When Year 7s arrive at the school they transition from being the ‘big fish’ at their primary school, to the new little ones in a sea of grown up faces, and all in a new and unfamiliar environment. Some students relish this new challenge and can’t wait to springboard into high school life, but for many this transition can be daunting and intimidating. To ease the transition and show them from their first day that we care about their wellbeing, we run a Buddy Leader program where Year 11s have the opportunity to support the new Year 7s.
During Year 10, students can apply to be a Buddy Leader, and they then complete an intensive training program mentored by Wellbeing Coordinators and the College Counsellors, so they are equipped and ready to nurture their new Year 7 buddies at the start of the next school year. Buddy Leaders are awarded badges, and this responsibility is admired by their peers. Uptake for the program is extremely high, with the majority of students taking up this valuable opportunity to undergo training to develop their leadership skills. As Buddy Leaders nominate themselves to the role, there is no social pressure to win votes from their peers and they take responsibility for their own engagement from the outset.
Our College Captains, Vice Captains and Portfolio Captains develop leadership skills to enable them to serve the college as a whole; they are individuals who work in their roles for the greater good. Our leadership model is based on servant leadership. Servant leadership is a way of being in a relationship with others. They are not put on a pedestal and praised for their achievements to date, rather they are students who truly embody the Chevalier MSC spirit of the heart, who genuinely help our staff and college leadership in the running of the school and lead by example.
The student leadership team supports the school from the ground up from the day-to-day interactions such as instilling and protecting the family ethos in their Home Rooms or stepping in if they see an altercation between students, through to the prominent actions such as running large-scale charitable events or speaking publicly in the wider community.