Stirling Council Pupil Leadership Conference
Kippen Primary School, Braehead Primary School and Gargunnock Primary School
What is your role?
Education Officer, Stirling Council (facilitated the event).
A group of P5-7 pupils from three primary schools (Kippen Primary School, Braehead PSNC and Gargunnock Primary School) planned, organised and led a Professional Learning Conference for headteachers and school leaders. They wrote their own scripts and created a PowerPoint presentation.
The group presented extremely confidently in front of the audience of headteachers and senior leaders. They discussed the use of Education Scotland documents such as ‘How Good is OUR School’ for learners and ‘Learner Participation’ Guidelines. Kippen Primary pupils described how each class in Kippen had taken an aspect of their learning and developed it through pupil leadership. For example, P1 pupils planned the setting up of their Open Learning Area including selecting and costing of new resources; Primary 2/3 pupils led an innovative approach to outdoor learning in the local woods.
Gargunnock Primary pupils shared their Skills Academy groups, which involve every child in their school leading on school improvements. They shared their inspiring approaches at the Scottish Learning Festival in September 2019.
Braehead Primary pupils discussed their pupil leadership within the learning of 1+2 languages, including mandarin, which has incorporated setting up their own film studio and developing cooking skills.
The young leaders invited other schools to share their developments in Pupil Leadership at a ‘market stall’ style event following the key introduction from Kippen, Braehead and Gargunnock pupils. The other schools included secondary schools, rural schools and city schools. Our youngest group sharing at the ‘market stall’ session were P3/4 pupils from Gartmore Primary School. They shared how they are leading Community Reading Cafés in their village to promote a love of reading across the generations within the community.
How did the Leadership Conference Develop?
Pupils Leading Learning is a key aspect of our development work in Stirling Council. We held a conference previously on pupil leadership and schools were keen to participate again and share their ongoing development work.
The headteacher of Allan’s Primary School in Stirling, Lindsey Howland, came up with the idea of children taking a lead role in the conference. As Lindsey said,
“Who better than to lead a conference on pupil leadership than pupils themselves?”
The idea grew from there!
What did pupils gain from taking part in the project?
The children had a great deal of ownership of the task and were delighted with the success of the project including the positive feedback given by delegates. It was extremely beneficial for their confidence and self-esteem. They developed their skills for life, learning and work with a clear focus on leadership skills.
They young people also developed further skills including effective communication to a large audience; motivating all members of the group to lead the task with confidence; and being able to listen to others and answer questions.
Is this sustainable? How do you see it developing?
We will continue to develop and share our developments in pupil leadership in Stirling Schools. Further projects include Primary 1 learners sharing their approaches to play-based learning at a Headteacher Meeting; Allan’s Primary pupils have been filmed showcasing their creative approaches to children leading learning through the Makerspace Approach. This will be shared with school leaders in 2020.
Did you incur any costs?
Did you involve other organisations/partners?
Do you have any advice for practitioners thinking about organising something similar?
Kay Robertson, Education Officer said,
“My advice for practitioners organising similar events is involve young people themselves! They are amazing and it is a wonderful opportunity for them to develop their skills for life, learning and work.”