At Swan Hill College we promote student leadership throughout the whole school year. Our student leader teams work as mini teams and together as a large group, the Positive Behaviour Support Student Leaders. They work on their leadership skills all year, providing a voice for the student body and help promoting their own areas of leadership and our PBS program.
Our elected student leaders consist of: Junior and Senior Captains. House Captains, VCAL Leaders and Sustainability Leaders and are all appointed via application, interview and school community vote.
Forum groups are run at each year level, which all students are able to join.
Opportunities per Year Level:
Early in term 3 we begin the election process for all leaders for the following year, as all of our senior student leaders finish early in term 4. The policies for Junior, Senior and House Leaders are presented at assemblies, students then sign up if interested, attend interviews and then go through the election process (see attachment).
VCAL and Sustainability Leaders attend meetings in term 3 within their area. They are spoken to about their responsibilities, nominations are sought and students within these teams then vote for who they would like to represent the Green Team and VCAL.
In week 3, term 4, at a Whole School Assembly leaders are thanked for their effort throughout the year and the new school leaders are introduced to the whole school.
Student are asked if they are interested in joining their year level forum at their first year level assembly for the year. They sign up and attend regular meetings throughout the year, led by their year level manager.
Senior and Junior Captains
Senior and Junior School Captains (4 per junior and senior school) play an active part in voicing student concerns. They are all part of their year level forums and hear concerns, which they voice back to principals via lunches held once a term. Senior students join School Board at the start of the year and give reports on: Junior School, Senior School, FLO, Houses and PBS. They also actively participate in discussion with our whole school community when asked. By mid-year the Junior Captains are introduced to School Board and start the process of taking over from Senior Captains, as their year leads to exams and finishing up. Junior and Senior Captains actively take part in all larger community events: ANZAC Day, Presentation Nights, transition and all community events that the school is invited to.
House Captains (4 captains per house, Longhurst, Wells, Ogden, Glendinning) all actively participate in school sports. They work with House Leaders to develop teams at each age group, gather students on the day, participate themselves and help to load all student’s information into Sports Tracker. They also help lift team morale on the day, as they all strive to not only win but strive to win the House Spirit Award. Throughout the year each House is responsible for a term of lunch time activities and fundraising. The four captains from each house work with their House Leaders to come up with activities, run them and promote them throughout the school, the same with a fundraiser.
VCAL Leaders (minimum 4) are to lead and develop our VCAL Program in a positive way throughout the school and community. They take on larger community events, which they use as outcomes, and make sure all year 11 and 12 VCAL are out in the community in a positive way. They all speak at assemblies to promote what they are doing and actively seek the right students to join the VCAL Program. They meet once a term with the VCAL Manager to discuss any small programs they would like to develop.
Sustainability Leaders (minimum 4) are students are from our Green Team, and have been elected by the team to give them a voice amongst the whole school. They do the work directed by the Resource Smart Project that the school is invested in. They monitor water and paper usage, look at making better gardens and ways to educated students on how to be more environmentally friendly. This team sets a goal for the year and aims to achieve it. They promote what they do at assemblies and often run whole school competitions as a way to promote themselves and gain outside investment to help achieve their goal, meeting once a week to organise their events.
The PBS Student Leadership Structure
Each of these four areas of leadership are joined together to help form 4 PBS Leadership groups around our values; Respect, Responsibility, High Expectations and Belonging. Under each value sits: one senior captain, one junior captain, one VCAL leader, one sustainability leaders and a house team (4 students). In all, each value has 8 students. These students work on developing whole school ideas around their value and the PBS program. Each has the goal of making sure they present something, e.g. a video, game or survey at the end of term assembly for each year level on the nominated term their value is being promoted. On top of this they work on developing other ideas.
When these students are all elected in term 3, they all go to a full day of leadership training, run by our wellbeing department. This helps them develop their leadership style, shows them how to work in groups of various sizes and reach goals. This training is then reinforced at the start of the year when they meet again for a whole day of training, run by Wellbeing and MMLEN, and again at midyear where they get the chance to look at how far they have individually come.
Each team has a volunteer teacher that helps them drive their ideas and develop their own leadership. This teacher calls a meeting with them 3 times a term to help them develop their team value idea. A meeting is held once a term with all the teams by the Sub School Managers to help look at the bigger picture of PBS in the school and what needs to be promoted.
Year Level Forums
At the start of the year, Year Level Managers ask for interested students to sign up for a year level forum. These are run by year level managers and have the aim of helping all students develop short term goals for their year level, achieve them and promote their leadership skills. Often their goals are specific only for their own year level, e.g. a formal, a movie night, changing school t-shirts, the developing of senior jackets, graduation dinner. Through forums, students often learn about budgeting, school policies, and the process around making changes.
Junior School: Run a “Junior Leadership Forum” with students from all junior year levels. Some students volunteer, others are invited. There is a representative from each year level with two volunteers per class being asked to join and having the junior captains, either involved or running the forum. At times the year 9 cohort break off and plan individual activities, but otherwise they are all in together.
Senior School: Run separate year level forums, driven by the Year Level Manager. At the start of the year each group is to come up with an achievable goal and this is the focus for the year. Once a term senior school captains meet with the forums to discuss with them what is happening in the year level, so that they can report back to the Principal team what is happening in the senior school.