King's Young Leaders Programme
The King’s Young Leaders Award, a pilot programme aimed at aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs, has been a great success.
The inaugural award, which ran from January to June this year, was an intensive
mentor-led programme of leadership study and application involving plenty of
stretch and challenge. Its purpose
was to allow candidates to demonstrate their leadership skills, unlock hidden
leadership traits and expose them to challenging leadership scenarios that
tested their effectiveness and influence.
By utilising opportunities provided by existing subject societies, houses and co-curricular groups, those who opted to join were encouraged to demonstrate leadership in different aspects of their school life.
Forty-two Lower Sixth pupils applied to join the programme and worked with their assigned mentors to set about organising their first leadership tasks. These included organising a primary school swimming gala, a whole school colour run and out of school activities. During these initial phases, the pupils met regularly with their mentors, and to progress further on the programme, they had to evidence specific instances of using initiative, demonstrating a tangible outcome for their chosen project.
During Activities Week this term, they undertook a short two-day course in leadership theory, that encompassed classroom work such as what makes an effective leader; leadership self-reflection; practical outdoor leadership; and problem-solving tasks. The pupils then followed a challenging two-day leadership exercise on Exmoor. After an initiative session in the sports hall and swimming pool, they were dropped off at random locations on the moor with only a set of coordinates to guide them to their next meal. All information during this phase was only given an hour ahead, so fluid thinking and improvisation were imperative.
As a capstone to the exercise on day two, they also had to entertain 50 pre-prep children at King’s Hall with little preparation time.
An impressive 38 pupils made it to the end and have been awarded their certificates.
Thanks go out to Will Mackenzie-Green and his team of mentors for making this inaugural year of leadership training such a success, and best wishes to Tim Jordan and Clare Lewis as they take on the challenge next year.
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