problems and issues that our tutor groups feel strongly about.

‘We also meet to make decisions about important aspects of the school.

‘That includes things such as the brand new school uniforms and rewards systems.’

Tommy Smith, 14, Year 10

‘I like being on the student council because we fundraise for charities.

‘I think that is a really important way to show support for people who are not quite as lucky as we are.

‘I also like helping make decisions that have an impact on the whole school.’

Ofsted has piled on the praise for our progress

Havant Academy has received high praise from Ofsted, writes principal Helen Cassady.

In June, inspectors visited the school and said they recognised the tremendous improvements that have been made in teaching and learning, curriculum, behaviour, achievement, leadership and management.

They commented that ‘good teaching is now commonplace and teachers have good relationships with their students and are enthusiastic about the subjects that they teach’.

The tremendous efforts and commitment of staff, students, parents and governors has paid off, as Havant Academy celebrated a set of outstanding examination results that have made the history books – 50 per cent A*-C including English and maths.

Impressive results were achieved by Year 11 in English with 70 per cent gaining an A*-C.

The number of students making exceptional progress is also remarkable as 86 per cent made three levels of progress, with 56 per cent making four levels of progress.

This achievement places Havant Academy well above national average and in the top 10 per cent of schools in England and Wales for progress made in English – truly remarkable.

The academic year 2014-15 has had an excellent start. Students have a new uniform which they selected.

They wanted a uniform that gave them a smart, professional image and they are wearing it with pride.

It is a vibrant and exciting place to be.

To be a part of this exciting journey, join us for our open evening which is taking place tomorrow from 5pm until 7.15pm. We look forward to meeting you.