Somerset Times

Preparing to Lead in 2018

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 4, Term Four, 2017

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Year 11 students work towards understanding their leadership style and the ways in which they can leave their legacy through servant leadership in 2018. Week 3 of Term Four traditionally focuses on preparing the Year 11 cohort for the leadership required of them as Year 12 students.

Through a variety of platforms, students engage in experiences that help expose them to a myriad of leaderships styles, both working on the individual leader and the collaborative “orchestral” leader.

Below, three of our Year 11 students reflect on moments of significance from the week.

Monday Morning (Amy Luke Paredi)

We began our Year 11 leadership day with two representatives from Peer Power talking to us about the importance of trusting each other instead of tolerating each other. They also highlighted the necessity of following a servant-leadership model as this style of leadership focuses on the growth and wellbeing of people and the communities to which they belong. A servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.

We then subdivided into our House groups to participate in a range of team building activities. One of the most memorable experiences was the construction of a house mascot, made out of aluminium foil. We then shared how these mascots represented our House with the rest of our cohort. With great pride, Veivers collectively designed an octopus to symbolise the 8 core values of our House.

These enjoyable team activities helped to strengthen the bond between House peers, thus building solid foundations for 2018.

Monday Afternoon and Evening (Rowan Bouw)

After a morning filled with rigorous activities we finally reached the last one for the day, the paper plane challenge. In this challenge our houses were required to split up into two groups, each group creating a design for a paper plane and the other half of the house had to recreate this plane using and A2 piece of paper. The challenge proved how an effective leader must also know how to give clear instructions to get effective results. After the challenge we were required to test the paper planes to see how far each would fly. Veivers was first, throwing the longest distance with one of the planes “The Kydra” only to be beaten by the final plane to be thrown by Andrews.

Later that evening we had our leadership dinner, filled with good food, good laughs and good speeches, each table was decorated by the houses with some very decorative themes. Andrews went Hollywood, Franklin were purple, Laver drew upon nature, Starkey embraced their inner Mexican and Veivers were resourceful in the creation of their balloon centrepiece.

Finally came the announcement everyone had been waiting for, the winner of the coveted McKenzie Shield. Awarded to the house scoring the most points for activities throughout the day, it was announced that Veivers had won the shield! To continue with the theme of the day, the whole house received the shield as a team, further demonstrating the way the day had unified us as a team.

Wednesday’s Seminar (Meghan Rooney)

On Wednesday morning, the Year 11 cohort separated into their House groups for more leadership activities. During this time, the house groups reflected on what each member took away from Monday’s leadership seminar. It was very interesting to see the way each individual perceived the numerous messages from the conference. In addition to this, we then discussed how leadership is not just a title, but a legacy that the cohort (with or without a “badge”) leaves behind. As a member of Starkey House, we discussed our plans for tightening the bonds between year levels, encouraging more participation in carnivals and breathing new life into Pastoral Care – accomplishing our motto “Unity is Strength”.

After some deliciously warm jam doughnuts, prepared by the Bird and Bush staff, the whole cohort returned to the Dining Room to listen to the leadership team of 2017 discuss the specifics on each leadership role. Although this demonstrated how each leadership role varied, it also indicated the importance of collaboration with other leaders, and most importantly, collaboration with the whole grade.

The leadership experiences over the past couple of days has been extremely beneficial, helping build more tight-knit relationships with our house groups and our cohort as we work towards constructing the leadership team of 2018.

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