On Friday 25 September, the Student Senior Leadership Team, Sport Captains and Heads of Houses got the opportunity to take part in the GDST Sixth Form Leaders Day. This was done with another GDST school, Oxford High and was led by Amanda Reynolds of Blend Associates and her colleague, a GDST alumna, Niamh Lowe-Davies. Usually this event takes place in person, but due to Covid circumstances it was done through Zoom, which was even better as it allowed us to collaborate with Oxford High School.
We started the day by refreshing ourselves, talking through what we had read and watched before the event and sharing parts of our reflective pieces we produced beforehand. These included talking about what we have learnt as a leader, why we chose to be leaders and what we think makes a good leader. These were all great questions to think about because it really made you take a look at who you are and what you wanted to change about how you lead. During the morning we were all paired with some Oxford High students and this is where we discussed our reflective pieces and chose two themes/words that we believe a leader needs. Some of these included empathy, conviction, reliance and trustworthiness.
Amanda then introduced us to a game where she separated us all into groups within our school and gave us a map of New York. Our challenge was to then meet all the groups at one of New York’s top attractions, like Central Park, Empire State Building, Times Square. During the game we weren’t allowed to converse with other groups and wrote down how we got to our spot. To our surprise the majority of us ended up going to the Empire State Building, I think this was due to how large and iconic this monument was. This game taught us about being confident in our decisions, which I feel is something you need to have as a leader.
In the afternoon we worked in our school groups to think of a project that would benefit our school or Sixth Form. It needed to be based around what we had learnt throughout the day being resilience and wellbeing. The leaders and I focused more on wellbeing as we believe it’s very important at the moment during such an uneasy time due to Covid. We came up with ideas to improve one certain room at school and as well as some pick-me-up packs to maybe start in the Sixth Form. We then presented all our ideas to Mr Viesel at the end of the day.
From the work we did that day we are now thinking of ways to fundraise for our projects and we are hoping to present them to Mrs Petryszak and other members of staff soon. The girls and I were very fortunate we could participate in this event, even though it wasn’t of its usual routine. We found it thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring.
– Ellen, 6.2
To view some photos from the training, please click here