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Learner Leadership

Wootton Park School is committed to providing all learners with the opportunity to develop leadership skills, in order to equip them with the skills necessary to take on leadership roles both now and in the future.  

We are proud to be ambitious for our learners and boast a holistic educational experience that empowers our learners to become responsible, active citizens, lifelong learners and well-rounded individuals.

What is leadership?

A leader is often thought to be the person or people in charge of a group that make all the important decisions, but if you look deeper into the meaning you can see people at all levels demonstrating key leadership behaviours.

It is vital to support everyone to recognise their leadership talents, and encourage them to experience more. This can be done through formal leadership roles or through more informal opportunities to explore leadership. It is important to create a culture whereby everyone feels they can contribute and put their opinions across.

 

Wootton Park School is committed to provide the following:

  • Strong positive role models to inspire learners. Learners that are inspired and excited are likely to be more motivated and want to work hard to achieve a goal.
  • Model a positive leadership culture through the staff and leadership team.
  •  Formal and informal opportunities to experience and develop leadership.
  • Opportunities that encourage teamwork and teach learners to work collaboratively with others.
  •  Challenge learners to solve problems creatively and give them the skills needed to break tasks down into manageable chunks so they feel confident to take on touch challenges.
  • The chance to take on responsibility and experience the consequences of making a decision. Having the feeling that you have the power to make a difference can be empowering and promote self-motivation. Motivated learners are likely to have increased drive to work hard to achieve a goal and will be more determined and resilient to cope with setbacks.
  • Teach learners to see things from another’s point of view, communicate effectively and put their viewpoint across. Good communication is a key component of being an effective leader. Listening to others and responding in a calm and respectful way is an essential life skill.
  • Encourage learners to pursue things that interest them. Being passionate about something can make someone feel comfortable enough to feel able to take on a leadership role.
  • Provide an environment where learners feel able to speak up, with the knowledge that their opinions will be heard and valued. School staff as a whole must partner with learners by listening to them and taking account of their thoughts. Promote a positive ‘moan-free’ culture that encourages everyone to not only raise issues, but also encourages them to be involved in coming up with suggestions for actions and possible solutions.

Formal Leadership Groups

Head Boy/Head Girl (and deputies

The head boy and head girl are lead ambassadors for Wootton Park School, both internally and externally. They are expected to act as outstanding role models for all learners and work alongside staff to help make Wootton Park School the best it can possibly be. They support the Principal and wider staff team in promoting and representing the school.

The head boy and head girl, their deputies, and the prefect team form the Wootton Park School ‘Senior Learner Leadership Team’. Head boy and head girl are responsible for managing the team, ensuring all duties are carried out correctly and ensuring they are positive role models for all other learners in the school. They take overall responsibility for representing the ‘Leaner Voice’. They support and oversee all leaner leadership groups that run within the school. Head boy and head girl meet with their deputies and the prefects regularly and delegate duties when necessary.

The head boy and head girl are often required to represent the school at events, meetings and public functions, both at Wootton Park School and in the wider community. Responsibilities may include speaking on behalf of the student body, doing speeches to prospective parents/learners, meeting with visitors to the school, or supporting with whole school events.

Prefects

Prefects are in the ‘Senior Learner Leadership Team’ with the head boy, head girl, deputy head boy and deputy head girl. This team are the highest representatives of the learner body and take overall responsibility for ensuring every learner has the opportunity to have their voice heard. They work with the Principal, staff, learners and wider school community to help contribute to whole school improvement.

Prefects are chosen yearly through a rigorous application process open to the oldest learners in the school. There is a written application followed by a formal interview.

Prefects, as well a sitting on the Senior Learner Leadership Team, have a range of responsibilities and duties. These range from helping with line-ups, supporting lunchtime staff and helping to enforce positive behaviour around the school. They have the power to record and report to teacher’s any misbehaviour witnessed and will need to be seen as positive role models themselves in their everyday interactions at Wootton Park School.

On top of regular duties, prefects are expected to undertake an initiative of their own choice. This could be helping to run a club, supporting the primary learners, joining another learner leadership team or anything else that would benefit the school. Each learner leadership group within the school is allocated a prefect who will support that group and feedback to the senior learner leadership team.

Learner Ambassadors

Learner ambassadors are a selected group of secondary learners that support with events. Their main role is to act as good publicists for the school and take visitors and prospective parents/learners on tours of the school.

House Captains

Each learner within Wootton Park School is allocated to a house: Red, Silver, Blue or Gold. Each house has a House Captain who is responsible for the following:

  • Supporting all learners within that house (pastoral support).
  • Encouraging teamwork within the house.
  •  Promoting healthy competition between the four houses (i.e. through inter-house sports competitions, house points and the house trophy).
  • Organising a variety of fundraising events for their chosen charity.

Community Leaders and Ambassadors

Our community leaders and ambassadors are learners who are passionate about the wider community outside of Wootton Park School. They work with local community groups on a variety of projects and initiatives that aim to make the local community a safer and more positive place. The community leaders are in year 9 and above and take the lead on any community projects. The community ambassadors are generally younger learners who are keen to get involved and support the Community Leaders. They give up a lot of their free time to volunteer with local projects, as well as encouraging other learners within Wootton Park School to get involved.

Lead Learners

Lead learners support the teacher with learning in the classroom. They have the responsibility to run starter activities and work with small groups and individuals to support learning. They provide feedback and represent the learner voice in relation to teaching and learning. Lead learners often help at open events within specific departments.

Eco Leaders

Wootton Park School is passionate about the environment and we understand the importance of sustainable schools and the crucial role they have to play in preparing young people for a future that will be very different from today.

The eco leaders help raise awareness about sustainability issues and encourage environmentally responsible behaviours through a range of activities, events and information.

Learner Council

The learner council is made up of a group of learners from all year groups within the school. It is the main forum for student voice on general issues relevant to learners. The main objective is to give learners the opportunity to input their thoughts and possibly influence decisions within the school, to ultimately benefit the school and its learners.  

The group meet once a term to discuss whole school improvements relating to a variety of aspects of their school life. What our learners say is extremely important to us and we promise to listen to their views. The learner council gives learners the opportunity to engage in democracy and leadership, as well as developing communication, planning and organisational skills.

The introduction of the ‘Smart School Council’ has been revolutionary. It ensures that all learners in Wootton Park School have the opportunity to have their voice heard, not just the small group of learners in the council. The learner council have the ability to use the ‘Class Meeting’ tool to explore a variety of topics to support them in gathering the views of learners across the school. Class meetings are short, pupil-led meetings that take place during tutor time. The results go into a dashboard, which the learner council then share with the whole school.

Sport Leaders

The sport leaders are a group of learners that are passionate about sport and are keen to lead activities for others. They receive a variety training, both sport specific and general leadership training to enable them to assist in leading purposeful and enjoyable sport/physical activity. Over the course of the year, the sport leaders help run sport festivals, competitions, sports days and enrichment clubs within the school and for local organisations, e.g. Northamptonshire Sport.

Anti-bullying Ambassadors

The anti-bullying ambassadors work together to prevent bullying from becoming an issue at Wootton Park School through proactive work and raising awareness. They meet regularly with the Wellbeing Coach to discuss any possible concerns and organise a variety of events and activities to promote a positive and caring environment.

Some examples of the work the anti-bullying ambassadors do:

·        Celebrate World Peace Day by wearing white.

·        Raise money for Give Racism the Red Card by wearing read and paying £1.

·        Anti-bullying display in the main corridor.

·        Anti-bullying poster competition.

·        Themed activities each month.

Primary Helpers

Secondary learners applied through a written application to become a primary helper. They give up their free time at lunchtimes to help in EYFS, year 1 and year 2 classes. They interact with the primary learners and support the class teachers where directed.

Primary Leaders

Each year our older primary learners are given the opportunity to become a primary leader. The role of the primary leaders is to help ensure all learners enjoy happy, active and productive playtimes. Each primary leader receives training to help them develop their leadership skills and provide them with lots of activity ideas for them to lead for the younger learners.

Duke of Edinburgh Programme

Learners who are interested in a recognised leadership and skills course can join the Duke of Edinburgh programme. This requires learners to demonstrate self-discipline, commitment and teamwork. Achieving an award will give learners the skills, confidence and view on life that is highly sought after by employers, colleges and universities.

At Wootton Park School, there are countless opportunities for learners to practice and develop their leadership skills on a day-to-day basis. Some examples of these informal leadership opportunities are shown below.

Informal Leadership Opportunities

Paired Reading

All learners in the school are involved in paired reading once a week. The secondary learners listen and support the primary learners with their reading.

Learner Panel for Staff Interviews

Learners are selected to support with staff interviews. They form a learner interview panel which is incorporated into most staff applications. The learners are given some questions to ask each candidate and then provide their feedback on each one.

Learner Leadership Awards Evening

At the end of each academic year, we hold a Leadership Awards evening as a celebration of leadership across the school. There are a variety of awards presented to learners from a variety of subject areas.

By learners for learners....

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