Positions of Responsibility
The school is committed to developing skills of citizenship, personal responsibility and care for one another.
The role of prefect or captain provides an opportunity for Year 6 pupils to develop and share community values and a feeling of self-fulfilment, with playground buddies providing a similar opportunity in Year 5.
- To develop a selfless approach, when appropriate;
- To appreciate the necessity of sacrificing personal time for the benefit of others;
- To develop the maturity and clarity of thought to liaise with staff, offering suggestions and asking for assistance;
- To enable children to encounter and deal with compromise;
- To encourage thought and consideration;
- To develop a sense of community spirit and responsibility;
- To develop time-management;
- To promote a common ethos with shared values and to reinforce positive attitudes;
- To develop self-respect and self-discipline;
- To acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the children.
The school believes that providing children with the opportunity for collective reflection and the consideration of spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) issues are intrinsic in developing each child and promoting the school’s ethos.
Head Boy and Head Girl
Each year, three Head Boys and three Head Girls are selected (one pair per term). The decision is ultimately the Head’s; however, the consultation process is rigorous, involving all staff.
In appointing these children, the school is seeking to recognise boys and girls who have shown consistent dedication to school life throughout their time at the school. It is therefore unusual for a Head Boy or Head Girl to be a pupil who only started at Stockport Grammar Junior School in the academic year of Year 5.
It is not essential for candidates to demonstrate academic success, sporting or music ability, but rather a sense of calm, common sense and responsibility and an approach which sees them gives of their very best, even in the face of adversity. Being able to cope with the responsibility of their appointment whilst remaining humble and modest with their friends and teachers is also an important consideration.
In the summer term of the academic year preceding appointment, all Year 5 children are invited to apply for the position of Head Boy, Head Girl or Prefect. The Headmaster and Deputy Head meet with the children to outline the procedure and email communication is also sent to all parents of Year 5 children, explaining the process. Children must email or write a letter of application (with a pro forma to guide them). The application process is given a deadline, after which all submissions are considered by the Head, Deputy and Year 5 form teachers. Input from academic and sporting staff is canvassed and, once SMT have decided on a final list, the information remains confidential until the announcement at the beginning of each term. The Headmaster subsequently allocates the children to a ‘term in office’.
Those children who are not successful in their application are automatically invited to be a House Captain, Sports Captain or Prefect.
Generally, one boy and one girl from each of the school’s four houses, are chosen to be a House Captain on a termly basis. However, two children of the same gender may be selected for a term.
Main responsibilities include:
- Responsibility for manning all external doors at the beginning of the day and after each playtime;
- Collating, sorting and delivering lost property;
- Assisting staff in the lining up process at the end of playtime;
- Involvement in ‘House’ events such as sporting events, musical events and fundraising events.
In addition, the House Captains are expected to present a brief summary of their term in office to the pupils in their house. This takes place during a House assembly.
Sports Captains, Leader of Orchestra and Charity Reps
In addition to reliability, good behaviour and a keen willingness to be involved in more than one extra-curricular school sporting activity and team at a high standard, sports captain are expected to:
- Set a consistently good example to peers, teammates and other schools / clubs;
- Assist the member/s of staff as necessary with set-up, pre-match and post-match arrangements;
- Assist in sports days and House swimming galas;
- Display good leadership qualities.
The appointment as ‘sports captain’ does not automatically mean selection as captain for a competitive fixture.
Winter sports are for two terms; summer sports for one.
The Leader of the Orchestra is selected by the music teacher and the selection is based on very similar criteria to those listed above. Musical ability plays a significant part in selection, but reliability, leadership and a sensible manner are equally important. This appointment is for the academic year.
The School holds a number of charity initiatives to raise funds for a range of amazing charities. Under the leadership of the Charity Co-ordinator Mrs Lisa Turner, the Charity Reps play an integral part in getting the whole Junior School community involved.
It is our aim that no child should hold more than one of the above positions at any one time.
The role of a prefect is offered to all Year 6 pupils and is awarded following application. Towards the end of the academic year, the role of a prefect is explained to the children in Year 5 and they are invited to submit an application. Prefects are usually announced by the Head during the first few weeks of term, once staff have had the opportunity to monitor those children who have applied and confirmed their suitability for the role. Over the course of the year, a child may also to apply to become a prefect. Applications may be made during the first week of each half-term.
A Prefect’s responsibility may include many things, such as:
- Helping in the Dining Hall with younger children;
- Being responsible for the upkeep and tidying of bookshelves along the corridors;
- Tidying the bag racks and cloakrooms;
- Collecting and delivering post to and from the Senior School;
- Feeding and checking the stick insects in the Science Room;
- Logging on computers and tablets to aid the teacher delivering the next lesson;
- Assisting staff where appropriate.
As with all children, prefects understand that they must not be working alone in a classroom at any time.
From September 2023, the Junior School have been invited to join the Senior School, in their new initiative to introduce Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. The Anti-Bullying Ambassador idea has come from the Diana Award, which was founded on Diana, Princess of Wales’ belief that young people have the power to change their community, their country and the world. The Diana Award Anti-Bullying Programme raises awareness of bullying behaviour and supports schools and young people to tackle it across the UK and beyond. The Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme has a strong peer-to-peer focus, with our facilitators giving young people the skills and confidence to become Ambassadors to tackle bullying in their schools long after the training has finished.
Children in Year 5 are encouraged to apply in June and a select group will be given training in September, a special hoodie to wear at breaktimes and they will be ready to support and guide our children in and around school.
The role of a playground buddy is by pupil application and is offered to Year 5 pupils. Year 6 already have many areas of responsibility open to them and the school feels that offering responsibility to Year 5 children is important as they move into upper Juniors.
In the summer term preceding Year 5, pupils in Year 4 are invited to submit an application for the role of a playground buddy to Mr Taylor, who oversees playgrounds. Following the application process, Mr Taylor and Miss Cooke, Playground Manager, read each form and agree on a list of children to whom they will offer the role of ‘buddy’. Children are informed of their success and appointments are announced in assembly.
In the autumn term, as Year 5 begins, Mr Taylor and Miss Cooke, run a lunchtime ‘training session’ with the playground buddies. The content of the session is agreed with Mr Taylor and the Deputy Head. In the third week of term, the buddies begin their duties.
Mr Taylor and Miss Cooke create a rota and have frequent liaison with the buddies. Each buddy wears a lanyard, helping to identify them to other children. The lanyards are collected and returned before and after break times.
The buddies’ basic responsibility is to be willing to give up their time (for example, leaving a game or an activity they are involved with) and going to the assistance of a child or children, or giving their time to a child or children who may approach them. A buddy seeks to mediate in a situation and attempt to calm any discord. All buddies know that they must seek the involvement of a member of staff should any situation become difficult or a medical concern arises.
For Playground Buddies and Prefects, emphasis is placed upon the freedom of choice as it is the children’s decision whether or not to apply. Should they wish to relinquish their responsibility, children are aware that they are expected to discuss this with their parent/s and then speak to the Deputy Head who, if after discussion with the Head he feels it is appropriate, will accept the child’s resignation.
For all positions of responsibility, in line with the school’s behaviour policy, a badge and subsequent position of responsibility may be removed for a set period of time, should the pupil’s behaviour inside or outside of the classroom be deemed unacceptable.
The School Council meets once per half-term, chaired by Martin Burns and Vicki Hutchinson. One pupil from each form class is elected by their peers to represent the form class on the Council.
Pupils are encouraged to discuss matters relating to non-curricular issues in school. The pupils are informed of the meeting date and requests items for discussion to be prepared beforehand with the form class.
What are the aims of the School Council?
- To make sure that our school is a safe and happy place for children;
- To make sure that children have a place to voice their concerns;
- To encourage all children in the school to suggest improvements;
- To make sure any suggestions or concerns are listened to and acted upon.
Minutes are displayed which also include a commentary/response from the Head and Deputy Head and, if necessary, the Catering Manager and/or Bursar.
An annual report is submitted by Martin Burns and Vicki Hutchinson to the Governors’ Education Committee meeting each summer.