Pupils at Greenfield Junior School Challenge Parish Council Chairman

As part of their Global Curriculum, Greenfield Year 3 pupils have been exploring the theme of Power and Governance. So, they invited Parish Council Chairman Chris Farrance to come and share with them what the Parish Council does.

Introduced with a rousing song ‘Be the change’, the 45 minutes session questions ranged from ‘Do you make mistakes’ (Ahem yes!), what one thing would you change (close the A30), why are trees shown on the badge of office (the history of the Mildmay Oaks) and why are the houses being built at Shapley Heath (people should have a right to their own houses but not necessarily there).

The pupils were particularly interested in the idea of a Youth Council to give a voice for the young people and a forum for sharing ideas and opinions to make HW the best place to live. This could not they said just be left to the adults. For example:

‘The UN Convention on the Rights of a Child says ‘Children have the right to say what they think should happen when adults are making decisions that affect them, and to have their opinions taken into account’.

‘We are the future of Hartley Wintney and we really care about the future of where we live’.

‘It is for this reason, the children of Green Oaks would like to be a part of a Youth Council for Hartley Wintney’.

On the subject of a Youth Council, a number of children shared with Cllr Farrance why they  felt they would be a good member of the Youth Council: For example, because:

‘I am hardworking. I show I am hardworking by never giving up on my learning. I always try my best.’

‘I am open minded. I show that I am open minded by being compassionate about sharing my thoughts and ideas.’

‘I am reliable – I always listen help people when they are hurt.’

‘I’m open minded and kind. I show that I am open minded and kind by listening to opinions.’

Holly Barry Year 3 teacher said:  “A huge thank you to Councillor Farrance for his time and enthusiasm. The children loved learning more about the Parish Council and will relish an opportunity to work within the youth council. It is so important for the children to feel their voice is heard in the community and this has already created a buzz of excitement within our classes. We look forward to building a strong connection with the Parish Council in the future and thank them for all their hard work.”

Cllr Farrance said: It was a privilege to have the opportunity to experience at first hand the energy, enthusiasm and interest of these pupils. Future conversations are being planned to maintain the engagement of these civic minded young people.