Living beyond yourself in the Middle School

Leading with or without the badge and living beyond yourself are dispositions that are integral to each student’s development in the middle years here at St John’s. These are consistently reinforced and supported. Over time, the culture of making the most of opportunities (and indeed creating them) to lead, to grow the agency the students have to shape their school experiences, is flourishing! All students are encouraged to look for ways to lead and serve and they continue to play a critical role in shaping our wonderful Middle School culture.

Moreover, our Year 9 House Captains spent some time last week developing their leadership skill. They participated in a student leadership conference, held at the Entertainment Centre, along with students from other local schools. This conference was practical, with hands-on activities that allowed our young leaders to interact with fellow leaders from other schools and specialists in student leadership as they enhanced their understanding and competence across a range of areas. Foci included team leadership, public speaking, conducting meetings, motivating others, increasing school spirit and leading change. They have returned to School more empowered to lead their peers, as well as share their learning with other students interested in leading. When these students began their roles they pledged to work in a servant leadership style, living beyond themselves, to listen to, support and represent all students; to carry themselves as model students to others; to act with integrity in all that they do (in and out of the classroom); and to do all of this with the aim of developing our School and community for all students, current and future. The ideas are always substantial from this group of leaders. However, what impresses me the most is their willingness to walk the talk, they are at all times wonderful role models to their peers and this is their greatest contribution as leaders – they really do lead the way. I have to say, all of our Year 9s lead when they take the floor to share in those pivotal Rite Journey discussions. I know first-hand with my own class and through the other wonderful teachers who facilitate and mentor these groups, that the students are really making the most of these times each week.

Our Year 8s will focus on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurism next week as they engage in Year 8 Cre-8. This promises to be a great success; with the underlying message being the importance, and applicability across all fields, of creativity to our future society. The students will hear from guest speakers from UniSA involved in developing, protecting and commercialising research, they will actively participate in a poetry slam, compete in Mr Eaton’s famous Chalkathon and learn some approaches to apply to their own individual innovation project. I trust your Year 8 child will be able to tell you all about it!

Finally, Year 7 children embark next week on their aquatic based camp to Hindmarsh Island. I fully expect them to had tough times, to go beyond their comfort zone and to have an incredibly rich and rewarding experience. No doubt they will return with stories of challenge and personal growth from their camp and I will leave it to them to provide a personalised report.

Thank you for your continuing support of your children here in the Middle School.

Ben Clark
Head of Middle School