At Harris Academy Sutton, we pride ourselves in giving our students opportunities to have a voice, make change and become leaders in the community.
Student Leadership is a key pillar of Harris Academy Sutton’s culture. From the moment students start in Year 7 there are wide-ranging opportunities for them to lead and represent their peers in a variety of contexts. Some groups are elected while others appointed on merit. All of our student leadership opportunities provide a fantastic setting in which our students can develop their character, communication skills and leadership attributes.
Our prefects are the highest level of our student leadership, helping the Academy in its day-to-day organisation and logistics, and acting as representatives of the school at events. Prefects are chosen in Year 9 through a rigorous application process, involving written applications and interviews with members of the Academy Leadership Group. They have been selected because of their embodiment of our school ethos and core values and are invaluable in supporting our Academy culture and safe environment.
The role of the prefect includes:
- Participating in leadership training, aimed at improving communication and confidence, and equipping students with valuable skills for the future
- Keeping their fellow students safe by manning duty points at lunch time to support staff
- Leading tours, giving interviews, and representing the Academy during events such as Open Days, new staff inductions, governor visits, and any other key events that take place
- Meeting with staff regularly to offer feedback on operations, Academy life and the wellbeing of students
- Work with Heads of Houses, Heads of Year and other staff members to organise events within the Academy, such as charity events and subject weeks.
- To promote and protect the rights of children within the Academy, and sit on the Rights Respecting Schools Award Steering Committee.
A vital part of our student leadership programme is our Student Commission. Our Student Commissioners are elected representatives of the student body. Each year, elections to the Commission are run, and tutor groups vote for their Student Commissioner, who then serves for a 12 month period.
Our Student Commissioners meet at least one per half term. The purpose of their meetings is to:
- Discuss decisions pertaining to academy life, for example the structure of the school and any new decisions
- Give feedback on teaching and learning, operations and logistics, the Personal Development Curriculum and our behaviour and rewards systems.
- Consult their peers to gain wider feedback on Academy matters and decisions.
- Promote and protect the rights of children within the Academy, and sit on the Rights Respecting Schools Award Steering Committee.
All discussions are then communicated by the commissioners to the Academy Leadership Group.
The role of student concierge is aimed at encouraging those who do not normally have the confidence to put themselves forward to leadership roles to develop their communication and leaderships skills. They support the day to day running of the Academy by performing tasks and jobs to support Reception, Student Services, the SEND department and the Library.
Students are invited to take part in Year 8, and are chosen based on attendance and behaviour, in consultation with their Head of Year. Their role as student concierge means they are able to build confidence, working with other adults in the Academy, develop a sense of self-value and task prioritisation.
Stonewall Ambassadors (LGBTQ+)
Our Stonewall Ambassadors are a group of students who come together to help make our already warm and welcoming environment at Harris Academy Sutton even more inclusive for LGBTQ+ students and makeup our Stone Society. They meet regularly to plan events for the whole school community to get involved with, notably our Pride Week which we hold in July each year. They meet each week to discuss various LGBTQ+ issues. These range from the development of LGBTQ+ rights in the UK, to looking at inspirational LGBTQ+ figures, to looking at issues faced by LGBTQ+ people in countries where they do not have the same legal rights as we do here. The Stonewall Society have special Stonewall badges and rainbow lanyards that they wear with pride around the school. This means that any students who wants to discuss any LGBTQ+ issues know they have friendly faces they can turn to.
Our House Captains represent not only their House but also the Academy as a whole, demonstrating their leadership, communication, teamwork and organisation skills. This is realised by undertaking various tasks including:
- Helping with whole school events
- Leading teams and promoting team spirit during Sports Day and other competitions
- Inspire others to become involved in the HASU community through the House system
- Working alongside Heads of House to help organise events and get involved with house charity work
More information about our vibrant House system can be found here.
At HASU, we are dedicated to celebrating a huge range of diversity to enrich our students lives. Our aim is to create a fully inclusive and cohesive community where everyone’s individuality and characteristics are all shared, celebrated and appreciated for being unique and different. In practice, we do this by encouraging the similarities between one another, celebrate differences amongst the student communities such as Black History Month, Diwali, Christmas, Hannukah, Eid, Women’s Independence Day and much more. Our Diversity Ambassadors play a big role in this, they:
- Host assemblies with a main focus in mind
- Create meaningful displays across the school
- Celebrate events and festivals all year round
- Help to design and deliver these events
Prevention of Bullying Ambassadors
Our Prevention of Bullying Ambassadors play an important role at HASU to deliver our belief that bullying is unacceptable in any form. They have been trained through The Diana Award to have the skills to support others, act as an extra support network for their peers and promote the prevention of bullying through hosting assemblies, creating displaying and contributing to tutor time sessions to educate all of our community about the importance and recognition of kindness . All of our Prevention of Bullying Ambassadors are identifiable by their “Anti-bullying” badge awarded through The Diana Award. As part of their role they hold a half termly drop in for students to have an additional opportunity to reach out and get advice for themselves and their peers.
The Diana Award Anti-Bullying Ambassador programme is run by the charity, The Diana Award. The Diana Award was founded as a legacy to Diana, Princess of Wales’s belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. Its mission is to foster, develop and inspire positive change in the lives of young people.
More information about the Academy's provision to promote student wellbeing can be found here.
Sports captains advocate for sport and physical activity, they take on numerous responsibilities around HASU. Each sports captain organises inter-house competitions and decides which student will represent their house in lunch time events. They also ensure all members of their tutor have an active, competitive role at HASU Sports Day. There are major house points up for grabs for the winners of each competition. Sports captains assist the PE department maintain some of the amazing equipment that the students use as well as organise the PE sports cupboard.
Our Student Librarians take responsibility for the day-to-day management of our incredible Library. Librarians are on duty at break and lunchtime to assist Ms Lock in circulating books to library users. They also issue passes for the reading room, shelve returned books and curate displays to highlight and celebrate events within the school community and beyond. Librarians learn to work with others as part of a team, developing their confidence and responsibility as they grow within their roles. They are energetic, enthusiastic and full of ideas to continually improve and develop the library. They are at the forefront of decision making about the books we purchase and the collections we curate. They champion our literacy culture and look after our beautiful shared reading spaces.
More information about their work and our Library can be found here.