We believe that teaching students to be leaders is a critical part of their development. Having leadership roles helps students realize the power of their own voices, to learn that they can effect positive change, to learn to manage large groups and show them the value of taking on roles of responsibility. Opportunities for student leadership abound at ICS and begin in our Primary School.
In Primary School, even at the youngest ages, children take responsibility for helping others. Kindergartners help Pre-Kindergartners to read. The Year 3 students partner with Year 1 and 2 to take them to worship gatherings. Year 5 and 6 run the recycling program. Year 6 lead the Monday morning gathering. We believe the skills of leadership come from everyday practice, and we thus expect it of both Lower and Upper Primary School students.
In Middle School, students hone their leadership skills through our Middle School Head. No popularity contest elections here! We welcome all kinds of leaders – those with big ideas, those who are good at building consensus, and those who know how to break a project down into manageable components in order to effect change. Students organize our service learning, propose ideas to improve student life, and write queries for us to consider in Chapel each month.
There are a multitude of leadership opportunities in the High School. We encourage students to lead in a variety of ways and there are both elected and non-elected leadership positions. Prefects, club leaders, various committee heads and class officers are interviewed by current leaders and faculty members, collect recommendations, and in most cases are chosen by their peers. Our leaders play an integral part in new student orientation, dorm life and committees. Leaders are asked to commit to the highest standard of community behaviour, to hold themselves and their peers accountable, and to be actively supporting ICS values. They are given training and feedback throughout the year so that each student can grow and develop in their leadership trajectory. Our faculty and administrators look for genuine partnerships with peer leaders and look to these leaders to guide, inform, and inspire the student body.
A student body active in leadership is a healthy one and we encourage it every step of the way.