GIS Developing Leaders with TELLAL Institute

One school has decided to do things differently when it comes to student leadership…

GEMS International School (GIS) wants more for their student leaders. They want to go beyond in-school support and training, and ensure their students really begin to learn what it means to lead. As such, they reached out to TELLAL Institute, known for their adult leadership training, and asked if they could collaborate with the TELLAL trainers.

The result of that collaboration manifested itself in a full day workshop at TELLAL Institute in November. TELLAL conducted, what they hope to be one of many, leadership training opportunities for school students.

Lisa Ramshaw (Head of Internal Quality and Development, TELLAL), Lee Hole (Head of Secondary, GIS) and Glen Radojkovich (Head of School/CEO, GIS) led the workshops through the day at TELLAL Institute.

The student leaders were made up of the GIS Student Executive Leadership Team (ELT) plus Senior House Leaders. All of these students are involved in representing the student voice and driving student-led change in their school. The Student ELT also lead committees of their peers on areas such as “school life”, “academics”, “service learning” and the “social life” of the school, while the Senior House Leaders work in close partnership with the Teacher Heads of House to lead on school spirit activities such as Sports Days, intra-school swim galas and innovation competitions.

The students were led through a series of activities to introduce leadership concepts and styles, develop their own leadership skills and ultimately to come away with concrete actions to improve their performance as student leaders.

Leadership modules included:

  1. Getting to know your team
  2. Knowing yourself – your leadership capacity and style
  3. Knowing others – how to work with peers to achieve a common goal
  4. Influencing people and promoting change
  5. Blue-sky thinking – what can we do to develop GIS?
  6. Strategic Thinking – examining the why
  7. Digital footprints and impact of social media on leaders and organisations
  8. Strategic planning – making sure we get it done
  9. Committee structures – delegation and action

Shaping future leaders

“The training was a huge success,” says Lee Hole. “Having the students at TELLAL with Lisa, gave the workshop some gravitas, and added a more professional and adult feel to the day for the students. Lisa’s leadership background and training were a great addition to the day as she is well versed and experienced in the research behind leadership and this engaged the students in a way that would be difficult to achieve in a school setting.”

And the students agreed:

“Having access to a higher level of learning, and the freedom to experiment with new skills within a safe practice environment, are invaluable opportunities for shaping future direction”, says Gleb Sitikov (Senior House Captain).

“Through this experience, I’ve grown as an individual and as a leader,” Naseera Suliman (Vice President – Service Learning).

“It gives students the opportunity to take ownership of their own learning and also to drive change,” Bernie Mohan (Vice President – School Life).

Continuous and collaborative learning

True to TELLAL’s mission of continuous development and collaborative learning, the next steps of these young leaders’ learning journeys have been carefully planned.

Mr Radojkovich was thrilled with the collaboration between the two organisations:

“The work spearheaded by Lee and Lisa, has really set the platform for our students to be successful this year and in the years to come. We want our student leadership programmes to be purposeful and authentic and are confident as a result of the partnership between TELLAL and GIS we are better positioned to achieve that”.

Mr Hole added, “We are hopeful that this will become an annual process, and that the alumni of the programme would be able to either step up a level or help in the delivery to their peers in the future.”

If you would like to know more about TELLAL’s Student Leadership Training or are interested in running a similar session at your school, simply contact us.

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