Each school year the children elect their class representatives to St. Mary’s School Council. Annual elections are held in accordance to local and national Elections. The results are announced by the Mayor of Newport in a special assembly. The group meet regularly to discuss all areas of school life.
During 2013-14, the School Council were consulate on the areas for school improvement. They focused on promotion of healthy living to support the school in the achievement of a 5th Healthy Schools Award Leaf. The representatives created and gave presentations to the whole school on healthy living, helped organise the school’s ‘Healthy Living Week’ and designed and created new posters about hand washing to display around the school. They also led the ‘Walk to School’ campaign.
The school has an active Eco-committee with representatives from each year group who are elected annually by their peers. The group strives to ensure that St. Mary’s is an eco-friendly school. The Eco-Committee was very busy during 2013-14, through their meetings and weekly Eco-club working towards the achievement of our 3rd Green Flag in spring term 2014.
The group completed a number of activities on a weekly basis including ensuring that the school grounds are litter free, assisting with the recycling of the milk bottles, paper, batteries, clothing, etc. and reminding staff and children of the importance of conserving energy. Representatives gave presentations to the whole school to remind them about using correct bins on the yard to ensure we recycled and compost as much of our waste as possible. They purchased new benches and planters for the school playground, invested in new playground equipment and introduced a further recycling initiative - pen recycling.
School Excellence Group (SEG)
Children from Years 5 and 6 apply and are interviewed to be part of the School Excellence Group. The group meet with the Headteacher and/or Deputy Headteacher regularly throughout the year on areas of school improvement.
During 2013-14, the group were instrumental in the creation of new weekly certificates. They consulted pupils and researched and budgeted for prizes for achievement of our new ‘merit ‘ award system. They also led the consultations with pupils on the revision of the school badge and aims, and encouraged pupils to contribute towards the creation of a school song and prayer. They met with the Chair of the Governing Body in the summer term to discuss assessment for learning at St. Mary’s.
Each class in the school has four digital leaders. Children from Years 1 to 6 apply and are interviewed by Mr Bowen to become Digital Leaders for their class. The group was established to support continued development of the use of digital technologies to enhance learning across the curriculum.
The group meet with Mr Bowen weekly and learn how to maintain and update the iPads. They are trained in a variety of apps so that they could become the class ‘experts’. They support staff and peers throughout the year; teaching, instructing and trouble-shooting. They utilise their skills to create a variety of presentations to share good practise with both the cluster and a wider network of schools.
Mission and Chaplaincy Group (MAC Group)
New for 2014 is the Mission and Chaplaincy Group. Representatives in this group are nominated by class teachers and display strong spirituality. The role of the MAC Group is to facilitate prayer and worship. They support the teachers and children when planning and delivering Collective Worship.
The group will lead the charity work that is so important to our school. They have also absorbed the responsibilities of our previous ‘Fair Trade Committee’ to continue the good work they started as a steering group supporting us in the achievement of status as a Fair Trade School in 2013.
Members of Criw Cymreig continue to be instrumental in supporting pupils and staff to become increasingly bilingual. Children apply to be a member of Criw Cymreig each year. Successful applicants are led by Miss Sandford. They meet weekly to improve their Welsh skills and then promote using Welsh language through phrase of the week, and games and activities. They also support and praise children for using Welsh language outside the classroom.
The News Crew are budding reporters from Year 5 and 6 who write our exciting ‘News Crew Newsletter’ each half term. The newsletter details all that has happened in school from a child’s point of view.
Pupils from Year 6 apply, are interviewed and trained to be Peer Mediators. Their role is to support children during playtimes when they have minor disagreements with friends, and help children who feel lonely to find someone to play with. All children are aware of who the Peer Mediators are and feel confident to approach them when they need support. Peer mediators are easily identifiable as they wear red tabards and caps.