PUPILS at a primary school in Prestonpans are setting out to engage with their community through the town’s community council.

St Gabriel’s RC Primary School sent P7 representatives Olivia Lees, Ciaran Kelly, Fraser Graham, and Daniel McCabe, all 11, to speak to Prestonpans Community Council about their work and the potential involvement of much younger participants.

The school was recently successful in achieving its UNICEF Rights Respecting School gold award, which means that it had proved that it incorporates the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into the school through both teaching and actions.

It now aims to take this further and bring this ethos into the surrounding community.

The children were given the chance of addressing the meeting, which included ward councillors Fiona O’Donnell and Neil Gilbert, to ask questions and discuss the best ways to engage young people with what is going on in the community and to ensure their input is noted.

The children asked about the plans for the site of the former Cockenzie Power Station and whether more activities for young people such as Rainbows and Scouts could be introduced to the area

When addressing the councillors and community councillors, Daniel, a house captain from St Gabriel’s, said: “It’s important for us at this stage to know what our future is going to hold, and to try and make a difference when and where we can.

“To be involved in the community council in some way would be fantastic, as it would give us comfort to know that the community is being taken care of, as well as what decisions were being made that might affect us.”

It was decided that the community council would send the agenda for each meeting to the school a few days before the meeting took place so that the children could see it and comment on any issues being raised.

The community council said in a statement: “We would like to thank the four fantastic pupils from St Gabriel’s Primary School who attended the community council.

“It was so refreshing to have such polite and knowledgeable young people along to one of our meetings to share their opinions and views on our agenda topics and ask the questions they feel most relevant to their lives.

“We look forward to welcoming them along to future meetings and collaborating with them on the issues that affect all of us living in Prestonpans.”