10 Dec Head teacher’s Blog 10.12.18
Last week, during year group assemblies that offered our students an opportunity to reflect upon the fifteen week stretch that has been this academic year’s autumn term, Mrs May, our student voice lead at Daubeney Academy, introduced our latest exciting initiative that will be implemented in the new year once we return from our Christmas break, namely our prefects plan. Our intention is to put in place 15 senior prefects from our oldest year group and 5 junior prefects from each of the others so that our students can develop even further their leadership skills each day and act as role models for other members of our school community. Once appointed, our prefects will make a valuable contribution to the life of our school and will take on a number of duties around our site, including assisting and supporting teachers and students and liaising with prospective parents, students and other visitors during transition events. We will expect our prefects to be outstanding internal and external ambassadors for our school at all times, and to meet the highest expectations of politeness, courtesy, dress, attendance and punctuality without exception. Opportunities to feed back to Mrs May about how the role is developing over time will, of course, also be given and, along with the year and school councillors, these students will have a huge say in how their school is run and how it continues to evolve over the coming years. In terms of personal skills and attributes, rather than solely looking for students who are achieving excellent progress in their lessons (although this is also clearly very important!), we are hoping to attract to the roles many of our students who are organised, approachable, confident, trustworthy and honest, and who could potentially become leaders of either people or organisations when they are older. Clearly, it is also important that our prefects are well behaved in and out of school and that they are always respectful to their peers, their teachers and their school environment. An ability to be both a good talker and a good listener would also be an advantage, although I should stress that we are not looking for the finished article here and that we understand that this role could in many ways be an excellent opportunity to develop these very skills. In order to apply, our prospective prefects should follow the instructions that will be set out in a letter that will be sent out via ParentMail this week, and which will describe how all applicants must write a covering letter that outlines why they should be considered for the role. Early in January, once all letters have been received, shortlisted students will be invited to interview before the final positions are decided. Already, since we announced this new role during last week’s assemblies, many students in all year groups have expressed a wish to step up and represent their school and I am genuinely looking forward to our prefects being in place next year.
One of Daubeney’s five main values, of course, is responsibility, and it isn’t just prefects, year or school councillors, sports leaders or students in other key positions that we expect to be showing this key personal attribute each day, but rather every single member of our community. Individuals taking responsibility for their actions is a key component of a healthy, functioning society, and this can range from turning up on time every day to meeting all deadlines to ensuring that uniform is worn correctly to eating and drinking healthily and ensuring that all litter is placed into bins. In any community, it is often those who aren’t acting responsibly who get noticed first and whose behaviour makes it more difficult for those who are doing everything correctly, and I am determined that all members of our community will understand our oft-repeated message about how important is it that personal responsibility is taken at all times and how it’s not the job of an adult to tell a young person of secondary school age to be dressed properly, to ensure that all revision is done for exams or that litter is placed into a bin. If a student becomes too reliant upon being told what to do by a teacher or a parent, for example, then they will never develop the skill of personal responsibility that is so essential once they reach adulthood. Doing something because you know that it is the right thing to do, not only for yourself but also for those around you, is a sign of a genuinely mature and self-aware individual; only doing what you want to do and ignoring the needs of the community to which you belong usually leads to a number of problems later in life, especially once you realise that you can’t just do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it. Our prefects, of course, will have a chance, once appointed, to also spread this important message about community and teamwork, and I am excited about the wonderful opportunities that they will encounter to develop themselves personally and aid the development of our truly community-minded school.