Giving pupils their say proves a shrewd investment for Gainford school

AWARD WINNERS: Emma Gallagher, learning support assistant, with members of the Gainford school council Olivia, Adam, Joe Grace, seated, and Katie

INVOLVING pupils in decisions which affect the running of their school has earned a dale primary recognition in a national award scheme.
In recent months, youngsters at Gainford Primary School have had their say on a variety of issues, including new playground equipment, support for local charities, assemblies and collective worship.
The efforts of staff and pupils working together has resulted in the school’s membership of the Investing in Children Award being renewed.
The award, which has been running for the past 21 years, recognises the different ways in which children and young people are encouraged to share their ideas about the services they use.
Head teacher Chris Riley said: “This award recognises and celebrates examples of imaginative and inclusive practice.
“It is a wonderful acknowledgement of the dialogue within school that results in real change. I am very proud of the way the children of our school have such a positive voice.”
Learning support assistant Emma Gallagher works with the young members of the school council to bring ideas forward.
One such project which came to fruition with the help of pupils was the choice of new equipment for the playground.
The slide, climbing frame and safety surface, which cost £10,000, came from the school’s sports premium grant.
As part of the awards scheme, an Investing in Children assessor met members of the school council, who had to provide evidence for the report.
Ms Riley said: “All of this was done via Teams due to the Covid restrictions.
“The children were excellent ambassadors, explaining all of the different ways they had a voice in school and how their dialogue had brought about change.
“They shared successful ideas and projects such as collecting and donating to a local foodbank, fundraising for a charity of their choice and having assemblies and collective worship led by children instead of adults.
“They were very animated when explaining how their ideas led to improvements to playground equipment,” added Ms Riley.