Somerset Times

Year 8 yLead Leadership Day

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 9, Term Three, 2017

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At first, many had the impression that yLead was just going to give us a talk about leadership skills. However, the yLead experience was so much more.

We started the day off with fun partner activities. This forced some people to come out of their shell and interact with someone they usually wouldn't. Afterwards, we learnt an interpretive dance to the wonderful Ain't No Mountain High Enough, one we will never forget. In-between activities, yLead took the opportunity to share the stories of inspiring people who used initiative or took action against an issue. During the talks we also learned tips on how to be a successful leader.

After recess, the grade split into two groups and we enjoyed many activities (that were very competitive). One game was about creating freeze frames that had to match an image or setting. The other game was about finding out the fastest time a tennis ball can pass through a group of people (we measured 0.48 seconds - yes, it is possible). These games brought out our teamwork, collaboration, and thinking skills. 

We remained in our two groups after lunch. First, I experienced an activity that slightly resembled a debate. In the beginning, we were given a red card and a green card. We were then given a statement where we had to choose whether we agreed or disagreed using our cards. This activity allowed for us to be open-minded with other's opinions as our views can change (it also allowed us to be a little bit competitive). 

The next activity, involved the classic game of Jenga, firstly playing 'Jenga chaos'. This is where we had to be as chaotic as possible when another player was taking their turn. The second variation of Jenga we played, we had to work as a team. The goal was to add as many blocks to the top of the tower as possible before it fell. Even though we were not screaming at each other this time, this game may have been one of the most stressful (but still fun) experience that I have ever been through. At the end we reflected on how our environment can affect our overall performance, as we performed better as a team in a controlled space, rather than a chaotic one.

Both groups came together towards the end of the day, for a final talk. YLead recapped the tips on being a leader as well as one more partner activity involving giants, wizards and elves. Lastly, we ended the day with dancing to, Ain't No Mountain High Enough, once again, with our amazing interpretive choreography.

YLead was such a fun experience. The kind and brilliant people at yLead were able to teach us many leadership skills through talks and activities that were valuable but still fun and enjoyable to learn. Overall, everyone had a great time.

Leigh Amores

On Thursday of Week 8, all Year 8 students undertook a program called YLead. Throughout the day, we listened to many interesting talks and completed numerous activities aimed to motivate students to be active leaders throughout all aspects of schooling.

In my opinion, this program was an amazing experience and enabled us to gain many skills. For example, we were to work in groups and perform a multitude of team-based activities. This included a large game of Jenga, which we were first working against our teammates with a goal to not be the person who knocked over the tower.

We then co-operated with our group and discovered how much easier it was working with people rather than against. This is only one example of the many skill sets we practised.

We listened to many talks where we learned how each individual can make a positive difference in the world and Bel and Amy discussed many successful people who have made significant changes. We also discussed how we could use our personal strengths to make a positive difference and change our world for the better. Overall, this day was very inspiring and worthwhile for all Year 8 students.

Alissa McKenna

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