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“Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and most importantly a way of communicating’
Simon Sinek

This week I was fortunate enough to attend the Senior School Leadership Assembly, after just last week holding the Junior School Leadership Assembly. These assemblies are important symbolic events in our school calendar that highlight the value and importance we place on providing opportunities for students across the whole school to learn about, develop and put into practice leadership skills, in the many forms they come.

As I listened throughout the Senior School Assembly, I could clearly hear the alignment across the sub-schools in our values, purpose and shared understanding of what leadership should look like and why it is so essential for our students. At the heart of this, is that leadership at school is far more than a badge or a title, but a vehicle that allows all students the opportunity to give service and connect to our community, to develop student voice and agency, model school values and build character.

Most importantly, it encourages students to:
• Understand themselves as learners and as actively engaged citizens
• Appreciate their abilities, the abilities of others, and work collaboratively
• Demonstrate empathy and consideration of other people’s thoughts and feelings
• Act on needs within their community
• Have the courage to make good choices
• Persevere in the face of difficulties
• Understand that taking the initiative can involve risk-taking and criticism

An emphasis and valuing of authentic student leadership, with a focus on student-agency and service, further supports the development of character, citizenship, collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking – skills we know are essential to the success of students well beyond school.

In the words of John C. Maxwell, ‘A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way’ . I look forward to watching our students as they find ways they can put this into practice in our school community and beyond.

Catherine Samuel

Catherine Samuel is Head of Junior School at The Knox School

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