The children’s voices are central to setting the culture and standards at St Andrew’s.
Overseen by staff, pupil voice is heard through a number of channels: the School Council, our Charity and Eco Committees, as well as RIDE (Respect, Inclusion, Diversity, Equality) and Mind Your Heads, a group of senior pupils who look to promote wellbeing throughout the school.
Our School Councils
There are two School Councils; one for Pre-Prep (Years 1 – 2) and one for Prep (Years 3 – 8). Recent items on the agenda have included more mixed sport, the introduction of black bench coats and tri-suits on the uniform list, more Science equipment, additional library books for Pre-Prep, and more movement between lessons.
Our Food Committee
Our Charity Committee
Our Eco Committee
Our ‘RIDE’ Committee
The pupil Food Committee meets regularly to discuss the dining options at School. This can range from meal options to portion size, food miles or the variety of healthy snacks on offer. This is then passed on to the Head Chef for consideration. There is also a book in the Dining Room that children are encouraged to add their comments to, whether it’s good or bad.
Whilst a spirit of compassion is fostered throughout the School, encouraging support for local charities, relationships have continued with The Grace School in South Africa and St Peter’s in Uganda. In 2022, the Ukraine crisis became a priority for our children, seeing Year 7 children swimming over 1,800 lengths of our indoor pool, the equivalent of the English Channel, raising £2,000 for the British Red Cross to support its efforts in Ukraine.
Our Eco Committee was set up with three principles in mind: to reduce the school’s carbon footprint, spread the word about sustainability and be a good ambassador for our planet. A collaboration with The Woodland Trust saw the children and staff plant 400 trees on the site in 2021, whilst current initiatives include water bottles at match tea to reduce single-use plastics, a campaign against idling in the car park at pick-up and drop-off time, and pupil litter picking.
RIDE is a committee comprised of Year 8 pupils (currently 27-strong) who look to educate all pupils across the school on a range of issues such as: race, gender, equality, sexuality, disability, age and poverty. Other areas RIDE has highlighted include body image and neurodiversity.
The pupils themselves decide which specific area to focus on; one of its first initiatives saw former Commonwealth boxing champion, Stacey Copeland, address the whole school, concentrating on her own passion – gender equality.
At the start of each academic year, RIDE stages a “sleepout” where pupils sleep on cardboard boxes in their sleeping bags on the South Terrace in aid of Launchpad, its chosen charity for the homeless in Reading. In October 2023, RIDE raised £2,771 towards this vital cause.
Commonwealth champion Stacey Copeland