Youth Board Update - December 2023
Posted 13th December 2023
Our Red Kite Youth Board
Keen to learn from our young people, to give them a voice and an opportunity to help shape the future of our Trust, last year we set up our Red Kite Youth Board. This board comprises two representatives from each of our schools, with a Chair for Primaries and a Chair for Secondaries.
Ideas and views are shared with the Trustees and Leaders in our Trust, influencing what we do and how we work together as a community.
After a brief introduction by Mr Sheriff, our Youth Board members set to work collaborating with pupils from schools other than their own to discuss the agreed areas of focus.
First on the agenda was attendance. Since the Covid 19 pandemic, attendance at schools nationally has declined and we are keen to hear our young people’s thoughts on why this might be, what the current barriers are and what measures might help encourage all pupils to adopt good attendance habits. Questions addressed included:
Why don’t young people come to school?
Do you know anyone who doesn’t come to school and why?
What do you know about how your school helps young people to come to school?
What does your school do when young people don’t come to school?
This debate sparked some great ideas on how we could work together to improve attendance across all schools in our Trust, such as positive reinforcement, possible incentives, rewarding more attainable targets and more of a focus on wellbeing, where pupils can discuss their worries and fears about coming to school.
Attendance is such an important focus for our Trust and these ideas from the meeting will help inform the work of our Trustees and school leaders.
Members of the Youth Board then divided into teams to share what their schools are currently doing around sustainability. It was fantastic to learn about the many inventive and achievable initiatives going on across our Trust. Dedicated Green Teams and Eco Councils in schools are involved promoting lots of sustainability activities, including building benches from eco-bricks made from re-purposed plastic, litter picking, using recycling bins, reducing the amount of paper printed and used, and switching off lights when not needed.
Ms Shuttleworth talked to the Youth Board about our Sustainability Charter, which outlines a number of measures we need to work towards to obtain points and move along the path to our schools becoming more sustainable.
Ms Shuttleworth provided an update on our Trust sustainability goals and the measures that have been implemented across our schools, specifically:
- All schools should have new recycling bins in place. If not, you need to speak to your Youth Board leaders. Everyone should be recycling plastic and paper, food waste in canteens and bulk cardboard in the designated cardboard bins.
- Solar panels have been installed in all our Trust schools, apart from at Austhorpe Primary and Western Primary. Solar panels have cannot be installed at Western Primary School due to the unique structure of the roof and other measures will be implemented at Austhorpe, including replacing windows to improve energy efficiency.
- All schools now have LED lighting.
- Every school is encouraged to set up an eco-council, some schools already have them.
Mr Sheriff advised that an expert ecologist will be coming along to the next Youth Board to talk about the rewilding of school grounds project she is kindly helping our Trust with.
The Youth Board were asked for ideas for events and activities that would engage young people across our Trust.
Our representatives came up with some brilliant ideas, including sports days, music events, talent shows and fundraisers and much more.
We are excited to start developing these ideas and look forward to hosting events that will bring our Trust community together.
Pictured above: Danica, Youth Board Chair for Primary Schools, from Meadowfield Primary School.
Pictured above: Blake, Youth Board Chair for Secondary Schools, from Temple Moor High School.
Red Kite Gallery
Our Trust Central Team has recently moved into new offices in the grounds of Rossett School, bringing the whole team together. We are already seeing the benefit of a shared space with lots of proactive collaboration taking place. We look forward to welcoming our Trust colleagues and wider community to visit our new headquarters.
The central area in our building lends itself perfectly as a gallery and Mr Sheriff shared our plans to use this space to host curated art and design exhibitions from schools across our Trust. The first school to display their work will be Oatlands Junior School. Mrs Alderson and her art club students are already busy creating masterpieces that will adorn our walls for the coming Spring term. The exhibition will be opened with a ‘meet the artist’ event, where pupils, families, and friends from Oatlands Junior School and across our Trust will be invited to our gallery to view the exhibition and chat with the artists about their work.
We will then invite another school to do the same the following term as we rotate around all our schools.
We are impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment our Youth Board members have shown since it was launched last year. We expect the Red Kite Youth Board to make a real difference to young people and look forward to celebrating the impact they have with everyone in and beyond our Trust.
Our next Youth Board meeting will be held on Monday 15th January at our Red Kite Offices.