Student autonomy is central to life at Halcyon: empowering students to take ownership of their learning and advocate for their passions is part of preparing them to be the “leaders of tomorrow” (Ofsted).
As we learn from home, Halcyon’s Student Council is playing a key role in ensuring that students also have the opportunity to shape their remote learning experiences.
Welcoming our international community back to school
On the first day back after the winter break, the representative members of the Student Council sought further ways to bring a spark of connection into learning at home - coming together to run a Google Meet Livestream for an online assembly, for example, shared Mina (Secretary of the Council). “Using Google Meet Livestream was a first, and it ran very smoothly; we’re very proud of how well it went.”
Leo - the Student Council president - opened up the assembly with warm wishes for the New Year, with a message from Student Wellbeing Leader Nito Harvey which encouraged our students to remain connected to the school community and sources of support. As always, our students demonstrated their interest in participating in Halcyon’s vibrant and engaging school life: the leaders of Extra-Curricular Activities such as Halcyonite and Eco-Committee shared their plans to operate clubs virtually.
Cultivating a culture of creativity: Student Council competitions
As one means of connecting each grade group online, the Student Council organised dynamic daily competitions through the Goosechase App: a way for students to connect across different grade groups to combine their talents in response to different briefs. Activities are released daily, and each team is awarded points for their ongoing participation. Briefs included creative tasks such “Design a rocket with your team name on it!” and “Reenact a scene from your favourite movie!” - prompts that require our students to be resourceful at home!
Nurturing a platform of feedback to our teachers
The Student Council regularly communicates student initiatives to our teachers in order to encourage further engagement and activity - and their commitment to advocacy has shone in a variety of ways on campus as well as online. In a weekly staff meeting with our teachers, the Student Council were able to introduce their plans for amplifying students’ voices and share some of their peers’ thoughts on the curriculum. Teachers listened carefully, and provided feedback and additional suggestions on how to implement these ideas into the classroom.
“This was a really valuable and unique opportunity that I don’t think we would have had if we were in another school,” shared Maya, co-head of Student Voice. In this session, Leo, Maya, Sofia, Mina, and Thomas presented plans that ranged from gathering lunch menu suggestions to seeking classroom activity feedback.
Embracing accountability: presenting ideas to our parent community
Earlier this year, our Student Council joined our online Evening with the Board event to share some insights on student life at Halcyon with the community. Held on the same online platform as Halcyon’s Virtual Open Houses and attended by over 50 families, this event included live Q&As and presented an opportunity for parents to speak to our Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team.The Student Council enjoyed presenting their ideas for remote assemblies and student participation in teacher interview panels with our parents.