I attended an after-school meeting with Rosie and Ami, two older girls from the High School and Joe and Lynne. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the proposal for the new film for Channel 4. There were emails to answer from both Channel 4 and the company proposing to support the operation. Another member of staff who should have been there was absent, and the meeting seemed unfocussed, but at the end of it Ami wrote the two emails and Joe read them and approved.
During my first visit I had interviewed Cameron MacKenzie about the new School Council, of which he was the chair, and the secretary. The conversation shows their assurance and effectiveness.
Cameron: Pupil council started last year, and it really helps like school problems like playgrounds and toilets. In a wee while we're going to be focussing on the toilets, we're going to fix them up, paint them and maybe hang pictures. The classes put forward their ideas and we meet every second Wednesday at one o'clock. There's two members from Primary 4, two from primary 5, three from Primary 6 and three from Primary 7.
DG: Have you decided some things that have happened already? The toilets you are going to decide about, but have you decided on some things that have already happened?
Cameron: Well, we're focussing on the playground just now, because people from Caol in Bloom, that's like people with the community that are interesting and more exciting, they've come and helped us and we're going to plant flowers and things and games outside. We were going to put the games out today but it was a bit too windy.
DG: You've already bought the games?
Cameron: There's a few games that have already been bought but there's a lot more to come, so that'll be interesting.
DG: How many teachers are there at the school council?
Cameron: Well, there's usually Mrs. Smith, that's the Primary 7 teacher and Miss Cattanach, that's the head teacher, but sometimes one of them can't make it, but that's not a problem. Even if there's no teachers there we can fire on ahead. But it's pupil run and pupil based, and so . . .
DG: Can you actually decide things, rather than just saying "It would be nice to have some new equipment in the playground." Can you say "We will have some new equipment in the playground"?
Cameron: Last year it wasn't a very good success. We tried to do too many things at once. So there wasn't a lot being done. We kept saying we will do this, we will do that, but it never got done, but this year's been a lot better. We managed to do a lot of things.
DG: This is just the second year.
Cameron: Yeah. The second year.
DG: And as secretary, what do you have to do?
Sec: Just write down notes on the meeting, what people think, and type them up at the end of the meeting and photocopy them and put them round the school and things like that.
DG: Everybody in the school sees the minutes of the meetings?
Sec: Aye, most everyone. On the notice-boards when they're opened up. It depends if they look at it.
DG: Are those people interested?
Sec: Aye. Most people, I'd say. Most people have got really good ideas about how they want the playground to be.
Cameron: Some people just ignore it and don't take any heed of it. Their problem.
DG: Are there other things you've got plans for the future to talk about?
Cameron: As I said we're focussing on the playground, so the next one will definitely be the toilets. I'm not just saying definitely, I mean it.
DG: And after that anything, do you know?
Cameron: No, well, because it's near the end of the term.
DG: Could you tell me about the powerpoint presentation?
Sec: It's a presentation we've just been working on. It's one just telling the school what we're doing in the playground and the school to see so that we can publicise it a bit more.
Cameron: We're going to take it to the community centre just down the road there to view it there with a projector so that the parents and teachers can see more of what we're really going to be doing. So they can have their say and things like that.