Joshua Lyons – 2023 Middle Years Captain
Last week, all the leaders of Whitefriars got together to do a leadership workshop, with the idea being to learn from one another and improve our leadership skills. Unlike the previous leadership workshops, this one was almost entirely run by Whitefriars students, supporting the idea of student empowerment, and I thought it worked out really well!
The two best things about this workshop were one, the food, and two, that everyone was benefiting from the workshop in their own ways. Most of the other leaders were learning and taking notes from the different rotations, which allowed them to further improve their skills as a leader, but on the other hand, the previous Middle Years Vice Captains and I, along with many others, were in charge of planning and running our own rotations for this workshop. Not only did this allow others to learn effectively, but it allowed us to benefit in our own way, as teaching is one of the most effective ways of learning. Overall, this event was a huge success, and the involvement of student’s running their own rotations was super effective. I can’t wait for the next one!
Jack Apostolopoulos – 2023 Stein House Vice Captain
Recently, boys from Years 8-12 that held a leadership role attended a student led workshop to improve their abilities. Students from the Middle Years SRC, Senior Years SRC, House SRC, Academic SRC and College SRC learnt how to further their leadership abilities. Selected students gave 20-minute discussions about their chosen field which included life skills from leadership, the practical side of leadership, public speaking and being a better role model. The evening had a strong focus on reflecting of your past actions as leaders and how to improve them into the future. The workshops offered a great opportunity to gain knowledge into how to further your abilities in not only college life but your behaviour outside of school. For the Year 8 students it offered a great introduction into the world of leadership at Whitefriars and for the senior students offered an insight into what leadership skills they have learned that can be carried into life after school.
I was co-presenting the Workshop ‘Life Skills from Leadership’ with Joel Savy. The range of topics spoken about were how crucial communication is, the importance of organisation, personal strengths, and areas of improvement and how to create vision for a team to be able to achieve goals. Students were able to work collaboratively in a group environment made up of boys from a range of differing year levels. Additionally, boys offered an insight into their own life skills they have developed as a result of the leadership positions they hold. While presenting, I was learning about how my peer’s approach leadership and how I am able to take this and use their mindset in my own life.
In all, the evening was beneficial in helping advance our skills to be more effective leaders within our school and greater community. Despite presenting to all the groups, I was still able to lean so much as a result of being around other individuals in the same positions as myself. After the workshops had finished and we met back with our SRC groups, and all had ideas and goals on how to improve not only the school but ourselves as individuals. These examples display how crucial these workshops are to help the next generation of Whitefriars leaders.
Of course, days like these wouldn’t be possible without the teachers so I would like to thank all the staff that took time out of their own night to facilitate groups to ensure things ran smoothly and I would like to give an especially big thankyou to Mrs Hoinville for organising the night from choosing student leaders to creating fun and engaging workshops for the leaders to partake in, the night couldn’t have happened without you.
Samuel Lochner – 2023 Lisieux Vice Captain and SRC Representative
Leadership is not quite something you can be taught – but it is something you can learn. After school, on Monday 15 May, was our first student-run leadership workshop. Typically, this would consist of sitting around in our own little leadership-cliques and groups to discuss x, y, and z topic or event, but this time things ran rather differently – as instead we spent our time discussing and learning about the different aspects that play into leadership from fellow students. We rotated around the building, hearing about topics ranging from communication and self-awareness to public speaking and analysing the practicality of ideas and approaches. Each of these ideas filtered back down into the notion of ‘effective leadership’ – different qualities and skills that one must understand and improve upon to be as effective as possible.
Having students direct the discussions and brief presentations was a welcome, and rather effective change of pace, which really enabled us to not only feel more comfortable discussing these topics (being able to see a familiar face of equal place in the school), but just connect with what was actually being said (for the presentations and lessons were designed by individuals from equal or similar experience[s]). Whereas we would usually just associate with those from our specific leadership teams and councils, the random assortment amongst peers really enabled us to not only make some new friends and connections, but get a new perspective on these topics which are important to leadership – hearing from somebody who has to take a different approach due to the differing nature of their leadership role. This concoction of peer-to-peer discussion and learning is what we need and have received – supplying those present with a thoroughly interesting and richer understanding of leadership and how they can apply themselves better in the future.
Mrs Kelly Hoinville-Catania
Student Impowerment Leader