Every child has the potential to be a leader and we believe it is never too early to start teaching leadership skills. From building self-esteem to learning to communicate clearly and listen, our Line Leader to Troop Leader programme gives children important life skills.
It may surprise parents to know that we start building leadership skills as soon as children start in Reception. These children have the opportunity to become a line leader for their class, and their daily job is to get the class to line up well after play times. At this young age, children learn by example and Caroline Oglethorpe, Head of Pre-Prep, is always present modelling good practice and demonstrating how to get the job done in a kind and calm way.
As children progress up through the school, the number of leadership positions increase, allowing as many children as possible to gain valuable experience as they step up to the responsibility. In Years R to Year 2, it is possible to be on the eco council and to be a ‘playground pal’. Children in Year 2 can join the cross-school kindness committee. From Year 3, it is possible to be a patrol rep, a form captain, deputy form captain, classroom monitor, take a position on the school council, kindness committee and the boarders’ council. Each position gives our young leaders the chance to practice nine leadership skills.
- Understanding the needs and characteristics of the task
- Knowing and using the resources of the group you are leading
- Communicating: Getting and giving information
- Planning: considering objectives
- Controlling group performance
- Setting the example
- Sharing leadership (effective delegation)
- Learning to be led
As a child takes on a new position they are given support and a good understanding of what it involves. There are job descriptions which create clarity. We give them feedback where possible to reinforce the good and move away from strategies that aren’t effective.
Each term, children have specific sessions on leadership and the skills involved to help boost confidence and empower them to tackle the leadership roles.
At the end of year 7, there is a selection process for Troop Leader: the top position held by any boy or girl in the school. We ask over 37 different members of staff for confidential, blind feedback on the nominees. These are not just form tutors and teachers but come from all over the school such as the kitchens, matrons and front office. This means that any child can be recognised for the part they play in our community and ensures that pupils who are honest, respectful and have strong moral principles shine through.
We run a leadership day which feeds into the decision making process. This day of corporate-style leadership activities benefits all participants and is great fun.
Leadership is an important strand of our sector-leading wellbeing programme, Learning4Life.
We look forward to working with tomorrow’s leaders.