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Grade 7 Leadership Programme

Our Grade 7 Leadership Programme fully reflects our ethos in that it recognises the giftedness of each individual. We work from the premise that every one of our young adolescents has the potential to be a leader and that there are many and various ways in which to lead. As a result, all our Grade 7 pupils are involved in our Leadership Development Programme and all our pupils are able to develop their individual leadership potential.

Our model remains: Leadership for Service.

We believe that at Grade 7 level our pupils are too young for adults to be able to fairly identify only a small number of pupils who receive all the recognition and who become the school’s Leaders. Concentrating on a select, elite group, denies the rest of the group the chance to be exposed to leadership opportunities. We believe that this causes division and arrogance within a group when only some children are given privileges, and this is against our ethos.

We have found over the years, that empowering all our Grade 7s instead of a select few, gives everyone a sense of belonging which strengthens the bond within the group, gives each one a sense of ownership of the wellbeing our the school community and has a positive impact on discipline.

Our Grade 7s attend an intensive 2-Day hands-on Leadership Development Programme at the start of each year. This prepares them for the Leadership Camp which takes place early in February and during which the pupils are given many opportunities to discuss their collective objectives for the year. They also jointly work on their Grade 7 Song which is performed for the whole school on their return and which is sung at all our functions throughout the year.

At the outset, the class teachers divide the pupils into heterogeneous groups which become the home-groups for the year. The Religious Education Programme for the year is driven by our school’s motto; Veritas – Truth and the Gospel values of Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness. We also interrrogate all aspects of justice: Social, Eco and Restorative Justice. The RE Programme is geared to enable pupils to explore issues within their home-groups and to identify solutions when behaviour in any way impacts on the harmony of the group.

A Leadership Badge Workshop is run every term. The material is based on global leadership trends and most specifically, values-driven trends that expose our pupils to ways of leading which are life-enhancing and inclusive.

The assessment of the acquisition of the skills which have been identified is criterion-driven and pupils are able to assess themselves and may meet with the HOD to discuss reasons for not achieving a badge. The teachers also actively assist pupils in acquiring the points they need in order to qualify for badges. There are 3 badges: Blue, Silver and Gold, and our pupils can track themselves and we work very hard at encouraging and assisting all Grade 7s to attain their Gold badges.

The Kate Jenkins Badge is awarded on the last day of term to those Grade 7 pupils who have sustained their level of service and commitment throughout the year and who, in the opinion of their teachers, continually went the extra mile and who at all times lived out our key focus concept: “Be Kind.” There is no limit to the number of pupils who may attain this badge annually.

The opportunity to acquire leadership skills and to tap into their leadership potential is a gift which should be freely given to all members of our leaving group. This enables them to explore relationships and to accept the responsibility implicit in being a leader – skills imperative for High School and for life. As our model is: Leadership for Service, our pupils gain first-hand understanding of the importance of underpinning any form of leadership role with compassion for those whom they have the privilege to lead.

As St Dominic before us, we strive to have:

Passion for Truth

And compassion for People.

Madeleen Gorst-Allman


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