Shrewsbury School

ILM Young Leaders Award helps to prepare pupils for future

Friday 25 June 2021

Monday 21st June marked the start of what I hope will be the most unique final fortnight to an Upper Sixth Formers life at Shrewsbury School. Normally at this point, formal examinations are all but over, leavers trips are taking place all over Europe and the countdown is very much on to the official end of school.

Now, their ending is a little different. As I am sure the reader of this article is aware, formal examinations have not taken place this year. Leavers trips have taken place, but to slightly more sedate locations in the United Kingdom. The countdown is possibly still happening though!

This change to the normal routine has presented an opportunity for our Upper Sixth to embrace a programme which is not widely available, and that’s to gain the award in the title.

The Institute of Leadership and Management Young Leaders Award consists of two very distinct units; ‘self-leadership’ which looks at topics such as resilience, self-motivation, problem solving and seeking support, whilst next week will be looking at ‘leadership skills’, which will focus more on the challenges and enjoyment of leading others.

The students conclude this week by taking on a self-leadership challenge. Some are attempting to beat their 5k PB, some are foolishly attempting to solve a puzzle Dr Oakley has set, some are trying to achieve over a 30% shooting success rate on the basketball courts. In many ways the challenge is irrelevant, it’s about testing their ability to keep going if they are finding it difficult, finding solutions if their approach isn’t working, putting into practice some of the theory we have looked at during the programme to date. Whisper it quietly, I think some of the students might actually be enjoying it as well…

Finn S (PH, UVI) said: “The course has been very enjoyable whilst at the same time helping us to improve ourselves individually. The effort that has gone into this programme has really made it a valuable experience. It has allowed us to reflect on our self-leadership, helping us to better ourselves, whilst also allowing us to understand our strengths at the same time. Hopefully this course can be continued in the future as it is really quite fun!”

Though not an academic course, I cannot emphasise how helpful I believe this award could prove for our students in the future. The Institute of Leadership and Management is a global brand and many of our students will go on to gain further accreditation with this awarding body up to as high as level seven. Having this award, even at level two, will offer a point of difference on application forms for the future and will stand out to employers who are used to seeing very similar qualification profiles.

Most importantly though, what I hope each student will take away are some useful pointers and a greater understanding of how effective leadership can takes many forms, shapes and sizes, but it begins with some honest self-reflection and a commitment to self-improvement.

 Chris Wain

Head of Futures

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