This is the Health and Wellbeing group. They were asked what makes a child feel happy at Manor Park school.
This is the Successes and Achievements group. They were asked to think about how achievements are celebrated at Manor Park and whether all achievements are celebrated equally.
‘Certificates from teachers and posters to share achievements with other people in school.’
‘When I look back in my jotter and my teacher has put ‘haha’ or ‘well done’ when I have written something fun.’
‘Friends celebrate your achievements by cheering you on and saying well done.’
‘Some people don’t stand up in assembly to get certificate because they are shy.’
‘People are not always happy for you because they are jealous. They might be jealous because they thought they did well too. Sometimes you aren’t noticed.’
‘If you help someone, it doesn’t get celebrated.’
In a school where all achievements are celebrated equally: you would get a sticker for good listening; in the playground if someone is hurt and you help them, or friends play together that could be an achievement, but it might not be celebrated; if you are enjoying what you’re doing then you are achieving; drawing is achieving; and kindness should be celebrated.
This is the School and Community group. They were asked to think about what makes children feel safe at Manor Park School.
‘Police could come into the school more often, we don’t speak to them because they are always in their room.’
‘You could communicate with adults so you know them and talk to teachers at soft start about you.’
‘If you had the same teacher for a long time they would know what type of person you are.’
‘More men teachers – there is only two in the school.’
‘If you spend time with the adults at school and do activities with them – like games or ask them what their favourite colour, then I feel safe with them.’
Manor Park Parliament is made up of 28 children from P2-P7. Each child is in a group investigating a different theme: relationships; teaching and learning; successes and achievements; school and community; health and wellbeing; and human dignity.
The groups were asked to think to the future and imagine that Manor Park PS is winning a big award for being an example school because at this school all children are able to be happy, healthy, safe and do their best. To join in on the celebrations the children had to make a special cake that would get them thinking about what Manor Park Primary School is doing well, what gets in the way and what could make it better.
To prepare the children made aprons and chefs hats with drawings showing things that Manor Park is already doing to make it a good school. Then they wrote recipes with all the ingredients needed to make the best school and mixed them all together ready to bake the cake.
Before baking the cake the children had to heat up the oven. They raised the temperature on the thermometer by thinking of solutions to things that can get in the way at school.
Finally everyone celebrated with cake and party hats!
“Human Rights Defender’ is a term used to describe people who, individually or with others, act to promote or protect human rights,” Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner
As part of a consultation on behalf of the Scottish Government on the Action Plan for Progressing Children’s Rights in Scotland, Manor Park Parliament were asked to create Human Rights Defender shields. Here are their ideas:
‘Dogfender defends the right to have a family. He gives you cuddles when you are sad and makes people feel included.’
‘Legoman defends the right to play. He saves toys and plays with other children.’
‘Night-play defender defends the right to play. This is my granny as she lets me play and relax on the Xbox and asks me lots of questions about the game.’
‘Relax and Play defends the right to play and is made of cards. She gives toys and plays games with people when they are bored.’
‘Miss Friendship defends the right to have friends. She makes people talk it out, eradicating bullying so that everyone is friends.’
‘Mr Memah defends the right to play and makes sure everyone has something to laugh about.’
‘Mr Not Shoosh defends the right to have a say and your voice heard. His hands are loudspeakers and his hat is a microphone. He shouts ‘don’t be afraid to speak up’ and ‘children should be listened to’.’
‘Respect man asks people what is wrong when they are sad and helps protect their feelings. He wears a suits because if you are respectful you can get somewhere in life. (NB: This provoked a debate from the children that established that Trump is not an example of this).’
‘The Golden Son is defending people who don’t have names by giving them names.’
Each week when children from the Skills School group meet, everyone checks in. The children and adults decorated badges with their name. They stick the badges on a number between 1 and 10 depending on how they are feeling that day.
If they feel happy and are having a good day at school the children and adults might place themselves really high up on the scale, but if something hasn’t been very good or they are just feeling a bit off that day then they might stick their name to a lower number. Then everyone gets a chance to say why they chose the number they did. If there are times during the session when people feel different then they can move their peg.
Skills School are a group of children from Manor Park School who are working with the Children’s Parliament for 12 weeks to think about what children need to be healthy, happy and safe.
‘At Children’s Parliament we are looking at Children’s rights, making friends and thinking about what makes us learn.’
‘Welcome to the Manor Park Parliament blog. We do very fun things and write it on this blog. We work with lots of children and hear all or their ideas. We improve Manor Park.’
In 2016, all children at Manor Park imagined their school as a happy, healthy and safe place, where everyone can do their best. They came up with loads of wonderful ideas and drawings, which are now presented in their school corridors in the form of a mural.
‘We made a mural. Panel one is about everyone being happy and no one being judged. Panel two is about staying mentally healthy. Panel three is about no one being left out. The fourth panel is about everyone being happy and staying fit. The fifth panel is about learning in different ways. And the final panel is about making people feel comfortable at school.’ Caitlin, P7 pupil and mural painter.
Using the mural as a starting point, children will talk about their experiences at Manor Park and how their vision for Manor Park might happen.