Our young people drive what we do, and their contribution and input into developments in school is paramount.We involve students in discussions about all aspects of school life, including developments and resolutions.
Meets twice every half term with representatives from each year group 6 - 11 present.Students gather thoughts and ideas from their Tutor group and boarding House, and bring items for the agenda. Sometimes there is a “hot topic” focus, for example menus, end of term outings, weekend activities.
Year 11 take a turn in leading the meetings and a member of the Senior Leadership Team is always present to support, chair and offer immediate responses and solutions where possible.6th Form students input ideas via younger students and their staff teamShapwick fosters confidence and self-belief in our young people and School Council provides an example of where they are able to voice opinion, challenge, resolve and compromise.
We are looking at increasing links with the community and a development will be to connect with the School Council from another school.
We currently have two joint Heads of School who lead the Year 11 Prefect Team.They take responsibility for organising duty rotas, peer support, taking the lead at events such as our Carol Service, Remembrance Service and end of term Prizegiving.
Our Prefects first trial in the Summer Term of Year 10, carrying out duties, making an application and having an interview with Senior Leaders and current Prefects.The students are our best ambassadors and they ably support staff around school and at events.
Our values include respect, commitment and empathy, all of which we see in our Prefect Team every day. The family ethos at Shapwick engenders a consistently deep level of compassion and support within the students for each other.
Meetings are twice every half term or more often if necessary, with the Deputy Headteacher. Issues around school or with the role are discussed and worked through in conjunction with the whole Senior Leadership Team where appropriate. We acknowledge that young people can find balancing a position of responsibility with friendship at times difficult, so being there to advise, support and develop their role with them is paramount.
Students continue to develop the Prefect and Head of School role with us and have contributed to the “perks” offered to them, which include a meal out at the end of each term.
Year 10 can volunteer to be a Mentor for a younger student. This can be invaluable during break times and at weekends particularly. It isn’t always the new students who need that extra bit of support - sometimes things become too much or young people just have a wobble as they grow up.
Our students are brilliantly empathetic and annually we have a healthy stock keen to be on our Mentor programme, led by our Head of PSHE and supported by Tutors. In 6th Form year 13 students mentor our year 12’s and support their transition into 6th Form and college life.
Food Focus Group
Our Catering Manager meets with a group of students once a term or more if necessary to discuss opinions, ideas and plans for our menu and for special events such as Thanksgiving and Chinese New Year. Being largely boarding, the quality and balanced nature of our menu is paramount across all 7 days.
The Catering Team are at the heart of our school and provide homebaked cakes and bread, homemade soup, colourful salads and hearty meals such as full roast dinners, various pasta dishes, pulled pork wraps and seafood pie. They will adapt to reasonable, individual requests and encourage students to try new foods.
We run the Princess Diana Trust programme and train staff keen to support this. The staff train Anti-bullying Ambassadors within the student body and they learn to train others. We have a system which depends on trust and responsibility, monitored by our Head of PSHE and Tutors particularly.
Student ambassadors wear a badge and sometimes contribute to assemblies, taking a real lead during the annual, national Anti-Bullying Week.
Lennon, Radcliffe and Goldberg - named after a famous dyslexic, dyscalculic and dyspraxic - each have a House Captain, who are voted in by their students and support the House staff, taking a turn at leading the weekly House Meeting. These are an opportunity for celebration.
House Points are issued, results from fixtures and events announced and responsibilities taken for creating teams, raising money for their chosen charities, following the pastoral theme for the week and embedding values and expectations with staff and students.Annually, Shapwick raise money for Children in Need, Sport Relief, CLIC and 3 House charities of the students’ voted choice.
Each House has prefects and a Head, to support Houseparents in routines, expectations, values and teamwork.Houses meet in their lounge, for as long as is needed each morning and evening, to discuss the day and bring forward issues or ideas.
Half termly, there is a minuted House meeting, where students drive an agenda around everything relevant from food, to bedtime routines, to weekend activities, to resources in the House. These meetings are discussed with the Head of Care, Gareth Wright, so that there are always opportunities for the students’ voices to be heard and appropriate developments or changes to be made.
Boarding can be challenging and students appreciate the opportunity to have student role models in their “home” as well as in school. Everyone has their own experiences to draw on and peer support is powerful here.