On arrival at Guiseley School, students are sorted into one of our four houses: Gamma, Omega, Delta or Sigma. They remain a member of this house until Year 11, with those students opting to continue study at our Sixth Form being re-sorted into houses at the beginning of Year 12.
In the first half-term, students from each house vote to elect a House Representative for their year group. Students vote using ballot papers and make their mark in the school hall.
In Years 7-9 and Year 13, students elect two House Representatives per year, per house. In Year 12, students elect one House Captain and one House Representative per house. In Year 10, students elect one Vice House Captain and one House Representative per house. The elected students in each house form a House Council. The House Councils function like traditional school councils with the added responsibility of designing and organising house competitions. We are keen to up-skill our student leaders. Accordingly, upon their election, this year’s House Council members had the opportunity to participate in a public speaking workshop in which they crafted a speech on a controversial issue and delivered it in front of their House Council and a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
In the second half of the term, each of our four House Councils internally elects two of its members to sit on the Executive Council. The Executive Council chooses and focuses on three priorities to improve or change the school and its members meet regularly with Mr Clayton to discuss their progress. This year’s Executive Council is focusing on:
- Raising students’ aspirations
- Increasing interactions with the community
- Increasing support for, and staff understanding of, students with mental health concerns
Students at Guiseley School are rewarded with house points. In lessons, house points take the form of stamps in students’ planners. However, in house competitions, students are awarded house points for participation as well as placing highly.
Members of the House Councils are responsible for designing and organising house competitions. So far this year, students have had an opportunity to involve themselves in a Chess Tournament, a Winter Wonderland Bake Off and a Mario Kart Tournament. Keen to motivate our students, we invited several local cake decorators and representatives from local bakeries to judge this year’s bake-off. Each spring, we look forward to the House Drama Performance, where students from each house write, direct and perform a short play in front of an audience.
In response to the climate crisis, we have facilitated the creation and work of a student-led Eco Committee. In just six months, the committee has attended an Enviro-Forum led by our local Member of Parliament, delivered a presentation and questioned the Mayor of Leeds at an Outer North West Youth Summit, reached an agreement with Litter Free Guiseley to prevent littering on our public-used school fields, fundraised over £1000 to create a seating area of benches made from recycled bottle tops and planted 46 trees on our school fields.
Most impressively, the committee designed, funded and built an eco-friendly light garden to feature in the Guiseley Christmas Lights display. While the Art department organised a competition to design the display, students organised a fund-raising campaign, approaching local businesses for raffle donations, holding a bake sale and participating in sponsored silences. While members of the local community used social media to collect plastic bottles, Miss Hinckley and her dad worked evenings in his garage preparing materials that students could use to build a plastic bottle Christmas tree and solar-powered jellyfish lights.
We are incredibly proud of our student leaders and the work they are doing to create a solidarity between students, staff, school and community.