Ashbourne College’s dedication to help students reach their full potential goes beyond academic study. Young people of today will be the leaders of tomorrow and any help they get on the way is invaluable.
Our newly elected student council is made up of some of Ashbourne’s brightest stars, all of whom have already displayed leadership qualities. To boost their confidence in their new roles we sent them on a specialist workshop run by All About Education.
All About Education designs bespoke courses for schools and teachers in order to improve personal and professional development. The director, Tim Guilford, was eager to deliver the ‘Student Voice’ workshop to our students to ease them into their role and responsibilities as student councillors.
What students did on the day
What are your rights?
Working in groups, students noted down what they believed their rights to be and discussed them with members of different groups. They debated which rights they thought were the most important and why and after looking at The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child were asked how they thought these rights were respected and implemented (or not) in society.
Democracy in action
Students were invited to discuss what they believe democracy means after watching a short film on the topic.
The art of advocacy: facts and opinions
Students were asked to describe the difference between facts and opinions, and the most appropriate times to take either into account. Then they tested each other in groups to see how well they could distinguish between fact and opinion.
Running an efficient meeting
Student council meetings take place on the first and last Wednesday of every month, which is why tips on how to take effective minutes were especially useful. During this session, students were given information on how to make an agenda, the best way to take minutes and how best to follow up on any actions that have been put into place.
The final session of the workshop was a chance for students to put everything they had covered into practice.
So what did the students think about the session?
Lotte Elleman and Eliana Jiwa, who are joint presidents of the student council, found the workshop very interesting. They believe that one of the most important parts of their role is to oversee and ensure that the members of the council are comfortable in their own roles, and that each project is completed to the best of their ability.
When asked what they thought about the leadership training Lotte said, “It gave us a platform to discuss how we feel about our roles within student council and provided us with more ideas about the best way to run as a unit.” Eliana added, “We now have a clearer idea about how each individual feels about their role within student council and what we’d like to work on. This has also increased our confidence in terms of accepting our role and worrying less about seeming patronising and how we are seen by our fellow student body.”
So did the training affect how our student council presidents feel about a career in leadership? Eliana and Lotte both agreed they would consider leadership roles in the future. They had considered this when applying for the job of joint president but after taking on the responsibilities and some first hand experience in the role they we more certain than ever.