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Student leadership

"The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails." --- John Maxwell
 
The Morayfield State High School 'Student Leadership Development Program' provides aspiring Student Leaders with a supportive learning environment that develops leadership skills through character based learning opportunities.
Students are challenged on all levels and are required to work cooperatively to achieve set goals, respect themselves and others, inspire and motivate their peers and promote a culture of school pride and belonging.
 
Students are offered various opportunities to participate in a position of leadership within the school, from Year 7 through to Year 12.
 
Leadership opportunities include but are not limited to:
  • Senior Leadership Team – School Captains and Vice Captains
  • Student Representative Council – Junior and Senior
  • P&C Liaison
  • Cultural Captain
  • House Captains
  • Junior Leadership Development Coordinator/s
  • Fundraising Projects/Groups
  • Environmental Projects/Groups
  • Welfare Projects/Groups
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Class Captains
 
The program is designed to integrate student leaders from all years thus enabling all students to develop the necessary skills of leadership to enact and inspire change.

 

Seven Focus Areas

Student leaders from each year level participate in a minimum of one ‘Leadership’ lesson per term. There are seven core focus areas that have been developed based upon common practices of exemplary leaders as identified by J. Kouzes and B. Posner (2011). The Five Practices - Traits that Define Leadership. Retrieved January 10, 2012, from http://www.meridianleadershipinstitute.com.
 
Each focus area is made up of three 70 minute lessons involving the student leaders of the relevant year level.

Group Lead Initiatives (ALL)
 
Effective groups have a "shared goal". Group work involves all members, working together, toward a common goal. Leaders are naturally goal-oriented and understand the need, and the best way, to communicate the objective/s to the group. By adopting the objectives of the leader and melding them with the individual goals of team members, the group becomes a stronger force than the individual strengths of the group members. Effective team members also feel a strong sense of empathy, allowing them to better understand the individuals in their group whilst developing a sense of belonging and personal identity within the group. This factor works to bring the team together to achieve the common objective.

Self-Awareness (Year 7)
 
Self-awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self-awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment. The saying 'stay true to yourself" is important advice, it’s not easy to stay true to yourself if you don’t know who you are. By becoming self-aware and understanding your strengths and limitations, you open up opportunities that would not be available if you do not know yourself.
 
Model the Way (Year 8)
 
In order for students to be role models and effective leaders, it is important for them to define what is important to them as individuals and as a member of MSHS. This focus area provides students with an opportunity to identify what are values and examine the various values they feel are important individually and as a member of MSHS.
 
Inspiring a Shared Vision (Year 9)
 
Inspiring a shared vision can be difficult for any leader, especially a teenager. Teens are still developing the ability to set long term goals, envision what the end result might look like and communicate that vision to empower others. Students will identify the characteristics of highly effective leaders and how leaders get others to believe in their cause.
 
Challenge the Process (Year 10)

In order to keep organisations moving and growing, change is necessary. This focus area helps young people recognise how to be proactive in a healthy, positive way in order to promote leadership growth and organisational development. Students will understand that effective leaders continuously seek opportunity for improvement and recognise that mistakes and failures are opportunities for growth and improvement whilst distinguishing between positive and negative risk.

Enabling Others to Act (Year 11)
 
In order to enable others to act, it is important to understand what it takes to get there. By analysing other’s actions and engaging in collaborative activities, leaders can strengthen networks and further encourage action. We are all motivated by different things, but something nonetheless. Seeing what motivates others can also give us insight to the leadership potential of our peers.
 
Encourage the Heart (Year 12)
 
Schools and society spend a lot of time recognising individuals for outstanding accomplishments – we have awards for sport championships, beauty pageants, performing arts, and other activities that recognise the big things people accomplish. Through all this, we all too often forget it’s the little everyday feats that get us to that point. Young people accomplish many great things without receiving any type of recognition or without recognising others. This focus area highlights the importance of looking at the "little things."

 

Duty Roster

 
Students are expected to volunteer to complete a range of duties throughout the term. A ‘Duty Roster’ is prepared by the Senior Leaders and students nominate their availability. Duties included on the roster may include, but are not limited to:
  • Breakfast club
  • Assembly MC
  • Assembly hall set-up
  • Lunchtime activities
  • Homework club

 

Peer Mentor Roster

 
The HoD of Student Support has established an area for the Year 11 and Year 12 student leaders where they have their own designated 'pigeon holes' and are free to play on the X-Box 360, have lunch or morning tea and basically relax together.

The leaders' area is located at the Student Support building - the ‘Peer Mentor’ roster ensures that on a daily basis at least two leaders are present and provides an opportunity for students who require intensive support to establish relationships with positive peer role models.

 

Peer Skills

 
Year 11 and Year 12 leaders complete the ‘Peer Skills’ workshop at the conclusion of year 10 after being successfully selected as a student leader. The Peer Skills program was developed as a response to the recognition through calls to Kids Help Line and national and international research that confirmed that young people often turn to their fellow students for support in difficult times, before they turn to parents, counsellors or school staff. The workshop is designed to acknowledge and build on existing skills with ideas, knowledge and strategies for assisting their peers with some of the issues that trouble them on a daily basis as well as in times of crisis.

 

GRIP Leadership

 
GRIP Leadership is a one day conference attended by student leaders throughout the region. Selected Senior Leaders attend sessions where they listen to former school leaders about their experiences and what it takes to be an effective school leader. Topics include:
  • Being Leaders With The Right Focus
  • How To Get A Grip On Leadership
  • How To Give A Motivational Speech
  • How Students Can Run Successful Events
  • How To Minimise Conflict And Create A Positive Culture
  • How To Develop Others
 
This is a highly informative conference providing newly appointed leaders with newfound inspiration and passion to embrace their roles.
 
"One of the most exciting things about being a student leader is having the opportunity to make a difference. The question is, what should student leadership groups do to make a difference? In order to find their focus, students are asked three things: What is a need at school? Is it a common goal of the team? Do they have the resources to accomplish it?" (GRIP Leadership Pty Ltd. 2013)

 

EMU Gully

 
Emu Gully Adventure Education Group Inc. was founded in 1995 and is a non-profit Incorporated Association. Students attend a three day adventure camp at the Helidon campus. The activities that students complete at Helidon are purpose built for developing teamwork and leadership qualities and are typically based around epic ANZAC events. This program is a challenging and rewarding experience and provides an insight specifically to select, and empower student leadership teams.