In the last year there has been lots of talk and discussion in our Michael Oak community about the students having a ‘voice’ in the High School. In most other schools this takes the form of a Student Representative Council (SRC). As the name implies, this is a small group of students who represent the general student body. In a Waldorf school however, we try to empower every student to use their own voice and students are free to express themselves to their teachers, guardians and fellow students. Nonetheless, the High School has listened to the community and we will inaugurate a student leadership body this year that will be called the Student Forum. This body will be made up of students from each class, elected by their peers. They will serve to initiate projects and events in the school, encourage, coax and cajole others into getting involved in these projects like festivals, sports days, outreach, high school assemblies and beautifying our campus. They can be another voice and conduit for announcements and notices from College and Faculties to the rest of the student body. “But every student has a voice”, you said. Yes, but students often need to hear something more than once and it often gets more attention when announced by their peers.
The process of selecting and electing the Student Forum is itself a lesson in civics – “the study of the rights and duties of citizenship” – in this beautiful country of ours. Each class will go through a process of nominating their classmates. Each nominee will also have a seconder which assures them of at least two votes. The nominees will then have to make individual speeches to their classes which will show whether they understand the role they will play but also allows them to stand in front of a group of fellow students, hold their attention and get them to listen to what they have to say. Each class will get a chance to vote in a process that mimics the way we vote in South Africa at a general election. The nominees will have their photos on a ballot paper, they will enter the hall, a register will be taken, their thumbs marked with ink and they will stand in a booth and make their selection of two peers whom they would like to be part of the Student Forum. They will then drop their folded ballot papers into a box. The ballots will be counted by an unbiased committee and the results announced at an assembly. In the first meeting of the Student Forum, they will be educated on the duties of office bearers and then they will elect a chairperson, secretary and treasurer amongst themselves.
The process of nominations has started and we urge you to watch this space as we keep you posted while this important process unfolds.
The President’s Award
With the assistance of adult volunteer leaders, The President’s Award seeks to empower young people between the ages of 14 and 24, by providing a balanced, non-competitive framework for self-development that will increase their self-esteem and enhance their capacity to achieve in whatever context they find themselves; enabling them to become responsible active citizens within their communities. An informative presentation by the President’s Award TPA leader was given to Michael Oak High School students at assembly last term. We are a registered President’s Award Centre, with a teacher assigned as our Award Leader. Should your child wish to participate in the President’s Awards programme, please visit https://presidentsaward.co.za/ to enrol your child online. Please direct any questions to Claire Walter, High school Secretary, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to supporting your child on this journey.
“The sensory world is the school, without which the human being would never come to the spirit.”
“Love starts when we push aside our ego and make room for someone else.”