Catholic Schools Office/Brescia House Leadership Event
Brescia House School hosted a leadership event for Grade 11 pupils on behalf of the Catholic Schools Office. Over 140 pupils from 10 Catholic schools participated online from their respective schools. The event was aimed at preparing pupils for their Grade 12 leadership roles as well as creating the opportunity for establishing connections between pupils at different schools.
The event featured three speakers and a small group breakaway session. Key themes discussed were that leadership is about influence and begins with knowing yourself, that purpose comes before everything else and that a positive, growth mindset is needed to be a resilient leader.
Mr Lloyd Ripley-Evans, a psychologist and author, presented a thoughtful presentation on the question ‘What is Leadership?’ Lloyd explained that leadership is essentially about being able to positively influence others and begins by focusing on oneself. Knowing and being able to regulate oneself is critical in being able to establish a trust relationship with others, necessary to be able to be a positive leader.
The second speaker, Mr Oliver Page, runs the Spirit of Adventure Camp in the Magaliesberg which provides a pupil leadership development programme. Oliver focused his talk on servant leadership, following the biblical example of Jesus. He emphasised that leadership starts with establishing purpose before anything else and then is about guiding and developing others, rather than oneself.
Mrs Vanessa Hemp, a clinical psychologist, presented from St Teresa’s School and spoke on the topic of resilience. Vanessa outlined how resilience is a characteristic necessary, more than ever in our COVID-19 world. Her talk focused on the practice of developing resilience through resilient thinking, having effective relationships, being able to manage emotions and building on one’s strengths.
The leadership day also included a breakaway session in which pupils, from different schools, were placed into small online groups. In these groups, they discussed questions related to the talks and made connections with each other. We are hopeful that this event will start a regular leadership programme that will encourage collaboration between Catholic schools.