We began our new school year with two important changes, both designed to improve our students’ experience of life at Coombe Dean: re-designed canteen facilities and Red Litter Days.
Six weeks on, we wanted to find out what members of the Student Leadership Team think of the changes. We spoke to Emilia C and Maisie K from Year 8, Gracie-May H and Jessica B from Year 9, Harry H and Jess C from Year 10 and Rosie S from Year 11.
The student team really likes the seating and design of the new canteen, describing it as “somewhere you want to be.” They find it better organised and there is much more room. Being with friends in a pleasant environment is a priority for our students and so the extra space gets a big ‘thumbs up’.
Any areas for improvement? Our student leaders would like even more healthy options. They think it is all too easy to grow into bad dietary habits and they understand that what you eat can have a big impact on your performance in school.
It’s encouraging to hear such a mature viewpoint from our students … we’re looking forward to working with them to make the food and drink we offer at Coombe Dean even better!
Red Litter Days
The student team say that it is “much better” now that we have such a clean site. There are fewer “annoying” seagulls and our students feel better able to enjoy the wonderful spaces that are available at break and lunch times.
Interestingly, they think the litter rules have had a positive impact on behaviour. To quote one of them, “You no longer have to dodge flying tomatoes!” We hope that there weren’t too many of them last year – those really would have been Red Litter Days! But we take the point: caring for the environment makes us better people because we take responsibility, think about others and consider the impact of our actions.
Sometimes we need tough rules to make positive change, and our students tell us that they respect the way staff have stood firm with Red Litter Days.
It was helpful to meet up with our student leaders. They were honest and gave us lots of other feedback to consider. We will be thinking about all their ideas as we plan further improvements at Coombe Dean.
We are glad that the changes have brought some big benefits – especially where they have impacted on those all-important positive relationships. It’s great to hear that our students feel better able to enjoy time with their friends and that students are being even more considerate towards each other.
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Years 7 to 11
Post 16 Students