Why it is important?
How do you become a leader?
Everyone in our community is a leader, you do not need a badge to be a leader.
As a school we do allocate a role and responsibilities to some of our students who want to step up in their leadership.
Year 5 and 6 students have the option to prepare a speech and present it to their peers. Peers and adults then vote, and some positions such as School and Vice Captains require students to have an interview with the Principal. The process of writing and giving a speech or having a formal interview with the Principal provides students the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and challenge themselves.
This year our group is 20 students - 12 year six students and 8 year five students. One of the best things about the student leadership group is the diversity within the group. There are so many different personalities, and students learn to work together regardless of their differences.
What do the student leaders do at their meetings?
You probably know some of the things student leaders do such as announcements, giving school tours, marching behind VETS on ANZAC day and running assemblies. But what else do they do?
The first thing the group does is come up with a motto for their leadership role. This can be tricky with 20 students all having amazing ideas but they do end up coming to an agreement. This year’s motto is - Leadership is an action, not a position.
Students also share their personal goals. An example of a student’s personal goal might be: To be more motivated and productive in class so that I am a better role model for my classmates.
Students come up with ideas for fundraisers to be had throughout the year. These need to be approved by school council so this happens early in the school year. Students choose charities that they connect with or connect with our community. For example, last year’s Aria’s Fight and this year’s Autism Awareness.
Students also provide peer feedback. They are tasked with noticing each other in class and in the yard. They share positive feedback about each other with the group during meetings, for example, Every time I see student in the yard they smile and say hello or Student showed confidence by giving an award in team building, they all applaud. Our student leaders share constructive feedback about each other too, for example Student talks a lot in class when they should be listening to the teacher or In the yard student was being bossy during downball. By doing this the students learn a skill that many adults struggle with, hearing and accepting feedback that is not always positive. Tears have been shed, apologies and vows to do better made and importantly personal growth is made in those moments.
What is our Student Voice Process?
Student leaders collect ideas from students across the school. We meet and discuss every single idea given. Feedback is given back to students who suggest ideas that are not realistic, for example, “We should have a pet elephant” and reason is given as to WHY we cannot make that happen, for example, “we can’t have an elephant because that would not be safe for us or the elephant.” Realistic suggestions are taken to a meeting with the Principal where Mrs Kirkright approves ideas that can be achieved. Student leaders then begin implementing ideas that have been approved, for example, a student suggested more halal food be available at the canteen, so the student leaders emailed the canteen ladies with this request.
Student leaders also attend the school council meetings, which happen monthly and give a speech with a rundown of all they have achieved at the student leader meetings for the past month. This requires a commitment to come back to school at 6pm and confidence to speak in front of a room of adults they may not know.
Our student leaders are amazing and we are always so proud of them.
They have taken on a journey that they will learn a lot from.