Over the past four weeks, Upper Sixth Formers have been getting to grips with the ILM Young Leaders Award, a varied programme which includes topics such as mentoring, equality and diversity, teamwork and self-leadership. For the self-leadership aspect, all of the students have to set themselves a personal challenge to complete in a relative short amount of time. These have been quite varied, ranging from beating 10km personal best times, hitting 180 in darts, learning the Greek Alphabet, reading new literature, or indeed, simply keeping up to date with the coursework aspect of the course. All hold value if they present a genuine challenge, and Upper Sixth Former Ben C (Rt) came up with one of the more unique ones, when he informed his tutor that he was going to build his own chicken coop, from scratch, and buy five chickens to help provide eggs for his local community where he is lives in Kenya. Ben was asked to write a short account of this and share some thoughts about the course.
After finding out that A levels were not going to take place for the first time ever I, along with the rest of the Upper Sixth, were slightly confused but also intrigued about the future, what exactly were the School going to organise for the remainder of our time at the School? I think it’s fair to say the leavers of this year haven’t been disappointed by the array of activities available to us. The Shrewsbury U initiative was the perfect way to get us used to the tempo of University life and what has certainly stood out for me is the ILM course that tutors have put together. This was aimed at making us better mentors, leaders and gaining a better understanding of how life working in the society we live in today will be like. The weekly talks from some incredible people has widened our view on the different aspects of leadership, be it within yourself or in a group or organisation. On behalf of my peers I would like to thank all the speakers.
The self-leadership module was for me the most interesting. My favourite part of this module was definitely the task we had to set ourselves and then complete. I chose to have a shot at raising chickens, much to the surprise of my family and Mr Wain! Significant research was put into the best layers, best breeders and what are the best conditions for chickens to live in. I also had to build a safe house for them to live and install a fence that would protect them from the leopard and mongoose we have in our Forrest. The project took about a day and a half with a little bit of help from the local carpenter and my family, we were able to get the task completed. The self-leadership skills that I learnt in the module did definitely help, resilience and self-discipline were key to getting the project done.
Thank you to all of the Upper Sixth who have engaged in the ILM programme. Ben’s story is one of many that could have been selected to demonstrate the tremendous work so many of this cohort have completed in very testing conditions. Fingers crossed that fence is leopard-proof…..