This week: Student Leadership
Students at Camden School for Girls embrace many opportunities to take on leadership roles. During 2018 - 2020 a major priority for the school will be to offer more chances for students to step up and develop their leadership skills even further.
Our student leadership teams have been elected and photographed (see below). They have visited our assembly and spoken about their reasons for stepping into a leadership role.
Here are some of the comments they made about standing for election, and what they hope to achieve:
Main School Head Girl and Deputies Team
Maya, Head Girl
‘I stood for election primarily because I love Camden and knew I would be proud to represent the school in any form I could, but also because I think that school should be a happy and invigorating place for every student, and I hope that is something that the head girl team can help achieve.
In a year’s time, I would hope to have actually made a difference to the students in Camden, whether that be helping to relieve stress, creating an even more political atmosphere in the school, or establishing strong links between charities that we believe in (which we have already started to do), but more broadly giving everyone in school a voice.’
Ruby, First Deputy
‘I ran for election because I wanted to give something back to a school that has given me so much. I think having seen all of the achievements of the head girl teams before this one really inspired me and as a year 7 made me want to aspire to be a part of that when the time came.
I think to be a great leader you have to be willing to compromise and take in the views of others as much as your own personal views. I think you should be able to take pride in what you achieve but also feel happy for others when they achieve more than you. A great leader is someone that other people can look to and be inspired by, someone that makes other people want to make a difference too.’
Fahmida, Second Deputy
‘What made me stand in the election was having the idea that I could bring about positive change to our school. I also wanted to experience being challenged by other running candidates and be able to talk to people about my policies.
The main issues I discussed with other students where about bringing an agony aunt system that students could write to about issues such as the stresses of school work. There is already an S.O.S club, however, some people may not have the confidence to go face to face and talk to someone about things. My other main policy was to bring in halal food as there are students who can only have halal foods.’
Chanya, Year 10 Deputy
I stood for election because I felt as if I could be useful to the school as a year 10 deputy.
In one year's time, I would like to be able to say that the team has continued to listen to the voice of the student body and has been able to create a wonderful environment for everyone in the school.
I think a great leader must be open-minded and have the ability to listen. They should also be confident, good with people, kind, hardworking and committed.
Sixth Form Senior Prefect Team
Esme, Senior Prefect
‘I stood for election because I felt passionate about matters within and outside of the school environment, such as issues with mental health, that I thought myself and members of our community could all work together on to improve. I thought I could help with providing ideas and solutions.
A lot of students liked the idea of peer mentoring which is really great, and sixth formers are starting peer mentor training as of next week!
The most important quality of a great leader is to listen, and really care about what matters most.
In this school, I think we already have great opportunities for people who feel confident, such as running for the head girl team or even taking part in school council. To make leadership roles more accessible to everyone, something like a ‘leadership day’ could be instated where everyone is encouraged to speak up, along with skills such as debating to be taught at a greater depth.’
Anna, Senior Prefect
I wanted to be a senior prefect because I have been in Camden School for Girls since year 7 and I felt that once I was in sixth from, I had a better understanding of the school. So now that I am older, I am more aware of what I would want to improve and how I would do it.
It would be very useful to have students who have completed their GCSEs help the year 11’s to prepare for their exams and pass on any advice on coping with stress. Similarly, I think it could be beneficial if year 13’s were able to talk to the year 12’s about school and any additional projects that could be worked on together.
In one year’s time, I think I would like to say that we managed to make the school a more environmentally friendly place.
I think important qualities of a great leader are being able to listen to the other students and taking into account what other people want. You must also be kind and approachable and make students feel comfortable if they want to suggest something.’
Renee, Senior Prefect
‘One of my main policies when standing for election was trying to make the school more appealing to the black minority ethnic group, and hopefully, overtime lead to the school being more representative.
I spoke to the other students about recognising the diversity and culture within the school. I along with other students feel like along with the other events we could have days dedicated to promoting and embracing the different cultures.
A great leader needs many qualities to carry out their role in the best way possible. A leader should be confident, along with being inclusive and making sure everyone is heard and feels appreciated within the group. A leader should have good communication skills.
I think that the school could create a bigger platform for students who want to use it and want to have a say in how the school is to grow in the future.’
Nour, Senior Prefect
‘I’ve been at Camden School for Girls since year 7 and have seen the school grow and improve and I have always wanted to be a part of that. I’d love to have a say in the decisions made, communicating with the students in other years, taking their ideas and doing my best to make them happen.
I would like to have questionnaires during tutor period to hear what students have to say about their experiences in school and if there is anything bothering them or on their mind. The team and I will then be able to act on these comments.
What do you think are the most important qualities of great leaders?
Great leaders need to have great public speaking skills, confidence while doing so and also to be considerate about other people’s opinions.
To promote student leadership, the school could possibly have self-run leadership workshops (which can be run by us!)’
Mia, Senior Prefect
‘I stood for the election team as, having been a member of the school for some time, I care about it greatly and wished to help contribute. When speaking to students when campaigning they said they would like to do more for LGBT+ rights, advocacy for mental health issues and to set up a system within the school to help share revision and revision tips.
In a years time I would like to have helped to make the cafeteria more green and help work with a supportive charity such as the Samaritans.
I would also like to help integrate the years and integrate clubs more. This month, as it is pride month, I would like to greatly advocate LGBT+ rights as although they may be acknowledged at Camden School for Girls the LGBT+ community is not so accepted outside of it. Mainly I wish to just support the students and make Camden an even better and happier place!
Part of the importance of being a leader is to be able to be approachable, kind, a good listener and be able to advocate your own ideas without imposing too much.’
Lily, Head Girl
‘I joined Camden this year and I instantly wanted to take part in moulding the future of the school. I love being part of teams and really want the chance to apply my ideas to such an inspirational institution.
I spoke to other students about ways in which the school could help the wider community, for example by working with the homeless and taking small scale environmental steps such as moving towards fundraising for a dishwasher.
A leader does not necessarily have to have immense confidence or be a flawless public speaker but what I think is more important is: passion, determination and understanding.’
Tiago, Head Boy
‘I always wanted the opportunity to take on a leadership role, so when I came to Camden and heard about the senior prefect team, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.
As Head Boy, I want to focus on Black History Month and Pride Month in June. One idea I had was a pride day, I thought that because there was already a pink day a pride day would be good to raise awareness for the LGBTQ community. I spoke a lot about these to students in the main school who were all on board with these ideas.
In a years time, looking back over my time as the head boy I would like to be able to say that I actually made a real impact on the school, and that I helped the new year 12s feel supported in the transition into their new school, which may be very different from their previous school.
Taking on the role of a leader it is important to constantly act as a figurehead for the team. This is because you act as the main person who initiates action, you communicate with the team on policies and plans and decide when the work begins. A leader also motivates the group.’
I am highly impressed by these comments, suggestions and opinions, and look forward to seeing all these students develop and thrive as leaders here at Camden School for Girls.