In September 2021 I began leading the School Council, and since then we have undertaken a plethora of new initiatives, driven by the members’ creative ideas.
In September, I received a brilliant number of applications in September (three times more than there were spaces!), and in the first term we ran a number of successful charity initiatives including a cake sale as part of the House Opening Ceremony, raising £420 for Macmillan. We also selected the main charity to support over the year – The Oxford Circle – and began our fundraising with a non-school uniform day. These non-uniform days continued throughout the year, and allowed us to raise thousands of pounds for the charity.
Projects later in the year included supporting recently arrived Afghan refugees in Didcot by making Christmas gift boxes for them. We also held a hot chocolate sale, splitting the proceeds between the Red Cross efforts in Ukraine and Homelessness Oxfordshire. Students were then keen to prevent the war being forgotten as other events took over in the media, so they handmade pin badges using ribbon in the colours of the Ukrainian flag and raised more funds through a cake sale.
Another very exciting achievement from 2021 has been the founding of a sign language club for Years 7 and 8. The brainchild of Amelia, Maya and Charlie in Year 8, I have been incredibly impressed by its popularity, and the confidence with which the girls have instructed the other students.
Our attention then turned to the Jubilee, and we joined in with the other festivities held around school: our most exciting project was providing delicious scones and jam during the picnics just before the May bank holiday weekend. We managed to raise a good sum of money for the Prince’s Trust, a charity is linked to the royal family, and helps young people across the country develop their employability skills and confidence.
Next up was Pride month, and we were excited to collaborate with Rainbow club to host a Pride-themed cake decorating competition. The student who entered had to use a variety of rainbow coloured sweets and icing to try and create the most beautiful artistic representation of diversity and inclusivity possible on a small cupcake, and the end results were impressive! Well done to Charlie in Year 8 for being the overall winner, and our runners up Olivia and Zoya. The next day we then sold the decorated cakes, donating the money to the LGBTQ mental health charity Mind Out. The cakes sold out in a matter of minutes, showing just how good the standard of decoration was. Special thanks to Miss Marshall for organising so much of this event.
Well done to the members of the School Council who have spoken in assemblies across the course of the year. It has been a pleasure to see them grow in confidence with their public speaking, and how well they communicate all their brilliant work with the rest of the school. We look forward to what we will be able to do in September 2022!