Why we have a Freebrough Parliament?
The aims of the Freebrough Parliament is to support and embed the Academy values and vision, while creating successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. It is an important and useful way for the Academy to provide leadership and development opportunities for our students. It enables our students to develop key skills around communication, confidence and leadership as well as supporting students to become active, democratic citizens.
Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) says that children and young people should have a say in decisions that affect their lives. Freebrough Academy Forum can provide a meaningful way in which students can voice their opinions and have their views taken into account in decisions which impact upon them.
The curriculum requires that young people are provided with opportunities to participate in Academy and society. School councils are an excellent way in which to increase participation, teaching young people about democracy, local and global citizenship and accountability.
What is the Freebrough Parliament?
Freebrough Parliament has been developed instead of a typical student council, which comprises of five committees, which concentrate on different aspects of Academy life.
Every half term there is a Parliament summit, made up of Prime and Senior Members.
Committees meet on a fortnightly basis to decide on and organise projects relevant to their area of focus. Each committee is overseen by a teacher, however, all the ideas come from the students, and the teacher’s role is simply to facilitate.
At the initial meeting each year, the committee will establish its aims and the projects the students want to work on. They might then divide into mini-groups to work on particular projects throughout the year.
During the Parliament summit the Prime Members meet the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and Governors to provide an update on the activities of the action teams, and to submit new proposals. The SLT also uses this as a summit in which to exchange ideas with students.
The Five Committees are the…
Rights, Respect and Responsibility Committee
Freebrough Academy is aiming to become a UNICEF Rights Respecting School, a status that informs what this group does. It is involved in activities such as:
- UNICEF day for change
- Presenting at conferences
- Organising ‘respect days’
- Arranging and running sessions about rights for local primary school pupils
The community committee is one of the largest groups, and is involved in activities such as:
- Building links with organisations, including a charity. The group collects food donations at Christmas to give to the food bank. This link was set up by two of the students who had come across the charity outside of school
- Collecting for shoe boxes that will be given to children in eastern Europe
- Organising ‘Fair Trade Fortnight’
- Arranging an afternoon tea for elderly people in the community
The wellbeing committee focuses on a range of activities relating to health and wellbeing, including:
- Promoting healthy eating in the school
- Working closely with the canteen. This has included running student surveys about the food and working with the school chef to respond to the results by, for example, offering more vegetarian options. Students report that the food has improved
- Organising a ‘Wellbeing Week’ to encourage students to walk and cycle to school
- Arranging activities such as a house table tennis competition
The ECO schools committee focuses on sustainability and the achievement of ECO status. Activities they organise include:
- Organising ‘ECO Fortnight’, in which students monitor the school’s carbon dioxide emissions
- Arranging a recycling competition in which each house had its own bin and the house that did the most recycling won
- Ensuring that teachers turn off their projectors during breaks and lunch time
The Peer Committee is made up of the Freebrough Against Bullying Team (FAB Team) and Heroes. For more information about these two groups please click the following two links…
The Prime Members
We are currently recruiting new members of the Academy Parliament, and you will be able to read their aims and objectives as Parliament members here soon.