At Willow Dene we are committed to ensuring that the voice of every child is heard. Our children have a range of ways to communicate, and our staff teams are committed to enabling children to express their needs, thoughts, feelings, choices and opinions. Our children are confident and empowered to communicate; we value their views and ensure they have the tools and support to convey their messages at all opportunities.
Our primary and secondary school council sessions take place once a term, are class-based and involve all children. Classes vote, share ideas and feedback on a range of topics which directly impact on their school day. Class teams work to deliver the school council sessions in a meaningful way for our children in order to enable all children to participate. Our leadership team respects the decisions the children arrive at and act upon these.
We have two representatives from Willow Dene on our Compass Partnership school council who meet on a termly basis to discuss key issues for children across all our partnership schools. Agenda items have ranged from local charities to support through to trust wide projects such as ‘11 before 11’ and ‘16 before 16’, discussing what experiences every child should have before they leave primary or secondary school. The Compass Partnership school council meetings take place in a range of exciting venues, including Westminster Abbey and the University of Greenwich.
In addition to our School and Compass Councils, we also ensure our children’s voices are heard within the wider community.
The Greenwich Young People’s Council (GYPC) is a council within the Royal Borough of Greenwich, made up of young people who represent the views of young people across the borough. This council was created to engage young people in democracy, politics, and citizenship. Our Willow Dene representative attends regular meetings with the GYPC to discuss local topics.
The ACE (Action, Change and Equality) group works to inform decision making for children and families with SEND within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. We have a primary and secondary ACE group who meet on a monthly basis in school, to discuss topics presented to them by the Local Authority.