At Willow Bank, our dedicated team of play leaders play a vital role in creating a vibrant and inclusive lunchtime experience for our children. There is an application process which is open to year 5 and 6 children, the play leaders are then interviewed and selected for their enthusiasm, responsibility and ability to support and inspire their peers.
Their mission is simple yet profound: to foster an environment where every child can enjoy their lunch break to the fullest.
Our play leaders take on a multitude of responsibilities during lunch time such as,
- Organising and supervising engaging games and activities
- Providing a buddy system to ensure no child feels left out
- Facilitating restorative practices between peers
- Supporting children to implement school rules
- Noticing children who deserve good news notices for modelling our school values
Play leaders receive fortnightly training, delivered by the Inclusion Team on topics such as, conflict resolution, anti-bullying, team building and leadership skills.
I love being a play leader because I get to make the school a better place. Everyone knows who we are when we wear our vest and they listen to us.
The benefits of having play leaders at Willow Bank is that they help in creating a strong sense of community and belonging, fostering friendships and social connections amongst peers. Since the implementation of our play leaders there has been a significant decline in playground incidents and pupil voice has indicated that they have impacted the overall enjoyment of lunchtimes.
I like having play leaders around because they help us if we get hurt, remind us about the rules and play different games with us.
At Willow Bank, children are encouraged to develop a lifelong love of reading by completing a series of Reading Passports which record the number of miles/minutes a child has read each day.
There are five passport levels to attain:
With each passport requiring a child to read for 500 minutes and complete a reading challenge before they move on to the next. Those children that complete all five passports earn the prestigious role of becoming a Willow Bank Primary School Reading Ambassador, recognised with a special badge.
Reading Ambassadors meet regularly with the Reading Lead to discuss and implement initiatives to raise the profile of reading for pleasure such as, maintaining and helping to run our new school library. They contribute to the parent newsletter by recommending books or authors, they speak in assemblies and work alongside the Reading Lead to plan the annual Willow Bank Reading Week in the spring term, as well as other events throughout the school year.
Reading Ambassadors help in encouraging other students to read constantly as reading is an important part of learning. Reading Ambassadors create a positive environment for reading by creating reading clubs and speaking in assemblies and now as reading buddies - where we read books at lunchtime with KS1 children.
At Willow Bank we have high expectations of presentation and before children complete their learning in books with a handwriting pen, they earn this right.
Children continuously work on their presentation in class and ask to be put forward for panel - if they feel they meet our pen licence criteria. Those who already have a pen licence meet every week with the headteacher to look at the books being presented to the panel. The panel then identify whether children have met all areas of the criteria and provide feedback on what they need to work on if they haven't.
The criteria includes, but is not limited to:
- The consistent use of joined cursive handwriting
- Mistakes being crossed out with a ruler
- Consistent, high standard shown in all books
Once the presentation panel confirm a child has met the criteria, they are awarded a pen licence certificate and the privilege to use a handwriting pen in all lessons. All children that gain pen licences are monitored and reviewed termly to ensure they are modelling the high standards that our pen licence criteria sets out.
At Willow Bank, we are committed to ensuring that every child has the opportunity to thrive academically and personally. That's why we are proud to introduce our dedicated team of Attendance Ambassadors, whose role is to improve and maintain our high expectations for good and excellent attendance and punctuality.
Each class have two attendance ambassadors, who meet with our Community Liaison Officer every half term to discuss attendance, punctuality, ways to celebrate and ways to provide additional support to their peers with regular absences. They also have the responsibility of completing and updating the class door registration numbers, letting everyone know how many children are in class on that given day, and ensuring they check in and provide a warm welcome to children who arrive late.
Attendance Ambassadors also gather pupil voice and use their knowledge and skills of our core values to support, advise and encourage their peers to attend school.
I like it when people ask me what my badge is, I like telling people that I help my friends and adults to celebrate and make attendance better at Willow Bank.