In May, the College welcomed 57 newly elected student leaders from seven of our partner schools, as well as our very own Student Association, to the inaugural Young Leaders’ Development Day. The training was run in partnership with The Bravest Path which is a world-class leadership programme currently being delivered in some of the world’s most successful organisations.
The aim of the event was to equip young leaders from the College, Ash Manor, Calthorpe Park, Court Moor, Frogmore, Robert Mays, Rowhill and Wavell schools for the challenges and responsibilities of their new roles. In addition, it gave them the opportunity to network and begin to learn more about themselves and their local education community.
Gareth Davies of The Bravest Path commented, “The event focused on the areas we believe are critical to success; building confidence and courage, letting go of perfectionism and what others think, cultivating empathy and trust, values-based leadership, brave conversations and resilience”.
The day started with some self-reflection. The students said that 82% of them struggle with perfectionism and a fear of not being good enough in the eyes of others; 63% struggle with communication and feeling socially awkward with new people and 33% struggle with mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
Key attitudes and environments that delegates then identified would allow them to be their best selves were; honesty and open-mindedness, friendly/light-hearted, a non-judgemental space and to feel heard/listened to.
On completion of a day that was both challenging and enlightening, we received a number of fantastic comments from our delegates:
Lizzy Riley from Court Moor School said, “This day really provided me with a clear insight into what I can do to be both a better leader and person. Also, the opportunity to talk to people from other schools in a relaxed environment really boosted my confidence.”
Isabell Dunn from The Wavell School commented, “It was a great day that made me realise there is so much more to being a good leader than meets the eye.”
Rachel Gooding, first year student at the College said, “I have learned more about myself in one day than I have in 17 years!”
Gareth and Bethan Davies were delighted with the event and told us, “We typically deliver our programmes within corporations and the most common feedback we receive is, “I wish I’d had this when I was younger”. We presented this group of young leaders with the same content and were delighted to see them embrace the concepts wholeheartedly, applying these learnings personally and to their leadership roles. We believe building courage, emotional literacy, and resilience are key elements for a successful, fulfilled life and important development for all ages, regardless of role.”
Christine Eustace, Director of Community Engagement at the College, summarised the event as, “eye-opening and so pertinent both to the young people we support and those who teach them.”