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Students leading the way

Across Haileybury’s campuses and various year levels, and different subjects and areas of interest, students are stepping up and taking the lead.

Along the way they make a difference to their school and the broader community, support and encourage their peers, build their confidence and leadership skills and make Haileybury an even better place to be.

From sports to social justice

In the Junior School, leadership opportunities start in Year 4 with students chosen as flag bearers, House Captains, Social Justice Captain, Environment Captain, Arts Captain, Sports Captain and Library Captain.

“Year 4 student leaders can lead sports and arts events, social justice initiatives and deliver speeches at our fortnightly assemblies,” says Jacqueline Gough, Head of Junior School at City Campus.

“Some roles encourage students to leverage their skills and passions while others are about collaboration and engagement, and building a sense of collective achievement”

Tom (Year 4) is Semester 1 Social Justice Captain in the Junior School at Haileybury’s City Campus — a position he is proud to hold.

“I enjoy helping to change the Junior School for the better and helping others to be better people. I’ve learned that anyone can be a leader if they try their hardest and have the right mindset. If you set your mind to a goal, you can achieve it,” Tom says.

He says the secret to being a good school leader is ‘trying your best’.

“You must try your best, even when things become hard. You must persevere because your actions can help others when you’re a leader,” Tom says.

Role models and responsibility

With leadership opportunities offered during the last year of Junior School, the recognition and structure ease the step up to Middle School, too, where there are more than 200 student leadership roles available. These include Sustainability and Environmental Captains, LEAP and STEM Captains and House Captains.

“Encouraging leadership is crucial because it offers students the opportunity to become role models. It enhances their communication abilities, cultivates a sense of responsibility and showcases initiative,” says Jacqueline.

“We see great growth in our young leaders. They receive plenty of encouragement from their peers. Families and older siblings will often offer guidance, too, and staff at school provide plenty of hands-on support. Through their leadership experiences, students become capable and confident and are ready to make a positive contribution in, and beyond, the classroom.”

The senior years

At Senior School, student leadership remains an important feature of daily life. Students volunteer to join the Student Representative Council or become a Prefect, School Vice-Captain or School Captain.

“By the time students enter Year 12, regardless of whether they are voted into a position or not, they are still considered to be leaders of the school,” says Eamonn Johnson, Head of Student Leadership and SRC.

Students interested in STEM and LEAP can become captains in those areas and there are also positions for students who are passionate about Visual Arts, Debating and Library. Budding historians can preserve Haileybury’s long history as Heritage and Archives Captains.

Pipes & Drums and Duke of Edinburgh

“We also can’t forget our students who are leaders in the Pipes & Drums and Duke of Edinburgh program. The Pipes & Drums Captains have been dedicated to their craft for a number of years and are well respected by their peers. The Duke of Edinburgh Captains are also solid all-rounders, respected by other students,” says Eamonn.

“Students only spend a handful of years within the school’s walls and then they head out into the world. We know that leadership skills make you more employable but good leaders are important from a more socially conscious perspective, too.

“A smart group with a strong collective vision, guided by a practiced and empathetic leader, will move from strength to strength. Schools serve as a microcosm for the bigger world, so why not build those leadership skills now?”

By the time Haileybury’s student leaders graduate, they are ambitious to keep improving themselves and the community they are part of, and they understand what it takes to initiate positive change in the world.