Swanbourne recognises leadership as one of the key building blocks that shape children as they develop into young adults. The wealth of experience amongst staff is fully utilised to support this ethos. Our young leaders have a range of opportunities to put their skills into practice: sports captains; school council reps; prefects; duty days; managing house competitions, leading worship; boarding house prefects; head choristers as well as leading in IT/drama/music/art. We regularly enter children for the Year 6 Cheltenham College Leadership Competition and for the Year 7 Gordonstoun Challenge in both of which the school has a fine record of success.
Every term the Top Year pupils experience an afternoon of teambuilding challenges which are designed to help them work together and to foster their leadership skills at the top of the school. These afternoons, although intense, are very popular and enjoyable. The senior children are exposed to many challenges and pressure situations that make demands on their growing bank of skills. They are being constantly monitored and assessed as a natural process of pedagogy.
The training offered to the senior children proves that whilst leadership is a quality that may be naturally present in some, it can also be developed and learnt as a skill. We see this in the emergence and development of character in the young people at Swanbourne. Some of those traits are intelligence, extraversion and adjustment, openness to experience and challenge, general self-efficacy and conscientiousness.
Leaders will also be looked upon critically by their peers. A good leader will display high moral values and integrity. Effective communication will assist in developing trust and confidence. The leader will recognise that situations are rarely in their control, but it will be their reaction that determines the outcome.