Student Leadership Action Team
In 2013 Kariong Mountains High School took on a leadership role in the development of a Central Coast Student Voice Project with other high schools in the area. As a result of this project each school developed a school plan to increase student voice in their school. That is, to create opportunities that would lead to students being more active and authentic partners in school governance, curriculum and assessment.
The Leadership Action Team represents the start of this new direction in authentic student voice at Kariong Mountains High School. The team consists of students from Years 7 – 11, including the school captains, who are working with staff from the Student Leadership Team to develop process and protocols to increase the breadth of leadership opportunities across all years. Students have been involved in leadership conferences with other schools and are in the process of developing a leadership rubric to allow students to individualise leadership pathways and maximise participation and recognition. It is hoped that this rubric will be in place for the start of 2015.
Peer Support at Kariong Mountains High School aims to assist students with a smooth transition from primary to high school. Our leaders meet throughout Term One with their Year 7 groups to familiarise them with school routines and procedures and to discuss issues of concern. They follow a program that provides activities to prompt discussion and proactively support students by addressing common issues in an open forum.
The peer support program is an ever evolving entity. In its present form, successfully selected students from Year 8 are invited to be trained at a three day leadership camp at Shoal Bay late Term 3.
These students are trained in the skills deemed necessary to successfully deliver the program to Year 7 students the following year by those Year 9 students who excelled as peer support leaders themselves. Training modules include: communication, problem solving, group dynamics and group management. A variety of team-work activities are also interspersed within the training camp.
In 2013, following three years of implementing ‘peer support’, the Year 9 facilitators rewrote the program to fit the specific needs of Kariong Mountains High School. These students also chose the peer support leaders, based on their detailed knowledge of the program they themselves wrote and an audition session held at the end of the training camp.
All students at each stage of the process are required to apply for a position and are selected based on their ability to meet the requirements of the program.
Quotes from students following the training camp include:
I learnt that it is not just about you being a leader, but also about the people you’re leading.
I learnt that leaders don’t boss, just guide others through times of need.
I learnt that I was able to cope under pressure and that if I respected others they would respect me.
I learnt to listen better to others and give compliments more often.
I learnt about ways I can avoid encouraging bad behaviour, and I also learnt that even leaders have to step back sometimes for the benefit of others.