Year 5 students recently completed their Leadership Day – the last of four days tailored for specific Year groups as part of the College’s new Student Leadership Program. Run by Mark Clayden from 4 the Team, each day focuses on developing leadership skills that prepare students to take on leadership roles within the College at each year level.
4 the Team’s program focuses on a values-based leadership philosophy, similar to those used in elite sporting teams and corporate business to train leaders and managers. Mark believes that active engagement in real life experiences enhances student learning and increases motivation and drive, and that teenagers develop better leadership skills when actively engaged in leading a team. “I learnt working in a team requires one leader, but everyone deserves a chance to be a leader,” said Eva in Year 11. “Everyone needs to be valued and things are more efficient if you work together.”
Year 5 students spent last Monday exploring what ‘leadership’ means when working with a team, and how they can develop their personal leadership qualities. All Year 7 students also participated in a Leadership Day during Activities Week at the start of Term Two.
The Year 9 and Year 11 students had the opportunity to participate in a Leadership Day at the end of last term, focusing on pertinent skills such as assertive communication, effective teamwork, preparing event proposals and managing competing priorities. “There was a lot of laughter,” said Finlaey in Year 11, “along with lessons learnt about what it takes to be a true leader.”
The Student Leadership Program at St Mary MacKillop College was launched a year ago, based on a belief that the talents and skills of leadership can be developed and fostered, and that these opportunities should be made available to all students. The program also involves work with the current Student Council, including mentoring activities between Year 12 and Year 6 Leaders, and skills development in public speaking as well as in organizing and planning events - with a focus on projects and portfolios students are working on within their leadership roles.
Although still in its infancy, Student Leadership Coordinator, Miss Woodhall-Jones, says the program has enabled students to start developing real leadership from a young age. “I like that students can get involved in these opportunities at various points throughout their school life, fostering this idea that leaders are not born but created.” As the program develops, she can already see a number of confident and enthusiastic new leaders poised to step up and take on a dynamic role in the College.
“The leadership day was a refreshing break from our normal schedules, both an informative and entertaining day. My favourite memory of the day would be the many-legged caterpillar obstacle course...” Finlaey
“I enjoyed the hands on practical application of leadership. I loved that we were active and creative, essential qualities of a good leader. My favorite exercise was trying to get the ball from one side of the tarp to the other whilst we all held the tarp up and could not move our hands from their position.” Eva