North Yorkshire school's 'Parliament' helps community

Young Ripon student Amelia Dunn give the thumbs-up to Outwood Primary Academy Greystone's new friendship bench.
Young Ripon student Amelia Dunn give the thumbs-up to Outwood Primary Academy Greystone's new friendship bench.

Outwood Primary Academy Greystone is making a difference at the heart of the Ripon community with its own student 'Parliament.'

A vital part of this is the School Parliament which regularly supports events, raises money for local charities and visits to local care homes.


The role of School Parliament at Outwood Primary Academy Greystone, which is elected through a process that mirrors UK Government, is to provide a platform that offers each and every child the right to have a voice, for their opinions to be heard and for British values to be actively promoted throughout the student body.


The school's principal Victoria Kirkman said: "Our School Parliament children have made a great start at becoming real ambassadors for the academy. They show passion and drive towards creating an Academy of Excellence where children’s voices play an integral part, standards are raised and lives are transformed."


Mrs Went, School Parliament Lead, is supported by Mrs Dunn and Mrs Ainsley and the children have already begun their journey of success and shaping the academy this academic year.


Mrs Went said: "Greystone School Parliament works incredibly hard to shape and support Academy policy and practice.
"Our main ethos is ‘Children First’ and we have created a culture where children feel listened to, supported, valued and where their voice directly impacts and shapes their learning and that of their peers.
"Class elected representatives meet regularly as well as taking part in weekly, daily and monthly responsibilities that when combined evidence how each of the five fundamental British Values are demonstrated at OPAG.


"We establish democracy early on by holding our annual School Parliament, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, elections which involve collaboration with staff and students to design manifestos, write speeches and create a polling station that imitates real life voting experiences."


OPAG Prime Minister, Lexi Daggett, said: "I am honoured to be helping the Academy become the best it can be with things like; energy saving, raising money for local and national charities, learning and lessons, impacting school finances, helping my friends and other children in school and making sure that all of the children at OPAG are represented."
"To date we have created an OPAG Green Team who strive daily to maintain cleanliness, Health and Safety checks as well as taking part in our energy-saving spot checks which we hope will aid our site management team in ensuring that as an academy we are saving energy and in turn saving money."


Outwood's School Parliament representatives actively promote exceptional behaviour choices, encourage positivity, as well as being clear on advocating the school's anti-bullying policy.
The School Parliament Enterprise Department is already arranging projects that will raise money for OPAG and local charities.
And continues to support the fundraising efforts of the Ripon City Council Mayor's Charity Appeal.


Outwood Primary Academy Greystone also collects harvest produce donated to Ripon Food Bank, sing at various Ripon events and visits local care homes to run activities for the elderly, as well as having hugely positive links with local businesses.

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