Leadership can be directly linked to Service Learning. Service Learning is a key component of our College’s strategic intent where we provide opportunities for students to serve and learn to develop an understanding of the responsibilities that come with being part of a local and global community. By doing so, we aim to raise the students’ awareness of the needs of others and develop their attitude of empathy and compassion to others. It is about serving others before themselves! In fact, it is wonderful to see many of our current Year 6 students involved in helping others, including assisting staff, simply because they want to make a difference. Strong leadership can be demonstrated through selfless actions and without the need of a title or the wearing of a badge. Consequently, we need to foster a leadership culture within all Year 6 students and provide them with both the support and opportunities to experience and develop their leadership skills and potential. In this way, students will hopefully recognise that leadership is an ongoing learning process and one which is developed through attitude, education and experience. The rationale for this type of leadership includes:
- Every student in Year 6 has the shared responsibility to lead the Primary student population
- Every student in Year 6 has the right to develop his or her own leadership qualities
- Leadership is based on service to others.
For these reasons, the Primary School Student Leadership model will be modified from next year to align with this philosophy. Opportunities for leadership will be available to all Year 6 students who are interested in exploring their leadership potential. A distributed leadership model will be introduced in which all interested students in Year 6 will experience a position of responsibility. This approach will provide authentic opportunities and training for the students to develop their leadership skills.
We will offer many Service roles for interested students where staff require assistance, such as Music, Sport, Learning Hub, Carnivals, Art, Open Day, Student Media and Lost Property to name just a few. These leadership groups and committees will be formed and students can self-nominate in one of the areas where they believe they can contribute and support. The teacher in charge of that area will work with the students to help them develop their leadership skills, to support fellow students and to benefit the wider school community. We believe such roles will enable the students to gain valuable leadership experience by growing in confidence, building teamwork, working collaboratively, solving problems, making decisions and thus becoming responsible citizens and positive role models. Therefore, from next year, we will actively promote the need for all interested students to demonstrate leadership by example and through service.
In the context of servant leadership, the following quote succinctly sums up the importance of the new Primary School leadership model in 2018:
“Student leadership is arguably the most beneficial extracurricular activity a person can perform while in school. Though there are no grades and zero credits to earn, the experience gained from a leadership role will be valuable for a lifetime. A school leader is thrown into a learning environment that encourages hands-on experience. Planning, decision making, communicating, and working as a teammate are all skills that you will build as a student leader. Trust me, you don’t build these portable leadership skills when studying for an exam or sitting in a lecture”. (Anonymous)