Home' Independence : Independence Vol 35 No 1 May 2010 Contents 18 Independence Vol 35 No 1 May 10
Each committee has to come up with
three goals submitted as a one-pager,
outlining how each will be achieved and
how success will be measured. These are
revisited during the year. The committees
are encouraged to build on the legacy
left by the previous year’s leaders. Each
teacher mentor allows as much freedom
as possible. If an activity fails, the mentor
debriefs the committee and they work out
how to do better next time.
Some of the projects include running
socials, arranging themed dinners
for boarders, leading chapel services,
speaking in assembly, fundraising for
worthy causes (in 2009 the students
raised $47,000), an academic festival
and intra- as well as inter-house
competitions and social events.
The student leaders are not obliged to pull
girls up for uniform infringements, nor are
they required to report misdemeanours.
Although invited to offer advice to errant
or troubled girls in a coaching role, they
retain the right to decide whether to
report wrong doing or not. Quite a few
‘hypothetical’ conversations with the
Head or a mentor take place as a result!
In short, the leaders are instructed to
leave the school an even better place
than they found it and are then given
space to work out how to do that. They
can apply for up to $2,000 from the
Parents and Friends’ Association as seed
funding, or to meet a need they have
identified. The Captains also organise
the annual Rankin leaders’ dinner, to
which Principals and leaders of all 14
other Toowoomba secondary schools are
invited. They are deliberately given only
minimal guidance as to how to do this.
On the first day of each year, all the Year
12s are formally inducted as seniors
by the Head. For some, this day marks
a significant turning point in attitude.
We have found that our young people,
contrary to media stereotyping, do want
to have a positive impact on their world.
As younger students they trust and
admire the seniors and can’t wait to take
their turn, just bursting as they are with
ideas and plans! By taking an inclusive
approach, we have found increased levels
of Year 12 support for their leaders,
who work hard to be role models to the
younger girls in the manner of caring ‘big
sisters’. We have seen steady growth in
school spirit and pride, less bullying and
exclusion and a more relaxed and friendly
atmosphere within the school.
For the younger students, there are
opportunities to lead middle years
assemblies in Year 9, and to take their
turn in keeping their year-level locker
rooms clean in Years 7 to 12. The Year
6 girls, who lead the junior years, also
undergo training at the beginning of
the year and are all given an area of
responsibility during their year in office.
At a recent inter-school swimming
carnival, a Year 7 girl was overheard
telling the friend who had congratulated
her on winning a race: ‘I wanted to win,
but most of all I wanted Glennie to win’.
Both of those girls embody the true
Glennie spirit of selfless leadership.
Mrs Wendy Ashley-Cooper
Head of School, The Glennie School
St Catherine’s School,
St Catherine’s School is a day and
boarding school for girls with 700
students from ELC to Year 12,
including 50 boarders. Principal:
Mrs Sylvia Walton AO.
The many formal and informal
opportunities for student leadership at St
Catherine’s School culminate in the Senior
School years, when students can choose
to develop their skills by studying for
their Leadership Diploma, a qualification
unique to St Catherine’s.
State Member of Parliament (Toowoomba North) The Hon. Mr Kerry Shine lends his support to
the Glennie Interact Committee for their Clean Up Australia Day community project. Students
were responsible for planning the project, including the invitation to Mr Shine.
In short, the leaders are instructed to leave the
school an even better place than they found it and
are then given space to work out how to do that.
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