Cotham School in Bristol has a thriving Co-operative Forum, which meets every six weeks to discuss whole-school issues and advise the Governors on the strategic direction of the school. The school’s Student Voice comprises ‘Year Reps’, who sit on the Co-op Forum, and ‘Tutor Reps’, who disseminate democracy, throughout the school. In June, all elected Co-op Student Voice Reps joined Cotham School’s House Captains and School Prefects at Bristol University’s Anson Rooms for their second annual Cotham Student Voice Conference.
Kadijah (year 7) and Abir (year 8) started the day by summing up what the Student Voice has achieved so far this academic year. Pupils then went on to learn more about the Co-Fund – a new grant-making fund being administered by the Co-op Forum, through which students, or other members of the co-op, can apply for a grant to run a project, by or with students, to support the school’s co-operative values.
Everyone then spent a very productive session working on the idea of Cotham manners, culminating in a game of Cotham Manners Bingo! Students were then taught how to chair a formal meeting and went on to hold their own meetings in which they discussed Eight Rules for the Classroom. This resulted in some very impressive, important and well-expressed ideas.
In the afternoon prefects led an activity based on the chosen House Charities. Pupils performed some extremely effective and informative adverts for their charities.
The evaluation of the day was overwhelmingly positive with students making comments such as: “It is useful to share ideas between year groups.” “It was enjoyable and fun!”