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Orchard Primary

& Pre-School

School Logo

Contact Details

School Logo

Orchard Primary & Pre-School

"Small enough to care, Big enough to inspire"

Learning Council

Introduction to the Learning Council

The Learning Council meets every half term.  The children discuss a variety of topics which are taking place in the school environment and give their ideas about how the Learning Council can support improvement initiatives.


The Learning Council is led by Mrs Claire Hartley and supported by Miss Christine Harrison, Governor.



20th March 2018


The Learning Council met this afternoon to discuss the development of the class toolkits.


Thank you to KS2 for sharing their new Superpillar inspired toolkit! The children explained how they have been using the caterpillar shaped prompt card to support them when editing their writing.


Well done KS1  for talking us through their writing toolkits which are made available to the children through a checking wall in the classroom. 


We are looking forward to seeing the toolkits in action after Easter when we do our next learning walk.



6th December 2017- Class Walkabout


The Learning Council met with Mrs Harrison, one of our school governors to  complete a learning walk around the school.


The children were tasked with the challenge of recording what they liked in each classroom and what resources they felt supported them with their learning. The council also had some of their own suggestions!


We will be returning to the classrooms in the new year and working on developing the class toolkits.



13 September 2017


We have had our first meeting of the new academic year and are happy to announce our new learning council members are:

Y1 - Oliver and Amelia

Y2 - Connor and Michael

Y3 - Skye and Harry

Y4 - Alice and Jimmy


We spent the first meeting discussing what helps us in the classroom and had a lengthy discussion about the resources available to support our learning.


This term we will be developing the use of a maths and writing toolkit across the school. The toolkit is a pencil shaped poster which provides us with steps to follow to help us with our tasks in the classroom.


The learning council decided that they would like to monitor its effectiveness this term, starting with the maths toolkit.





Visual writing toolkits- December 2015


The learning council discussed the success of the pupil toolkits and confirmed that all partners will have a toolkit available to them by January!          


The council were keen to discuss how success criteria is shared in each class and had some super ideas for how we could develop this across the school! As the toolkits have been successful, each class is going to produce a visual writing  toolkit which will be displayed/shared during literacy and topic sessions where writing takes place.

The council have decided that this should be easy to understand and easily displayed to refer to as a reference point throughout the lesson. The toolkits can be used to highlight spellings, punctuation or each classes relevant writing objectives such as adverbs, connectives, imperative verbs etc.


All classes will be trialling their writers toolkit in January!









Partner toolkits- October 2015


The new council members held their first meeting today and the hot topic was partner toolkits! The current year three class explained their success with the new kits and identified how they can help you when you are stuck. It was also  agreed that they can help you to be more independent!


Each class took the time to suggest further resources they would like to have made available through the toolkits.

Chelsea Y2 explained " We can use strategies like the cups but maybe we could have other things like counters?"


Each year group discussed the different things they can do if they are stuck and Emily Y2 had the great idea of developing a toolkit card/poster which provides this information just in case we forget! The learning council representatives have agreed to feed this information back to their classes ready to design a new card at the next meeting!


Years three and four will be receiving their new toolkits after half term due to the success in year two.

Partner Toolkits - June 2015


The Learning Council evaluated the use of the partner toolkits in Year 2 and have decided they were a success! After talking to Mrs Orban and her class it was clear that the toolkits have had an impact on the children's independence in the classroom. This has led to the Learning Council deciding that partner toolkits will now be used in every classroom!


Everything I need is in one place, it saves time! - Darren

I can do things for myself, I don't have to ask an adult. -  Callum

A Special Visitor - April 2015


The Learning Council met with with our Achievement for All Mentor, David Beddard, to discuss what they have been learning this term. The children talked about the tools that help them to learn and enjoyed presenting the pieces of work they were most proud of!


As a result of this, the Learning Council have been set a new challenge to design 'Handy Hints' posters to use in the classroom. Well done Year 2 children who have volunteered to try out our new partner  toolikits too!


The Learning Council at work

Learning Council Meeting - 4 March 2014


The Learning Council held a meeting to discuss the writing targets task.  It was decided that a piece of writing would be obtained from each year group every Wednesday, following which it would be evaluated.


The Learning Council decided that the assessment of hand writing would cover the following areas:

  • Punctuation
  • Good Effort
  • Capital Letters
  • Good Story Writing
  • Neat Hand Writing
  • "WOW Words" - good use of vocabulary


Class Teachers will be asked to encourage their pupils to produce this piece of writing which would be shared during the School's Celebration Assembly.  The best examples of good hand writing would then be chosen and rewards given to appropriate pupils, eg extra playtime.


After the meeting, representatives from the Learning Council went into each year group to give an explanation about the handwriting task and they also produced posters promoting the task to be displayed in each classroom.



Meeting - 13 January 2014

Mr Jennings, one of our School Governors, had been invited to attend this meeting by the Learning Council.

The children explained to Mr Jennings that their focus would be on investigating whether all children could read and understand their "learning targets".

Mr Jennings asked the children asked the children a number of questions, including:

  • Where are the targets kept? (Response: usually in the front cover of their books).
  • What subjects have targets? (Response: Maths, Topic, Guided Reading and Reading Records).
  • Are the targets easy to achieve?
  • Who decides the targets? (Reply: Class Teacher)

The children made an information poster and suggested that the reward for the class which had the best showing for reading targets and worksheets should receive extra playtime, as determined by the Class Teacher.

Mr Jennings thanked the children for inviting him to the meeting and said he would like to visit again when the Learning Council go into the classrooms to explain what they are going to do.




Meeting - 15 November 2013

The focus of the meeting was reading in the school environment; could the children read the worksheets given to them in class and could they read their targets?


The children discussed how they could find out this information and how they should record it.


Connie suggested that it would be a good idea to provide a poster in each class with details of what the Learning Council was trying to do and then the class teacher could explain this to the children.


It was agreed that the posters would be made at the next Learning Council meeting.

Autumn Term - September 2013


Elections have taken place for this academic year and the new members of the Learning Council are:


Year 4 - Olivia, Codie, Millie and Josh M

Year 3 - Lilly and Alicia

Year 2 - Megan and Connie

Year 1 - Imogen


This year the Learning Council will be focussing on a variety of subjects.  Firstly we will be concentrating on e-safety and how we can get the children's views on keeping safe.  We will conduct a series of questionnaires to collect data on this topic.


The Learning Council will also be finding out how we can improve our reading skills.


Finally, the Learning Council will be looking at the Marking Scheme and Target Setting.


We want to improve children's awareness of how important these topics are so that we can help them with their learning within the school environment.


If you have any suggestions or ideas which you think may be of help to the Learning Council in carrying out these important tasks, please contact Mrs McCullagh or a representative of the Learning Council. 


Summer Term 2013 

The Learning Council is currently working on a new project relating to Internet Safety for children.  The purpose of this project is to raise awareness with all pupils of the dangers of using the Internet and how simple steps can be taken to safeguard children.


Members of the Learning Council will develop some simple messages using the SMART rules - Safe, Meeting, Always, Reliable and Tell, developed by the children's charity "Childnet International".  Activities will include:


  • Researching the topic in some detail
  • Producing a poster to promote increased awareness of the SMART rules
  • Visiting each classroom in the school to explain and support understanding of the dangers of using the Internet.

Autumn Term 2012

This term the Learning Council has been working on a project to introduce a "Peer Group Marking Scheme" across the school.  The focus of the scheme is designed to enable children in each class to mark each other's handwriting, including spelling and punctuation, in order to raise standards.


The Peer Marking Scheme involves pairs of children marking each other's work utilising a symbols-based marking key to record the results of a piece of written work.


Members of the Learning Council have really enjoyed participating in and leading this important initiative which has helped them develop individually as well as supporting the wider educational aims of the school.