“A Spirit of Leadership recognises that successful leaders are driven by a desire to be of service to others and to nurture, guide, develop and help them to improve and succeed.” – Round Square
Dainfern College’s mission is to produce leaders of great calibre who will make a positive contribution to, and an effective investment into, their families, communities and nations. Our Mission reads:
“Dainfern College develops the skills for life required to unlock unique personal potential and to nurture creative thinkers with the confidence to become leaders – through the provision of an innovative, relevant and quality education.”
Teaching the skills of leadership and what it means to lead is a critical requirement of any educational institution. There are so many areas in life that require astute leadership ability and we therefore believe that it is critically important to equip our students with relevant leadership tools and skills. The concept of ‘servant leadership’ is ingrained at an early age, with students encouraged to help and support each other at every opportunity.
Leadership is one of the pillars of a Dainfern College education, one of key drivers and it is also one of the Round Square IDEALS. We therefore expose as many children as possible to leadership opportunities that may help them to develop their own unique leadership style.
Informal leadership opportunities begin in the Junior Preparatory when students are given small tasks and responsibilities in daily activities and group work. From Grade 3, leadership opportunities are more formalised in the form of captaincy of House and sports teams.
The Senior Preparatory Leadership Programme introduces more formalised leadership opportunities and training through sports and cultural captaincy opportunities, internal and interschools leadership workshops and the Learner Representative Council.
Our ground-breaking High School Leadership Academy gives every student the opportunity to develop and grow leadership skills from Grade 8 and enables them to join the Leadership Programme at the end of Grade 11, providing certain criteria are met.
All students on the Leadership Programme are given the opportunity to lead a portfolio where they can develop and use their leadership skills. Appraisals are held throughout the year and at the start of Term 3 of their Grade 12 year, students are awarded colours according to their success as leaders.
In a democratic society it is important that every one has a chance to be heard and to feel that their opinions matter. We therefore have two student forums in place at Dainfern College to give our students a voice and chance to serve their peers in a democratic forum.
In the Senior Preparatory we prepare students to use their initiative and serve others through the Learner Representative Council (LRC). Each class has a Learner Representative Councillor who assists with general duties pertaining to classroom organisation and assistance. This builds confidence, responsibility and empathy.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) in the High School is a democratic student-run forum used as a platform to raise student concerns and make necessary changes. Members are made up from a representative from each Life Orientation class in Grades 8-12; the Heads and Deputy Heads of the High School, the Heads of Houses and the Head of the SRC. Visiting portfolios are always welcome and other Grade 12 leaders are often invited to give their input. The SRC meets weekly where concerns are raised and discussed, voted on democratically and taken forward to the High School Management Committee by the Head of the SRC.
The Student Co-Chairs for the Dainfern College SRC 2019/2020 are Stephen Browne and Matthew Blake (pictured right).
Every child from Grade 4 to Grade 12 attends a camp each year that includes some aspect of leadership awareness and training. This becomes more focused and intentional in each grade until the final Grade 12 Matric Retreat which is a time to reflect on the school journey as students prepare for their final exams.
Students attending grade camps have the benefit of being out of the city in unspoilt and wilderness areas, enjoying nature and learning to respect it. These camps provide a wonderful opportunity for students to make new friends and to take part in activities that stretch and challenge them, encouraging them to embrace new opportunities and learn different skills.
Away from normal distractions during High School camps, students can really concentrate on their own journey, their team and the instructions given. They experience different situations and learn much about themselves and group dynamics, about being a leader and a follower. They feel the satisfaction of owning their performance and they come to realise that, with attention and application, they can achieve way beyond their initial expectations and standards. In so doing they develop the mental stamina and a deep sense of unity and team commitment that will equip them for life.
Leadership is one of the Round Square IDEALS. The Round Square approach encourages a ‘spirit of leadership’ that gives students opportunities to explore leadership concepts, identify role models and develop a range of leadership skills in a supportive environment inside and outside of the classroom.
In embracing this aspect of Leadership, our students are encouraged to participate in a full range of activities, to create and implement their own initiatives, and to engage in creative problem solving and strategising. They are taught the importance of a shared objective and to embrace the concept of being of service to others.
In so doing our students learn about themselves and their abilities and how to use these and the abilities of their peers to the greatest effect. This develops self-awareness, empathy, determination and confidence, giving our students the skills to become responsible and compassionate leaders of the future.
96 Broadacres Drive
PO Box 3199
Tel - Main Reception: +27 (0)11 469 0635
Tel - Junior Preparatory: +27 (0)10 020 5457
GPS coordinates: 25° 59' 23.21"S; 28° 00' 25.55"E