Empowering Our Student Leaders: Senior Prefects and Head Students Training Day

Empowering Our Student Leaders: Senior Prefects and Head Students Training Day
head students prefects

Author: Shao Loo K. and Alexa H. (Year 12)

Following a rejuvenating half term, our 24 elected Year 12 senior prefects and 4 Head Students embarked on a unique training day with the senior leadership team. This day was not just about completing team-building activities but reinforcing the Alice Smith belief that student leadership is the bedrock of our school community. It's a platform that allows us to expand on the skills we learn and develop in class, such as independence and teamwork. 

Our day began as we spent tutor time in the Steve Warry Centre chatting amongst ourselves before Mr Howard’s signature move of blasting music signalled the beginning of our training session. After we came together in our respective leadership groups (four to be specific), we were told to create a pitch sale that integrated a random object, word, colour and action. No doubt, our energy and excitement increased even more as we were given 15 minutes to plan and rehearse before performing our 60-second pitch. This was judged by a panel of 4 ‘judges’, which conveniently allowed us to get to know Mr Worland, our soon-to-be new Secondary Principal, in a colloquial manner. 


Speaking of which, period two was an inspiring discussion on motivation and consistency introduced by Mr Worland. He skillfully caught our attention in what’s usually considered ‘boring talk’ by integrating pop culture references like the Rolling Stones, the Leverkusen football team and, on a more niche scale, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Another way he encouraged team-building skills was by allowing us to discuss, brainstorm and write down ideas to help maintain our motivation throughout the academic year. He caught onto our critical thinking skills by prompting us to think outside the box; rather than simply saying, “We need to trust one another”, we had to dig deep and create a series of strategies that promised this outcome, such as creating a comfortable and friendly environment during meetings and giving constructive rather than destructive criticism.

Following break time, Ms Howard brought in her iconic buzzer to play “Dingbats” as a starter before completing an online quiz to find out the character traits we associate most with ourselves. By individually choosing our top five and eventually top one characteristic, we linked it to a particular interest that ranged from drama, maths, English, watching movies or simply… a passion for food. To tie it all together was a 90-second persuasive speech that needed to incorporate our very own creation of a school motto, the reason behind it and something new we wanted to introduce to the school; by letting our creativity roam freely, the ideas that were brainstormed was nothing short of extravaganza like building a zipline across the school campus and introducing a Chilli’s or Nando’s truck every Wednesday and Friday!

Then came the last workshop of the day: compassionate leadership, run by Mr Stockings and Ms Stewart-Williams. We delved deeper into the art of understanding, listening and supporting and how to apply these key skills in order to become a successful leader. Furthermore, we initiated our own expectations for ourselves as leaders, which we then wrote on our ‘Stone of Life’. Some of our rules included: always show up, listen before making assumptions, lead with kindness and always be honest with your team. Through this agenda, we hope to grow as successful, dedicated and empathetic leaders.  


After lunch, the prefects and Head Students in their respective teams began coordinating for the busy year ahead, scheduling events and meeting with lead-teachers to put plans into action. As house prefects, we met with Ms. Ciccarello and set our own goals, aiming to develop the house system throughout this academic year. One of our main objectives was to encourage younger years to be involved in leadership across all houses, pushing them to step out of their comfort zone and gain confidence in their leadership abilities. We also started preparations for house day, setting deadlines and targets for ourselves as a team to ensure we remain efficient and organised throughout the year.

Overall, the day was both educational and enjoyable as we got the chance to develop further our leadership skills and the first insight into our coveted new roles as senior prefects.

"I took away many ideas and skills that I hope to put into practice as a leader myself when leading my prefect team. As the school year goes by, I am excited to see how I evolve as a leader and the change I will bring to the Alice Smith community. As students, we are the ones who can have the largest impact on our community and together, we have the power to elicit a shift towards a better future. " ~ Alexa, Year 12

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