THE WORK OF THE STUDENT COUNCIL
The Student Council is a representative structure for all the students in the school. It provides students with the opportunity to become involved in the affairs of the school, working in partnership with school management, staff and parents. It should always work for the benefit of the school and its students.
The Council will always work in consultation with the school Management.
The Student Council has responsibility for
- Working with the staff, Board of Management and Parents’ Association in the school;
- Communicating and consulting with all of the students in the school;
- Involving as many students as possible in the activities of the Council;
- Planning and managing the Council’s programme of activities for the year;
- Managing and accounting to the Student Council and Board of Management, for any funds raised by the Council.
Each Tutor class may elect 2 members of the class to represent them on the student council – (1 Girl and 1 Boy).
The elected students must attend meetings and report back to their respective class.
End Of Year Report – Student Council 2016-2017
For the year of 2016 – 2017, the Student Council members have put an enormous amount of work throughout the year, organising various event on a variety of issues. We were able to achieve many of our goals with the support of many teachers, students, fellow members and our low budget.
At the start of the year, we held an election to allow anyone, who wished to do so, to take one of the 4 executive roles. These roles are the ‘Chairperson of the Student Council’, ‘Vice-Chairperson’, ‘Secretary’ and ‘Treasurer’. There was a tie between two candidates for the role of ‘Vice-Chairperson’ which is why we have 5 executive members instead of 4
We organised a welcome back to school random act of kindness – handing out lollipops at 11:15 and encouraging students to be aware of who the members of the student council are in case they had issues they would like us to raise on their behalf.
From there on, we began to meet every Monday, at 1st period (8:45am) to discuss future plans and any requests from the school and its students. For example, at the start of the year, one of the most requested tasks was to replace the soap dispensers in the junior boys’ toilets. But this did not go well as there are those who weren’t ‘fond’ of this and went on to break them. We replaced them, yet again, but unfortunately they were destroyed again. Next year, we plan to work harder by ensuring the next dispensers will not be destroyed and will remain undamaged.
In October 2016, the executive members of the student council and some of the members of the school’s YSI team ‘Global Citizens – Mapping the Future’ attended the annual Loreto Network Conference, in Leopardstown. This is a Student Council training day for all Loreto Schools within the country. We got to meet with the other student councils there and we were able to share our innovative ideas in the form of a group discussion. We got many ideas from the day that helped us spark other ideas for events and thing to do in our school over the year.
To celebrate Halloween, we decided to revisit a previously used idea by the student council “Trick or Treat”, where you would put your hand into a black and orange box and pick out a bag of sweets but there was also various other items in there, such as wet grass and grapes to give the students a fright while reaching into the box. The feedback we received was very positive from all participants.
For Christmas we organised a quiz that was held in Tutor classes in the last week before the Christmas exams. We had support from a number of other students in order to get round to all the classes and we had tubs of chocolate for the winners in each year.
In the previous years of Student Council, the members had organised a ‘canned-food drive’ for the Capuchin Day Centre in order to aid them in the harsh times of Winter. Unfortunately, the members were too busy with their exams as well as their classes and were unable to organise the event for the year. But it is in mind to be on top of it next year and ensure it is completed to the best of its ability. This was one of the few things we wish we had put more thought and effort into.
In January, we were asked by Green Schools Committee to organise a litter campaign as it was becoming more and more noticeable that our school’s litter problem was worsening. We started by organising a survey for all classes in every year. The survey was composed of 10 questions, which were straightforward, e.g “ Which place do you believe is the most heavily littered in our school?”. By hearing the students opinions, we were able to work on this problem by putting bins in the places where it was said to be the most littered and decrease the amount of litter all together. We aim to decrease this problem further in the years to come.
When we returned to school after Christmas we were given a copy of the Problem Alcohol and Substance Use Policy to read and review for Mr. Clarke. On Monday, 6th of February, a representative of each year group on the council had a meeting with Mr. Clarke about our thoughts and suggestions for the policy review. Mr. Clarke reported to us that he was very pleased with the level of communication, thought and planning that we had put into our suggestions and they were taken into consideration and put in place in the policy. We were logical and honest with our thinking/ opinions and the meeting was definitely a high point for our council this year.
In the months of March and April, the student council had created the idea of an ‘Inclusion Week’ and we had worked towards bringing it into reality all throughout those two months, to have it ready for May. This week was designed to highlight the uniqueness of our close yet diverse school community. It would take into consideration of people’s race, religion, gender and sexual orientation. It took place from the 2nd to the 5th of May with each day highlighting a different subject. A member of the executive started each day with a special “Thought for the day” explaining to the students the issues we hoped they would think about that day. We are very grateful for the support of the school management , the Board of Management members and particularly the Parents association who gave us very positive feedback and financial support for the prizes and other costs associated with this week.
- On the Tuesday(2nd), the main subject was Religion. This day was lead by members, Cara and Clodagh, and they hosted a religion quiz with a variety of religious-based questions. Each religion class counted as an individual team and the winning prize would be sweets for the class – The main prize was won by class 6G. Overall, it was a fun learning experience for all religion classes.
- On the Wednesday(3rd), the matter of this day was LGBT awareness and solidarity. On this day, led by another member Ailbhe, students were encouraged to wear an additional piece of clothing onto their school uniform(such as a wristband, bandana, scarf etc.) which contained the colours of the rainbow or even just one of its colours. We were immensely surprised by the support that many students gave, especially one student who wore a rainbow flag with face paint as well. We received lots of positive feedback from this eventful day.
- On Thursday(4th), Ms o’Brien organised a special guest speaker on our behalf. Aoife Maguire is a member of the waking the feminist movement as well as the mothers in the arts movement as well as being a past head girl of PCS. She was asked to talk to us about the subject of the day, gender equality. Led by the members, Ravikanth and Brendan, we invited the 5th year religion classes as well as the 5th year P.E classes to attend the talk. Aoife went into tremendous detail about gender equality in films, work and society. After doing a small quiz, we received positive feedback from the attending students and thanked Aoife by getting her a bouquet of flowers, chocolates and a card.
- But the final day Friday(5th), we must admit, was perhaps our worst day. Prior to Friday, we had the plan of volunteers from the school and the surrounding community to come into the school and set up a display emphasizing their cultural background through a variety of matters for example pictures, food, books etc. Unfortunately, no one had emailed the given email address to volunteer, meaning no one was coming. This is an idea we would like to see next year’s student council pursue as it could potentially be a very positive learning experience for everyone in our school community.
- Fortunately, we had a ‘Plan B’ incase this were to happen. Ms O’Brien, her TY history class and many first years were more than happy to aid the student council in taking a photo with people holding up the different flags of different countries. What started out as worrying and a disaster soon turned into a success once we saw the photo.
Overall, each day was a success containing very positive feedback for the student council’s months of planning and work.
As the Student Council, we thank all the people who have aided and supported us throughout this year, particularly Ms Deeney and Mr Clarke, the Parents’ Association and all the teachers. We are more than excited to ensure that next year is bigger and better.