SRC Year 7 to Year 12
Student Leadership at our school begins with the important job of electing Year Level Leaders across the school. Students are able to nominate themselves or be nominated by a teacher or student. All nominated students are given the opportunity to present a speech to their cohort and the votes gathered by the student body helps determine the students representing each year level.
As our school as evolved and grown, student leadership has become an important part of what our school is all about. We now have four School Captains, representing VCE and VCAL. Our school captains present at various school functions throughout the year and have become the face of our school. Students develop valuable skills by working together and making their last year at the college count.
SRC students meet once a week during lunchtime where they plan leadership initiatives across the school. Students discuss what their goals are for the year and they put steps in place to plan whole school events such as Free Dress Days, Athletics and Cross Country. SRC students also attend a form assembly each morning where they are able to spend time gathering information from the rest of their cohort and are able to mingle with leaders from other year levels on a more regular basis.
The elected SRC students also help in the elections of Class Captains. Each class can nominate a class captain and can follow the same process as Year Level Leaders to run elections. Class Captains work together once a term to share leadership initiatives and are often presented to by staff and other students as they represent every class across the school. Class Captains are also given exclusive training to help develop their skills as future leaders.
All students are given opportunities throughout the year to develop their leadership at Cranbourne Secondary College. For example, this year we had a number of students attend the World Vision Youth Conference. Students who elected to attend were from various year levels and did not necessarily belong to the class captains or SRC group.
Teach the Teacher Program (Year 7 to Year 12)
The Teach the Teacher Program is designed to develop students’ personal leadership, communication and problem solving skills. Students have the opportunity to engage in peer-to-peer teaching and learning and build on their strengths to develop:
- an understanding of student voice and representation
- an greater understanding of teaching and learning
- their potential to be leaders through a student-led professional learning session
- their own unique approach to leadership
- an increased understanding of their personal strengths and skills
- effective communication skills
- a willingness to create a more inclusive school culture
Students had meetings throughout the year where they worked on data collected from last year and information gathered from teachers at the Teach the Teacher staff professional development undertaken last year and made decisions on what their focus would be moving forward.
Students found that the issue of approachability was an important one to raise with students and staff. In an effort to find out more around this issue, students conducted staff and student surveys to look into student-teacher rapport. All teachers who completed the survey said they felt they were approachable but our students thought differently and gave ideas on how they feel their teachers could become more approachable. The Teach the Teacher group then did their own research and found that students value authentic teachers. Research told them that authentic teachers were seen as approachable, passionate, attentive, capable, and knowledgeable, while inauthentic teachers were viewed as unapproachable, lacking passion, inattentive, incapable.
Students then presented their data and research to the staff this year at a Professional Development afternoon and discussed ways teachers can become more approachable to reduce the gap between students and teachers. Students not only organised this afternoon, they worked collaboratively to bring their work together and all took an equal part in presenting and facilitating table group discussions with teachers. The event was highly successful with both teachers and students feeling more connected and students particularly feeling better developed in their public speaking skills and confidence.
Through the Teach the Teacher program we have recognised the importance of listening to the students and their thoughts on how to continue to develop positive relationships within the school community. Students not only feel that their voices are being heard but that action is being taken. The Teach the Teacher program will continue next year and we hope to involve more students in the conversation.
Launch into Leadership (Year 10 Elective)
Our very first leadership elective commences in 2019. Launch into Leadership aims to develop each student’s leadership through an emphasis on communication, teamwork, self-discipline and organisational skills. Students will explore leadership styles and develop skills including: finding your passion, living with purpose, teamwork, speech writing, public speaking, problem solving and making a difference. Students will connect actively with the establishment of a students Key Club based on an international Kiwanis non-profit organisation. Students will engage with the local community and complete a ‘make a change’ project. The skills developed will be transferrable to leadership roles within future employment opportunities and promote the notion of “To lead is to serve” within the wider community.