Dame Allan’s pupils have brought about numerous positive changes to the Schools. Below you can read about some of the positive impacts over the past few years:
Whole School Council
Lobbied for more seating around the school, including adding seating in the quads, which was previously just grass as well as additional benches at the front of the Schools.
They expressed a desire for girls to have greater opportunities to play football. Football is now part of the Schools’ PE and Games curriculum for girls as well as boys with a club and multiple teams now flourishing.
They successfully brought about changes to the uniform with a trouser option being added for girls.
They asked for more co-curricular events that were “mixed”. The Schools agreed that this would strengthen the existing diamond structure of education and after over 300 years of separate sports days (DABS am / DAGS pm), the day became mixed in 2022.
They planted the seeds for one of the most significant improvements to the Schools in recent years, the creation of the Snug, after suggesting that a quiet space for reflection or to go when they were upset would be beneficial.
Junior School Smart Council
Requested more culturally diverse food at lunchtimes and worked with the School Bursar to get an outside tap to refill their water bottles. As a result, more culturally diverse meals have made their way onto the menu - such as duck pancakes for Chinese New Year - and a new tap is in the works.
They raised concerns about sustainability, with particular regards to energy use across the school, and wanted to improve the way the pupils look after the school toilets, Light Monitors are now in place to make sure classroom lights are turned off in any classroom not in use. They gave a presentation in assembly and created a poster campaign that has helped improve the way the toilets are looked after.
They’ve given detailed feedback on the introduction of OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) in the Junior School, from ideas for the play zones to feedback on its implementation all of which has been vital in the continued development of the new initiative.
Pupils in the Eco Panel discussed the environmental problems caused by parents and visitors driving to the Schools. As is a common issue for many schools, idling vehicles at drop off and pick up time can cause significant air pollution and impact the air quality around the Schools. They decided that impactful banners on the fencing in the problematic areas around the School would help bring awareness to the issue and reduce the amount of cars idling. Their designs are now on the fencing around the Schools and are having a great impact so far.
They have also been trying to make pupils and staff eat healthier and consider the environment by introducing the Schools’ first Meat Free Monday.
Individual pupil impacts
It isn’t just groups of pupils who have made changes at Dame Allan’s. This year we have seen the creation of a Karting Club which was started after a pupil expressed an interest in starting a group around the sport he loves. Another pupil has helped to raise awareness across the country about the struggles those with colour blindness can face in sport by featuring in a 20 minute documentary produced by the national FA.
The voice of our former pupils (Allanians) and our parents association (DASPA)
The voice of former pupils (Allanians) and parents is also important to continually improve the experience provided by the Schools.
In recent years our Parents Association (DASPA) have helped fund a variety of additional equipment and resources from kilns to pianos, reindeer visits to drama lights and many more items. These have all helped further improve the learning experience in areas that pupils have suggested there could be small improvements.
Our Allanian Society has also provided feedback on how the Schools could be improved by telling us of their memories of their time at Dame Allan’s and have offered both their time and financial support to help provide an even better experience than the one they had. A recent example of this would be the introduction of our new speaker series ’The Lectures’ which has been funded by Allanian Mark Dolder to help inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, business leaders, scientists and creative talent. He recognised how much his time at Dame Allan’s had contributed to his successful career and also how he could help build on that and further improve the experience to help current pupils learn about the careers they want to choose. This tied in closely with pupils’ desires to learn beyond the curriculum around specific subjects. You can read more about the creation of ‘The Lectures’ here.