The Prep School Leadership Programme was revamped in 2006 in response to changes in leadership models at schools around the country. It has been refined in tiny increments since then, and the Dainfern College Senior Prep Leadership model today largely subscribes to the idea of servant leadership.
The idea is to broaden the base of leadership as far as possible and to provide incentives along the way. The old model appointed leaders at the end of Grade 6, and by the end of the first term, these leaders were jaded and demotivated.
Under the current system every Grade 7 is appointed as a Councillor or a temporary House Captain for a probationary period of about five weeks. During this time these pupils rotate through various committees that serve in areas such as the Media Centre, Scholar Patrol, Environment, Junior Prep, Latecomers & Detention, PRO and various other service roles around the school. Councillors attend weekly meetings with the head of leadership to discuss issues that have arisen.
At the end of each probationary period Councillors are evaluated by their peers.
At the start of the final term, Grade 7 learners elect Senior Councillors, Deputy Honours Councillors, House Captains and Honours Councillors to serve as permanently elected representatives for the last three months of the year. Teachers are also given a vote. The leaders are inducted and sign a pledge at a special Leadership Assembly.
Additional appointments can be made to this leadership body at the discretion of the Principal, Head of Leadership and Grade 7 staff during the course of the third term.
Every year staff and pupils make suggestions to streamline this process and give the leaders additional opportunities to serve and grow. Although Grade 7 learners are the seniors of the Prep School, they learn countless life lessons through humility and through extra responsibility.
Melanie de Klerk
Head of Leadership