Sixth formers at Queen Elizabeth’s School in Wimborne are celebrating after reaching the final of a competition run by the Speaker of the House of Commons.
The Rt Hon John Bercow MP’s invitation to schools through the UK to take part in the Speaker’s School Council Awards resulted in 700 entries.
QE’s project ‘Supporting QE’s wider community through charitable actions’ impressed the judges, including the Speaker, leading to the accolade of runner up in the 16-19 category.
To mark their achievement, North Dorset MP Bob Walter presented the school council with a specially engraved plaque, certificate and digital badge recognising they were finalists for the award.
School councils were asked to demonstrate how they had made a difference to relationships in school and with the wider community, the environment, democracy and engagement and learning and teaching.
The QE project evolved in July 2013 following the appointment of Alexandra Kristjansdottir as council chair and Joe McMullen as vice chair. The council aimed to engage more students in activites within QE, increasing the funds raised per student, enhance relations within the local comminty and demonstrate that young people within QE can act and achieve positive results.
The whole school chose the charities to be supported and funds were raised through non uniform day, cakes, raffles, a student led ‘Battle of the Bands’ and ‘QE has got talent’. There was also a staff quiz, clothing collection and sponsored static cycle ride.
The result was that the students and staff raised almost £9,500, around £3,000 more than the previous year. The money is going to Macmillan Caring Local at Christchurch, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Body Positive Dorset, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and Lewis Manning Trust.
Headteacher Martin McLeman said: “This was the first time the students had entered and I’m very proud of them and their terrific achievement.The succes is all down to them as there was very little staff involvement.”
Bob Walter MP said: “It’s fantastic to see schools engaging with the Speaker’s School Council Awards scheme.
“QE’s project to reinvigorate fund-raising efforts and to re-engage pupils and local charities in the process has made a real difference to the sum raised, whilst strengthening connections within and beyond the school community. I very much hope that their experience this year will encourage them, and others, to participate in 2015”.
Vice chair Joe McMullen said: “It has been wonderful seeing the impact that fund raising has on the individual charities. Students have also been able to visit the charities to see what is being achieved and what a difference the money makes.”