A Primary School Council was established at Haut-Lac International Bilingual School in 2005. It provides a basis from which to actively learn important life skills, such as effective public speaking, attentive listening, teamwork, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, moral reasoning, self-esteem, and confidence.
The School Council experience provides a dynamic foundation for learning about citizenship and democratic processes. It enables pupils to have a voice and to understand that their opinions count. We have found that the Student Council has become an integral part of the Haut-Lac community, and has made our school better in many ways. The School Council creates the perfect opportunity for pupils to get more involved in the running of the school.
The aims of the School Council are:
- To give children a voice and an opportunity to affect decisions that will impact them. Students that feel they have a say in school rules and policies are more likely to understand those policies, work with them, and encourage others to do the same.
- To enhance personal and social skills. Leadership is a skill that becomes more and more valuable as your child gets older, and the Council is a safe and supportive place to practice leadership and learn from others.
- To develop citizenship and understand democratic processes. We believe that there is no better way to learn this fundamental lesson than to experience it first-hand.
- To promote and improve school as an international community.
By running for and serving as a Primary Student Council member, our students get valuable life experience and develop key skills. Here are just a few.
Student Council members represent their classmates. This is a great opportunity to expand their skillsets in compassionate listening, seeing things from another person’s point of view, and considering other people’s needs when advocating for a decision. By hearing about issues and possible solutions from the perspective of students, parents, administrators and teachers, Student Council members get an early glimpse of what it is like to make decisions in a complex world that is anything but black and white.
- Critical self-reflection
In choosing to run for the Student Council, a student must reflect honestly and deeply on his or her strengths and weaknesses in order to choose the right position for him/her. This provides an opportunity to assess which roles are a natural fit, and identify shortcomings that need more work.
- Public speaking
Most adults report that they have some degree of fear when it comes to public speaking. While the nervousness may never go away completely for most of us, early practice and reinforcement can make a difference for your child. In the process of running for Student Council, students practice taking the stage, introducing themselves, connecting with the audience, conveying their ideas clearly, and managing their mental game in the process.
Not everyone who runs for the Student Council wins, but every student benefits from the experience. Accepting a loss with grace, learning from mistakes, and developing the resilience to try again are invaluable life skills.