School council training: collecting information


Picture of whole school assemblyTo be effective school councils have to be expert communicators. Often a lot of emphasis is put on public speaking, and out-going communication, but communication is a two way process and arguably how a school council collects information is even more important.

To help a secondary school in Brent think about how they canvass the views of their whole school I wrote this short, simple session. ¬†They seemed to enjoy it and it helped them come up with some really useful ideas. Why don’t you give it a try and see if it works for you?

Download the session and resources:

Download “School Councils UK is mentioned in the Youth Citizenship Commission” – Downloaded 0 times –

Aims:

  • For participants to experience a few different ways of collecting information.
  • For participants to explore what those methods might be good for and what drawbacks they might have.

Age range: 11-18

Group size: 12-30

Time: 20-30 mins

Resources:

  • Notepad
  • Whiteboard/flipchart
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Pens
  • Marker pens
  • Paper stuck to wall
  • Room big enough for people to move around in.
  • Collecting ideas instructions sheets
  • Face-to-face survey sheets (x5)
  • Written survey sheets (x5)

Method:

  1. Before the session starts (I did this during the previous session), select 5 people who will be your ‘researchers’.
  2. Explain to each of them what they will be doing (give each of them an instruction sheet).
  3. Send each of your researchers to the area they’ll be working in.
  4. Split the rest of the class up and send them to
    • 1/3 to meeting
    • 1/3 to written survey
    • 1/3 to opinion wall
    • N.B. None to informal chat or face-to-face survey
  5. Tell them they’ve got 10 minutes to discuss/fill out surveys, etc.
  6. After 10 minutes bring them all back into one group.
  7. Ask each of the researchers to feed back their findings in turn.
  8. Also ask them how they found using that method.
  9. After each one ask the group to think about what situations it might be good to use that research method for.
  10. Write these up.

Add-on: Put participants into pairs, get each pair to decide on a question and a research method they will use in the next week.

Obviously you can add in other research methods, making sure you stick to the principle that they’re using the method to find out whether or not it’s a good method.

Download the session and resources:

Download “School Councils UK is mentioned in the Youth Citizenship Commission” – Downloaded 0 times –

Download the session outline and resources as Word documents (all of these are included as one download above):

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