Pupils from Scoill Phurt le Moirrey have gained their school the prestigious Investing in Children award.
Phurt le Moirrey, which has 124 pupils, is the fifth school to secure the benchmark since local evaluators Nigel Bennett (St John’s Primary) and Annette Baker (Ballakermeen High) were appointed last spring. Previously, only their schools held it.
Schools seeking the award must prove they not only listen to, but act on, pupils’ initiatives.
An innovative 13-strong school council has led a number of initiatives that were evaluated by Mr Bennett – who now proudly wears a sticker he was awarded, making him an honorary member.
The council draws up its own minutes and agendas and members are organised when consulting the rest of their class on their opinions about important matters, taking the opinions they gather to meetings and ensuring all children are involved in decision-making.
Lunchtimes are improved thanks to changes suggested by the pupils, which ranged from extending the eating area to accommodate all the pupils at the same time to allowing the children to sit where they like and with friends. They likened it to visiting a café or restaurant.
Sprucing up the library is another project the school’s pupils have been central to and the facility now has a fresh look, with books organised for current school topics and with private study areas.
And they have helped to devise a ‘pupil and teacher promise’ – a mutually binding rule book that ensures the smooth running of the school.
Pupils’ future plans include setting up a tuck shop and running their own assemblies.
Mr Bennett said the school council was ‘polite, confident and articulate’ and ‘rightly proud of their school and of their own achievements in making significant changes’. He said: ‘The atmosphere in school is excellent and it is obvious that relationships are very positive, allowing these changes to take place.’
Sue Mowle, Phurt le Moirrey’s headteacher, said: ‘I am thrilled that the contribution pupils make to the development of the school has been recognised. Encouraging children to take an active role in the strategic process of decision-making not only makes school a more enjoyable experience for them but affords them the opportunity to develop valuable life skills.’
The school joins Dhoon, Arbory, Fairfield and Ballacottier primaries in being awarded Investing in Children status in the last year.
Stuart Dobson, Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Education and Children, presented Phurt le Moirrey’s children with their award at an assembly today.