At Dulwich College Suzhou, we are committed to providing a world class education that goes beyond books, bricks and mortar, that enable our students to Graduate Worldwise. In preparation to become Worldwise means engaging in a range of opportunities both within and beyond the curriculum. This ‘student journey’ contributes to the overarching Dulwich experience and ensure students have a meaningful and enriching experience at DCSZ. Student Leadership remains a key component of the student journey and developing leadership capacity is a fundamental part of our student life at the College.
Our Senior School held a House Captain election two weeks ago. All of them were thrilled with the future that new House Captains would bring. But how do we nurture Junior school and DUCKS students? How can they develop leadership skills at such a young age?
Opportunities for every student to build agency is abundant across Junior School, from within the classroom to discrete leadership roles. In the Junior School, we have various leadership roles that students can try out for. Last week, we started with the election process with our House Captains (Y6) and Vice House Captains (Y5). This week, we have the election of the JS Student Council. This position is open to every child in the Junior School who has a passion in representing their peers to help improve various areas of the school. Next week, we will begin the process of electing our Year 6 prefects.
Here is the video of our Junior School 4 Houses Captains voicing their reasons for being elected:
The role of a Prefect within the Junior School is to represent, support and guide the school community from the perspective of the students. This academic year, we will have two Head Prefects who will be responsible for leading the Prefect team and relaying key agendas and priorities to a variety of school parties. They will be supported by a team of Prefects who will have specific roles within the group. This year we have clarified the roles to ensure that all Prefects have responsibilities in different areas of the school. These areas are: School Liaisons, House Liaison, Library, Curriculum, Students Wellbeing and Events. We look forward to seeing who will be representing the Junior School this year. Prefects are led by Ms Farrell, the Head of Year 6.
In Junior School Student Council, children learn to listen to and value the opinions and input of their peers, collaborate on projects and show servant leadership to the school. Students must persuade their classmates to vote for them, then collect ideas from their class to bring to a Student Council meeting. We focus on positive changes the students can make in their school.
Last year, the children wanted to improve the amount of sport offered at playtime. They carefully considered each other’s opinions, and learnt to put forward their own point of view respectfully. After debate and discussion, they agreed to ask for some badminton racquets, which are now well used and enjoyed by many children.
The students also identified some really important issues around the school by listening to their classmates and looking at what was going on around them – their top priority for action was encouraging others not to litter in the playground, as they noticed that many children disliked playing in a messy area. Student Council members learn to lead by example, persuading others to follow their lead in making good choices and showing how this can benefit everyone. We are very much looking forward to getting started with this year’s Student Council meetings, and finding more ways to make the Junior School even better! Student Council is led by Ms Elizabeth Diamond.
Apart from that, last Friday, our DUCKS halls were filled with excitement and anticipation ready for our first House assembly of the year. The House system has become an increasingly significant part of DUCKS over the past few years. House assemblies and events happen throughout the year, bringing our DUCKS children a sense of their own small community within school. For our first House assembly of the year, we elected our new House Captains. Children were asked to send in videos or posters sharing their reason for wanting to be involved and why they thought they would make a good captain. Everyone who entered displayed courage, enthusiasm, and brilliant leadership qualities. Well done to everyone involved. Here is the video of our DUCKS 4 Houses Captains and Vice Captains voicing their reasons for being elected:
Thanks to Ms Glory Goh, Deputy Head of School, Junior School, and Ms Chloe Brooks-Carter, DUCKS 2D Classroom Teacher, Head of Year Two and Student Learning Journey, for their articles. Looking forward to seeing more of our students thrive in the future!