Back in November St Luke’s Church of England Primary school hosted children from eight Isle of Dogs schools to discuss the key local issues.
After a welcome from local councillor, Mufeedah Bustin, the children had the opportunity to ‘vote with their feet’ and there was an overwhelming and unanimous agreement from the children that children should have a bigger voice in their local area.
Mr Griffiths, Phase Leader for Years 4, 5 and 6 has completed a UK Parliament Teacher Ambassadors course and really wanted to raise the profile of democracy throughout the school and beyond.
The Parliament works as a group of eight schools, pupils vote on subjects they would like to cover. In mixed aged groups they discuss issues and consider how they will raise them with the local council and other authorities. Plastic pollution has been one of the topics covered in the past.
The issue that most concerned children at the November meeting was crime and in particular, knife crime. A difficult issue to tackle, but a testament to the knowledge of the children knowing the issues in their area.
Pupils will now work together to develop some collective action around resolving conflict in their schools and we look forward to meeting as a parliament again on Wednesday 14 March to see what progress has been made.
Mr Griffiths said “The pupil parliament links strongly to our school ethos, ‘hearts overflowing with truth and love’. We want children to learn the truth and be ready to share that truth to make a difference in the community that they love”.
Mrs Abrahams, Executive Head Teacher at St Luke’s and Harbinger Primary School says: “At St. Luke’s, we have curriculum drivers that seek to tailor our curriculum to our children and community’s needs. In particular, we want children who attend our school to be aspirational, to value diversity and to embrace change. The Pupil Parliament, pioneered by Mr. Griffiths, is our curriculum in action. Listening to the children voice their views and ideas, you see them grow in confidence and understanding. We are equipping them with the vision and skills that will enable them to be positive contributors to our community in the future. This work is all the more powerful as it is cross school and therefore represents the wider community. We are absolutely invested in this work continuing and we welcome the support we have received from our councillors who genuinely value the contributions that our children are making“.
St Luke’s School Council presented the work of the Isle of Dogs Pupil Parliament to the Tower Hamlets Every Chance for Every Child Forum on 13 January which co chaired by The Young Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets.