As our young people develop and grow they do so within an increasingly competitive world; a world where for many of our students excellent leadership skills will be a real asset. In an effort to better prepare Lanna students to meet future life challenges we are offering them many ways to develop and demonstrate these skills.
For the last seven years we have offered the wonderful Duke of Edinburgh International Award to students of fourteen years and older. This is a very popular option, with over half of this year’s Year 10 students putting themselves forward to begin working towards the first level, Bronze Award, and, excitingly, with several of our senior students on track for gaining the prestigious Gold Award.
The International Award provides self-motivated young people with a qualification that can really help set them apart, but perhaps, more importantly, it is designed to be a personal challenge and not a contest against others. Self-motivation and sustained commitment are rewarded through the International Award – admirable qualities that make this such a worthwhile, and for some, a life-changing, experience. There is no such thing as failure in the International Award – just taking part is a win, with new skills and new experiences available to all. For 2019 we have invested in providing two new certified leadership courses for our students. This year all Y11 students will spend some of this year’s activity time working towards a “Level 2” qualification in Leadership Skills, from the UK. This is a ground-breaking GCSE equivalent qualification from SLQ, the UK’s number one organisation for youth leadership Qualifications & Awards. It incorporates both the important underlying theory behind good leadership, “learning to lead”, and also, importantly, the practical application of these skills.
For our Y12/13 students we are also offering a new leadership opportunity. In this case, an A Level equivalent, “Level 3” course in Sports Leadership. This is also certified by SLQ and is designed to use sport and physical activity to help young people develop and hone their leadership skills whilst helping themselves and others stay physically active.
Our students have great things to say about these new “additional” qualifications and it is exciting to see our students thriving as they dive into the new opportunities on offer. We are looking forward to seeing many more of these young leaders developing the confidence to take on important roles in our school, whether through our wonderfully active Student Council, through leading experiences they set up for younger students, or through the many opportunities there will be as the older students showcase their talents – taking on major roles at our upcoming Secondary Camp in January.
Empowered young leaders rate highly for confidence, motivation and organisation – developing and embedding these traits can’t be a bad thing!
Mr Kevin Pugh