13 November, 2020


I will become what I deserve

This week’s Year 4 Leadership Day at the Junior School opened with an inspirational session led by Tim Bristow – author, mentor, coach, sportsman, father, teacher, motivational speaker, role model and more!  Revolving around a theme of ‘ I will become what I deserve’ and with an infusion of ‘i words’ – imagination, inspiration, innovation, initiative and more – Mr Bristow wove a story intended to identify attributes of leadership which students can develop and will have opportunities to put into practice and expand on as Year 5 Campus Leaders in 2021.

Year 4 is the beginning of more formal leadership training and skill development at the College and this continues through to Year 12 with milestone years in Year 5 and Year 8 along with Year 12 itself. In saying this, the early foundations for leadership are really being laid through indoor and outdoor learning experiences from the time our youngest students (3 or 4-year-olds) commence at the College. This is an integral strand in the overall holistic view of learning and character development which is a hallmark of the College.

Identifying and learning leadership skills, then having many and varied opportunities to develop these skills through practical experiences in an innovative and supportive environment, are all part of the learner profile which enables students to move confidently from school into leadership roles both formal and informal in all walks of life.

Leadership is one of the key IDEALS of the Round Square organisation of over 200 schools globally and of which Scotch Oakburn is a member. The Round Square website offers a comprehensive vision for leadership development and this includes:

  • The spirit of Leadership recognises that successful leaders are driven by a desire to be of service to others and to nurture, guide, develop and help them to improve and succeed.
  • The Round Square ethos seeks to offer all students opportunities to explore leadership concepts, identify role-models and develop and rehearse a range of leadership skills in a supportive environment both inside and beyond the classroom.
  • Student-led initiatives and activities are key features in Round Square schools and from Year 5 onwards inter-school conference programmes are largely designed and managed by the students themselves.
  • Through defining and promoting a spirit of Leadership, Round Square schools empower students to actively engage in developing strategy, solving problems and leading teams, ultimately understanding their potential to be current and future leaders, and the responsibility that comes with that role.
  • A spirit of leadership is found in those whose convictions are rooted in personal responsibility, kindness and justice. It recognises that successful leaders are driven by a desire to be of service to others and to nurture, guide, develop and help them to improve and succeed.
  •  Self-belief and an ability to gather and process ideas, set direction, and create and share a vision that is exciting and dynamic inspires others to take action and to share ownership.
  •  The capacity to generate a sense of belonging in others leads to team members feeling valued for their contributions and taking pride in their efforts and achievements.
  • A person living out a spirit of leadership demonstrates personal literacy in understanding and employing both their own skills and abilities and those of their team to the greatest effect.
  • Self-confidence, determination, motivation, intuitive decision-making, persuasion and negotiation and creative problem solving are all in evidence as is the ability to spot opportunities and take calculated risks.
  • Self-awareness and emotional-literacy allow for confident tempering, analysis and expression of emotions both for the leader and those that they lead.

Along with the Year 4 Leadership Day this week, on Wednesday three of the current Year 5 Peer Leaders – Alex Musk, Elizabeth Moore and Charlie Palmer – helped lead the Junior School Remembrance Day Service and on the same day, a group of Year 5 Peer Leaders greeted and ushered in parents attending the Prep and Year 1 Sports Morning on the Elphin Campus. The current Year 5 House Captains were also actively involved in supporting and leading the Prep-Year 1 members of their House at this event.

These examples offer a small insight into some of the daily leadership experiences that every Year 5 student has been a part of in 2020.

Widespread research on the development of leadership in schools has demonstrated the spinoffs of leadership development in improved student academic and personal wellbeing outcomes. The investment in leadership growth for every student at Scotch Oakburn yields enormous rewards for all of us  – now and into the future.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School

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