In what has been an unprecedented year, the School Council has continued to demonstrate their unwavering enthusiasm for and dedication to supporting and improving DGS for everyone. Here’s an overview of everything they achieved so far in 2020-21.
We started off in September by getting the School Council set up for a new academic year. This involved having some fantastic new members join the team and all year groups voting for the charities they would like to support this year. We had a strong focus on reconnecting our school community following last year’s disruption, so decided to link all of our projects in Term1 to the theme of kindness. This included a student voice survey about language used around the school site, an assembly on kindness and thinking about our interactions with each other, and a kindness poster competition.
Due to year groups being unable to mix, we wanted to have some events and projects that would bring everyone together while remaining in our bubbles. To mark the start of Anti Bullying Week in November we help an odd-socks day, which students from all year groups participated in. We raised the importance of Anti Bullying Week in an assembly, which built up to our socially distanced chalk-in. In this term, we supported Homeless Oxfordshire through our non-uniform day, and then organised an enormous donation from DGS to Didcot Food Bank, which every tutor group took part in. It was wonderful to see our school community working together to help the wider community in Didcot.
We started this term back in lockdown, which caused some disruption to our plans for the year. The first thing we did was arrange virtual School Council meetings so we could continue to think about ways we could support our school community in this period. We were able to share feedback about the student experience of remote learning and lockdown with school, and as we were reflecting on this we realised that the thing students were missing the most was the opportunity to have everyday conversations with others. Online lessons were fantastic and we were able to keep in touch with our friends easily through social media, but we weren’t talking to the same range of people as we were used to. To combat this, we launched an online discussion group which was open to students from all year groups. During this term we also created a video for staff, thanking them for all of the work they had been doing to make learning from home as interesting and engaging as possible.
We decided to focus on wellbeing upon our return from lockdown. We attended an online workshop with a charity worker from Oxfordshire mind, who shared some ideas about how we can improve conversations about wellbeing in school. As we approached the Easter holiday we asked members of staff to share what they would be doing to support their own wellbeing in the holidays. We compiled clips of them sharing their ideas in a video that was shared with students in the final week of term.