Our student leaders are called “Upstanding Leaders”, upstanding because they metaphorically and literally stand up for and advocate what is right, and leaders because we believe that with training, all our students are able to awaken and realise the leadership potential that lies within them. In so doing, we aim to strengthen the moral fibre in our students by teaching them not only to be model students but also to be role models for others in both word and action. We are also mindful that our students are never too young to do their part for their community, be it in their own class, in the school or for the community at large. Hence, we aim to capitalise on and broaden the reach of our VIA programmes as a means of raising awareness of the need for leadership and action to benefit the less privileged in our immediate and external communities.
Our Leadership Programme aims to shape our upstanding leaders into:
- positive role models who not only exemplify the school values (Courtesy, Care Enthusiasm, Determination, Adaptability and Responsibility) in their everyday actions, but also possess the moral courage to advocating these values when faced with dilemmas;
- active contributors who are able to lead, motivate and encourage their schoolmates to serve the school and the community;
- creative thinkers who face challenges positively, possessing a creative problem-solving mindset and skills which they can apply to serve the school and the community;
- effective communicators who are able to speak clearly and fluently to his/her audience, as well as use evidence to explain their reasoning and decisions in order to convince and influence others to serve the school and the community.
The development of our Upstanding Leaders is based on The Student Leadership Challenge®- MICEE model by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. The MICEE model comprises The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership characteristics which are:
Model the Way
Our upstanding leader must lead by example, be a role model and be a person whom everyone looks up to and wants to be like. Our upstanding leaders will be able to exemplify our school values through their actions and as a result, influence others to behave and respond in ways befitting of a Responsible Citizen.
Inspire a Shared Vision
Our upstanding leaders must be able to inspire and rally others to work towards a common vision / goal. In order to achieve that, our Upstanding Leaders must be equipped with good communication skills which enable them to convince, persuade and get others to accept and embrace their ideas.
Challenge the Process
A leader sees a problem as an opportunity rather than as an insurmountable hurdle. “Challenge the process” in the school context could mean coming up with innovative ideas and solutions to improve the school and the community. Our upstanding leaders can tap on what they have learnt from our Creative and Inventive Thinking (CIT) programme and apply their skills in solving challenging problems.
Enable Others to Act
A leader does not work alone, he/she needs to bring people together and foster collaboration through building trust and relationships as people are more likely to share knowledge in an environment of trust and goodwill. Our upstanding leaders must understand that they have to communicate effectively in order to make the objectives clear to their audience and to create a shared awareness of the dimensions of the task.
Encourage the Heart
Be it a simple cheer when the team is facing a challenge or a "hi-5" gesture when the team has completed a difficult task, these are simple forms of encouraging the heart which connect people and build positive relationships. Our upstanding leaders need to recognise and be appreciative of the contributions made by his team members through encouragement and moral support.
The school conceptualised a three-level approach to cater to the developmental needs of all students with differing leadership abilities and potential. This 3-level approach aims to provide all students more intentional leadership opportunities based on the rationale of grooming leaders to first have an impact in their classrooms, then the school, and finally the community.
Fig. 1: 3-Level Approach in Upstanding Leadership Development
This three-level approach is aligned to the school’s Talent Management model of exposure, experience and excellence:
Exposure (Level 1)
All students will be exposed to a Basic Leadership Development programme which comprises of CCE lessons, character & leadership camps, VIA sessions, Environmental Education, and Creative and Inventive Thinking (CIT) Programme in problem-solving. At the same time, all students will also be assigned class leadership roles such as class monitors & subject/group leaders in class on a rotational basis
Experience (Level 2)
Students who are identified with leadership potential will be given more opportunities to practise and experience leadership roles at the school level. These students will be given platforms and programmes for them to improve and sharpen their leadership potential. These students will be assigned a more specialised leadership role such as Environmental Leaders, AV Leaders, Cyber-wellness Ambassadors and Sports Leaders. At this level, the platforms/programmes planned aim at not only honing their leadership skills, but also preparing those who are identified for level 3 (Excellence) leadership, to be ready to serve the community.
Excellence (Level 3)
Students who are identified with greater leadership potential are assigned with bigger leadership roles such as the Student Councillors and House Captains. This group of students will be further developed so that they are equipped with the skillset to lead their fellow schoolmates able to serve the school community and the community at large.