School Council

Welcome to the Harbour Primary and Nursery School Council page.

School Council Choose Charity to Support

At the latest School Council meeting, members discussed the school’s chosen charity for this year. Several classes had carried out votes over the kind of charity they would like to support and animal charities were the most popular. Children also expressed a wish to support a local charity that helps wildlife. As a result of this, we have decided to support East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance service this year. Classes are now debating ideas for fundraising activities and we hope to be able to share them with everyone soon. The Key Stage 2 Councillors were also very happy to support the recent farmers’ market, selling produce and welcoming families to the event.’


Minutes of Meeting - Monday 23rd September 2019

  1. Everyone introduced themselves and explained which class they were from. We played a dice game to help get to know each other.
  2. We talked about the types of things school council are responsible for and what we are not responsible for.

Councillors were told that a meeting is not about councillors views, it’s about the views of the people you represent. We want to hear the voice of the children in each class so that we improve our school community, improve our learning, improve the organisation in school and make everyone the best version of themselves that they can be. 



  1. We discussed our charity participation for this year. Councillors were encouraged to speak with their classes and bring back their preferences to the next meeting. Grace suggested an environmental charity.
  2. The School Council has been asked to assist with the MacMillan Coffee Morning, to be held on Friday 27th September. Mr Silk explained that the Councillors will be able to serve drinks and cake and chat with parents about what they enjoy about school. After a show of hands, all members of the School Council said that they would like to help.
  3. Any other business:
  • Lemi said that his old school had won a Silver award for being ‘eco-friendly’ and asked if there was more that we could do in this respect?
  • Madison suggested that the suggestion boxes return to classes.
  • Amber wondered if the ‘Tycoons of Tastiness’ would be able to return.

Mr Silk will look into these matters and report back to the Council at the next meeting.


School Council Trip to Houses of Parliament July 2019

 The school council had a great day in London visiting the Palace of Westminster.  We learnt lots about the history of the building. The most impressive part everyone agreed was the House of Lords.  The amount of gold was incredible and beautiful! At the end of our tour which included the House of Commons and the queen's robing room, we had a question and answer session with Maria Caulfield.  The children were all beautifully behaved. I was proud of each of them.


Den Day – Thursday 6th June 2019

Thank you so much for the contributions to Sussex Homeless Support. The children took the request for minimal electricity use during the day very seriously. Working without light made us realise how much harder it was to read people’s expressions when we couldn’t be seen clearly. We all had to work just a little harder without ICT to aid us and made better use of our outdoor learning space.  Then of course, we all made dens together! Because we felt safe, we had great fun making cosy, decorated dens. Many of us read books and played in our dens.   We hope that our thoughts about people who find themselves homeless for a variety of reasons don’t end with Den Day though. We have helped local homeless people receive the help and support they need that will allow them to feel safe and eventually, independent and valued. We have also played our part in helping Sussex Homeless Support to achieve its ambition of zero food poverty and 100 % support for all people in Brighton. Thanks to your amazing generosity we have raised the impressive sum of £700 so far, which we are sure that Sussex Homeless Support will be thrilled to receive.The School Council are thrilled with the response to their chosen charity this year.

School Council Minutes February 2019

Update on December fundraising event for Sussex Homeless Support. Mrs Elphick thanked Felix (Year 4 councillor who came to help distribute the Christmas bags to the homeless) and thanked everyone who donated items. Date of Den Day – 6th June (next step in our fundraising for Sussex Homeless Support).

Composting – to restart after half term. The compost bins will be rotated so that old compost can be left to rot down and gardening club will use this on our gardens. The new empty compost bin will be ready for us to use after half term. Councillors suggested that classes design their own poster to be laminated and stuck in fruit trays to remind people what can be composted: all fruit and vegetable left overs, ie apple cores, banana skins, carrot ends. Orange skin is not great for composting as it is too acidic. Nature area development - Councillors visited the area alongside the nursery which is going to be regenerated into a nature area. There will be a pond, a pathway leading down from the new fencing at the back playground to the area behind nursery, a wild area and bug hotels. Anyone who would like to submit a design that includes these areas and their own should do so during term 4 and pass to your class teacher who should give to Mr Geering.

School Council  Charity Event 

This year the School Council children chose Sussex Homeless Support as their charity to support. Sussex Homeless Support use food waste to cook and deliver a street kitchen to feed the homeless and those living alone in hostels. They also provide clothes and other essential items. The children were very excited to get on board with their chosen charity by planning a Sussex Homeless Support Advent Calendar. Over a period of 4 weeks the children collected items to distribute at one of the Street Kitchens. Items included a warm hat, gloves or socks, some toothpaste and other toiletries, adult clothing and sleeping bags and even dog treats.  

On Sunday 16th December 2018, it was an experience of mixed emotions when staff and children from Harbour accompanied Sussex Homeless Support to distribute the items collected. The charity did such an amazing job to get food, clothes, vet services and the Christmas parcels ready for a large number of very grateful homeless people. Thank you to all the families who donated to this very worthwhile cause and a huge thank you to those parents and children who came along to help. 



School Council Minutes 6th November 2018

Each class was given an opportunity to feedback ideas for fundraising for the homeless charity. Narwhals were away on a trip, neither of the Year 1 classes had ideas to share nor did Rays class. The other classes’ ideas included:

  • Skipping, den building, film day, pyjama day, games, ‘a day in the life of a homeless person’, no electricity for a day, cosiest den competition, fun day, sleep-over at school and non-uniform day.

The idea that was suggested in most classes was den building. It was decided therefore that we would have a day, in the summer term, when we would try to use no electricity and would den build in the afternoon. Children will be asked to make a contribution in order to participate.

Mrs Elphick explained that we would be supporting Sussex Homeless Support (SHS), a local charity. This charity came to school council’s attention last year due to the involvement of a child involved in this group.

Mrs Elphick introduced the idea of a ‘sort of’ advent calendar where children and staff will be asked to contribute items which will be given in parcels (unwrapped) to the homeless people. A School Council Assembly for KS2 will be held on Thursday 8th November and we will share this with KS2 then. A letter will also go out to parents soon.


  • Councillors asked if they could have a badge or lanyard to show they are school councillors.
  • Belugas class asked if children could be more involved in community events, such as beach cleaning.
  • A comment about the state of the dinner tables was made; children are leaving rubbish behind and the next children coming to sit down are sitting at messy tables.


School Council Trip to Parliament June 2018

The School council had a great trip to Westminster earlier this week, where they visited the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Afterwards they had a question and answer time with Maria Caulfield MP for Lewes District. 



May 2018

  1. Bake Sale – Mrs Elphick thanked children who helped set up and explained we raised £238 for Cancer Research. Councillors were asked to thank their classes.
  2. Sponsorship for Race for Life – councillors were asked to remind their class to keep collecting sponsorship. Spare forms are available at the office. Our race is the first Wednesday back after half term. Our target is to raise £1,500.
  3. Compost bins – Years 1, 2, 3 said the use of compost bins in their year groups was going well. Most of the time they remembered to take them out to the playground and empty in the large compost bin. Year 4 are forgetting. It was commented that some children are still putting fruit waste in the main bins. Therefore Year 4 will position their bin next to the back playground bin. Year 5 are not remembering to take theirs – please can we make an effort for this to happen as Year 6’s bin has been taken to the staff room. Pippa is going to collect the staff compost bin for emptying. Year 6 can use the Year 5 bin when it’s outside. Councillors asked to remind classes about the bins.
  4. Eco-Police is going well and classes seem genuinely pleased when they receive a green dot. Danii is going to make some more red and green circles as some children have cut circles down and they are very small. Councillors were asked to explain to classes that they must not cut down circles.
  5. Mrs Elphick explained that the new Book Swap organisation will begin in the first week of next term. The children’s books are located outside Mrs Chaplin’s office and the adults books are going to be near the office. If you would like to swap a book, bring in a book you no longer need (good quality though – no scribbles or torn pages), put it in the ‘newly donated box to be stickered-up’ and take a book you would like. Continue by returning the book you borrowed or donate a new one. Swaps must happen after school. Parents must accompany children in Years 1-4. Children who walk home alone can visit the book swap after school.
  6. Houses of Parliament visit – Monday 25th June. Most KS2 councillors knew about this and have sent back forms or are going to get them in soon. Councillors have been asked to think about a question they would like to ask Maria Caulfield. It can be a question about a government policy that a member of their family, a member of their class or themselves would like to know the answer to.
  7. Lunch box audit – Mrs Colebran-Green attended our meeting to explain the results of the last lunch box audit. There are still not enough children bringing fruit or vegetables in their packed lunches and too many bringing in fizzy drinks, sweets and pastries. Councillors have been asked, if they would like to, to create some posters sharing the dos and don’ts.
  8. Assembly (date TBC) – we would like to have a school council assembly on Tuesday 5th June (in KS1 and KS2) to drum-up last minute enthusiasm for the Race for Life and to share the findings of the lunch box audit. Mrs Colebran-Green would like to attend.


April 2018

  1. Thanks to George and Danni for great letters to Lacey.
  2. Comments regarding School Council’s Diversity and Equality input. Mrs Chaplin has asked for comments to be shared with all staff so things can be put in place to help rectify problems. Miss White commented that she would like to do some KS2 assemblies to help share the importance of diversity and equality. The comments from School Council will also be added to the appendix of the Diversity and Equality Policy.
  3. Book Swap – Seagulls councillors will be putting stickers on books ready to start the swap scheme. Mrs Elphick will explain the process in a KS2 assembly and will ask KS1 to do the same.
  4. Energy Police resources and organisation – start from next week. Thanks to those who made resources.
  5. Compost bins – monitors to be chosen for each year group. To be taken out at playtimes for year 2-6. Year 1 will keep theirs in the classroom as fruit is eaten in there. Taken to the compost bins near the garden at the front of the school after each break. Children can put fruit rubbish in anyone’s compost bin (just not citrus peelings).
  6. Blue Recycling bins in the classrooms – councillors to remind children to recycle all of the following:

Plastic bottles, Newspaper, Cardboard, Glossy paper, Glossy magazines

Do not put in: Rigid plastic, margarine tubs, yoghurt pots, Tetra paks, food or food contaminated packaging, used tissue, used wallpaper, laminated paper

  1. Race for life – councillors have put up posters and will tell classes about sponsorship forms. Mrs Colbran-Green is organising timings for the Race Day. Plates will be going home for the bake sale on Fri 8th May with the sale being on Fri 11th May. Race for Life is on 6th June.


March 2018

  1. Dates shared for coming events - Charity Cancer Research –

Bake sale - Fri 11th May at 2.45.

Race for Life –Wed 6th June


  1. Mrs Elphick explained that Lacey Dixon has been helping to support a homeless charity and had written to the school to ask if we could support her with fundraising. While what Lacey is doing is amazing we are unable to support her this time as our chosen charity is Cancer Research.


  1. Green Ambassador - projects – update

Crush – To begin during Term 5

  1. Book swaps for children to be set up outside Mrs Chaplin’s classroom for children to swap a book from home that they have finished with. Children can come with a parent/ adult to swap a book – any day AFTER school.
  2. Book swaps for adults to be set up in the foyer for adults. Parental responsibility that books are kept for adult browsing only.
  • All the wood has arrived for the large compost bins to be built and these will be constructed soon. Composting should begin at the start of Term 5 when gardening club begins.
  1. Leafy – Miss Mellor to begin during Term 5 or 6
  2. Switch – the energy expert – To begin at the start of Term 5
    1. Energy Police – resources to be made by: GN & LC (red & green circles), HMT (3 Police books). These are to be brought to Mrs Elphick by Wednesday 28th March. Children may need to work through break times to complete these resources.   

Police Rota


Lunch time

Play time


Yr 1 & 2



Every other term – Year 1 and 2 to take turns allocating 2 police to check rooms during play time at 12.25.

Yr 3 & 4



Every other term – Year 3 and 4 to take turns allocating 2 police to check rooms during play time at 12.00.

Yr 5



Every other term – Year 5 and 6 to take turns allocating 2 police to check rooms during play time at 1.05.

Yr 6




  1. Equality and Diversity policy

We played some participation games and discussed how unfair some of the statements read out where. We watched an Espresso video on Diversity in the British parliament.  


We looked at the meaning of Diversity

  • We are all of equal value.
  • Treating people fairly.
  • Helping people to overcome things that might hold them back.


We looked at the meaning of Equality

  • Valuing people’s differences.
  • Trying to respect and understand people’s differences.


We talked about things that happen in school which the councillors feel are unfair.


  • Opportunities to take part in extra-curricular activities - Some children get to participate in cooking with special visitors but not everyone. (This comment was actually made by a child who had been selected but felt it was unfair on others who didn’t get that chance.)


  • Learning – children feel distracted and worried by children fussing about who sits next to who particularly in LKS2. In addition, if teachers are not back from lunch break when children return to class, silly behaviour and rude words are banded about (these may come from books being read). Children who are bad get away with more than children who are generally good. Detention does not seem consistent (“even when video evidence is proof”).


Playground/ outside the classroom

  • Organised games – It was felt that if systems were put in place to make sure everyone has equal access to basketball etc, that these systems should be adhered to. If there not enough children to make up a team and other year groups are chosen to take part to make up numbers, then this needs to be fair.


  • Being respectful of work/ making carried out by others - Many KS1 councillors felt it was unfair if others knocked down towers etc that they had built at playtime.


  • Being left out - Some felt that not allowing others to join in a game is unfair (due to rules made up, ie this is a game for 2 people).


  • Whispering and spreading of rumours - It was felt children whispering behind others backs and hurtful and unfair because playtimes are spoilt by this behaviour.


  • Name calling or mimicking - This can often be if someone has an unusual name or an accent. It happens in the school playground but also while children are walking home. It was felt some people think this is acceptable because it’s after school and teachers cannot tell children what to do at that time. Equally it was felt that people referring to others as ‘cute’ or ‘tiny’ was annoying and disrespectful for those constantly being referred to in this way. We talked about there being different reasons for someone being smaller (age, health, disability).


  • Racist comments - It was felt that because these comments come from younger children that this was to be excused however we talked about how it is wrong at any age and everyone can be taught about respect and tolerance.


  • After-school clubs - Some felt that unkind and inappropriate comments are being said in BATs.


  • Lunch-time – It was felt that to ‘save’ seats in the hall is unfair and can be unkind because of the way others speak.


  • Assembly – people tap other children and then blame others.



December 2017 

  • Cancer Research charity received the most votes. The events we would like to hold for this event will be discussed by councillors in our next meeting.
  • Mrs Elphick explained that the role of the Green Ambassador is to help our school to take action to help our amazing planet. They will be supported to build their knowledge and understanding, develop their skills, and explore their values so they’re motivated and equipped to enjoy and care for our beautiful planet.
  • We talked about each WWF character represents and some of the ideas Year 4 had come up with in their Environmental Audit.

 November 2017

  • Mrs Elphick gave an update on the compost bins. The budget and the plans have been agreed and these should be built and ready to use by the middle of Term 3.
  • Council were thanked for their clear job descriptions compiled for Head boy and Head girl. Well done to Joe and Abisha who were voted.
  • Mrs Elphick reminded school council of the charities the school has supported over the last four years:

     2017 British Heart Foundation - Jump Rope for Heart

     2016 Save the Children - Den Day

     2015 Children in Need

     2014 Cancer Research - Race for Life

      Five websites were shown based on the types of charities school council had showed  an  interest in at  the last meeting. Councillors are to share with their classes and a vote taken. Options will include WWF, Water Aid, Homelessness, Education for Children and Cancer  Research.

  • Mrs Elphick explained about the WWF Green Ambassadors scheme which aims to encourage a new generation of sustainability champions. All councillors agreed that they would like to be Green Ambassadors - they were given a badge, a booklet and some stickers. Projects that Green Ambassadors and Class Eco Warriors will get involved in will also be agreed.
  • The climbing wall for the playground should now be delivered to us during Term 3.
  • Classes are making suggestion boxes for councillors to bring to the next meeting.

October 2017

  • Mrs Elphick announced that the school had raised £1934.61 for the British Heart Foundation – Jump Rope For Heart. This is about £1,000 more than that raised for Den day the previous year. Certificates will be given out and ropes will be received from BHF in December.
  • All the councillors looked at the compost ideas from different classes. A range of posters were chosen to be displayed on the School Council notice board and gardening notice board. There were a variety of ideas including smaller ones for Year groups and larger designs for the garden. Mr Geering will put together ideas and provide us with a design for the garden. Mrs Elphick will get in touch with Veolia to see if they will provide us with small bins for Year groups which could be taken out to the playground at break times.
  • Mrs Terrey asked school council to put together a job description and application process for a new position for a Year 6 Head girl/ head boy.
  • Councillors came up with possible charity causes for this year: Cancer including Race for Life, endangered animals, Children in Need, School equipment to poor countries, homelessness, feminine/ starving people, refugees, medical equipment. Mrs Elphick is to make a list of the possible charities we could support that link to these ideas and share at the next meeting.

 Sept  2017

The School Council met for the first time this year and discussed ‘waste’ in the school and the problem we have with garden waste. Councillors also talked about the problem with fruit waste being dropped on the playground. It was felt a compost bin might help as currently Gardening club are having to put waste from the garden into black bags which will be going to landfill sites. The councillors now plan to research pictures of compost bins and items they'd like us to compost.


July 2017

Jump Skip Charity Day -organised by school councillors and Mrs Elphick

Jump Rope for Heart for The British Heart Foundation, our charity this year, was a great success. The children have developed their skipping skills so well and the stamina of many was incredible. They have all worked very hard to be able to join in with determination and enthusiasm. Sponsorship money collected so far is £1,833! Thank you to all the family and friends that have supported the children by donating and to the family members who helped run the event.  

May 2017

The school councillors have been busy sorting through suggestions made by pupils. Most ideas posted into the suggestion boxes are now ideas that really will improve our school. This is how pupils’ voices have been heard:

  • We have such a lovely library but pupils were concerned that sometimes noise level in there were not appropriate. Noise monitor boards have been put up which we hope are helping to remind everyone that the library is a quiet place.
  • Classes were also reminded that if they are not happy with the selection of books in class book corners, that they can request a fresh selection is made from the library.
  • Requests were received that our back playground is made more colourful. Hence new playground signs and a climbing wall were ordered and should be seen soon. Also flower seeds have been planted by classes and the gardening club.

Staff have also made suggestions with ideas for improvements to our school:

  • Mr Voice has been asking all classes to monitor heating levels in classes, how well each class is recycling paper and ensuring lighting is not wasted. School councillors are asked to be aware of how successful their own classes are with these targets and feedback to meetings.
  • Mr Geering has asked school councillors to help ensure all ICT equipment is well looked after. Unfortunately, five times more has been spent on repairs this year than ever before. Sometimes we seem to forget how much our equipment is worth! School councillors will feedback, in assembly each month, how much of our ICT repairs budget has been spent. Anything not spent in the budget by the end of next March will be given back for resources which pupils feel are needed. Wow! What an incentive to look after our equipment! 

Spelling Bee – 13th June: School Council are delighted that we will continue to hold this spelling contest which last year’s school council first began. It is a great way of promoting the importance of practising spelling in a fun way. Look out on your homework for details.

British Heart Foundation – Jump Rope for Heart (5th & 6th July); This is the charity event which children voted for this year. A separate letter will be sent with detailed information. Keep skipping over the holidays and get busy collecting sponsorship.  


 March 2017

Following the School Council's assembly last month, it became clear that the majority of children were not making their voices heard. This month an increase in suggestions have been seen by class councillors. Please remember to always consider, 'Will my idea improve our school?'

The latest improvements you asked to be made to our school...

* Playground organisation continues to be trialled and changed based on how well you use different areas.

* The back playground will be made more colourful with the addition of a climbing wall and new signage.

* Book-corners are to be replenished by a visit to the library and while you are there please take time to notice the sound monitor. A number of children have told school council that the noise levels in the library are too loud.

* Skipping ropes and sponsorship forms have arrived for our Charity Event. Forms will be sent out the week before the May Half term holiday. This will give skipping practise time at home during the holidays too.

* The garden will be opened by the School Council once some plants are growing in it. Mr Chaplin is organising what each class will grow. Some classes will be given seeds and pots to start plants growing at home over the Easter holiday.


Feb 2017

The school councilors have been busy listening to the classes' ideas for how to improve the school. After listening to your thoughts, the following have all been put into action as a result:

  • Singing assembly is now normally twice a week!
  • Golden Point prizes are 50% easier to achieve!
  • A school garden is being built where you can grow your own vegetables!
  • Girls only and boys only football, at playtime, is being trialed.
  • We are supporting The British Heart Foundation as your charity of the year.
  • More playground equipment will be bought.

Thank you and remember to pop ideas in the year Group Suggestion box, if you think of anything else. Our next meeting is Friday 10th March.