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BHS launches leadership programme

Sweet science: BHS students Erica Singleton, Y3, Sasha Bedford, Y4, Juliana Faria, Y3, and Margaret Adderley, Y4, complete the Marshmallow Challenge to build the tallest free-standing structure out of spaghetti sticks, tape, string and a marshmallow

BHS has launched their I Lead framework to students — the culmination of two years of research and planning to create an in-house leadership programme which will positively impact the development of students’ leadership capabilities at BHS.

By focusing on three main areas: Leading Self, Leading Others and Leading by Example, this new framework will allow BHS to continue to focus on building leadership capabilities and skills in all students, and develop a more inclusive definition and understanding of leadership from EYP through to IB.

The framework consists of five focus areas to fulfil the mandate:

1, People — through the “She Leads” Speaker Series, students are connected to inspirational female leaders locally and internationally.

So far, BHS has welcomed scientists from Nasa, a robotics professor, a female rugby referee, a BHS alumna who is a pilot, and an international journalist, among others, to inspire the girls.

2, Programmes — experiential learning opportunities focused on developing leadership capabilities and skills will be expanded inside and outside of the classroom.

This leadership programme for young women is now accepting applications from interested students. More details can be found on the BHS website (bhs.bm).

3, Positions — more opportunities for all students to take on leadership roles and responsibilities will be offered across the year levels.

4, Practices — staff will build on existing practices to embed leadership into the fabric of the school.

5, Place — the newly designed Innovation Centre will have a designated Leadership Area for group discussions, workshops and presentations.

To celebrate the launch, activities were designed around the “I Lead” framework.

Invited speakers, alumnae Christie Hunter Arscott and Akilah Beckles, kicked off the day’s events by talking about the importance of using your voice and the role of self-care in leadership.

Ms Hunter Arscott spoke about her journey to become a passionate advocate for women’s leadership. She left the audience with a question and a challenge: “How can you use your voice to lead? Think of one thing you can commit to do to improve your leadership.”

Ms Beckles focused her presentation on self-care and the importance of setting boundaries in leading oneself. “Think about a limit you can put in your life. Self-care isn’t always fun, but it can help create the life you want. I wish we had this programme when I was here,” she said.

The rest of the day was designed to give students opportunities for leadership activities within their year groups, and also across the year levels.

Secondary students had the opportunity to watch either Hidden Figures or The Hate You Give and the films were followed by discussion groups.

Year 10 student Samai Dunn read out a powerful speech she had written about the impact that The Hate You Give had on her, and BHS was honoured to welcome the producer of the movie, Robert Teitel, to discuss the themes of the movie and the social issues it addresses.

In a special assembly for primary, teachers dressed up as famous women from history, and then Ms Hunter Arscott spoke to the girls about using their voice to lead.

For the past three weeks, primary students have been practising a special I Lead exercise and on Friday they spelt out the letters “BHS” on the school field, and to the beat of a drum while chanting “At BHS, I lead, I lead” they moved themselves into a new formation to spell I Lead.

It took hours of planning and was a perfect example of leadership in action. You can watch the At BHS I lead video on YouTube.

In the afternoon, the new student leaders and aspiring student leaders participated in a leadership workshop given by visiting expert, Mike Weber, to focus on the “Leading Others” aspect of the framework.

Others spent the afternoon in the community, “Leading by Example”. Some students participated in clean-ups; some volunteered at the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, and the SPCA; while others read to students at West Pembroke Primary School and took first-aid courses.

All activities were provided to enhance the girls’ teambuilding skills, personal growth and of course, their leadership capabilities.

Tracy Renaud, BHS’s leadership co-ordinator and incoming head of primary, said: “Developing leadership skills and capabilities in our students is an integral part of our daily lives at BHS. While it has always been rooted in our vision, we have developed a heightened awareness and placed a stronger emphasis in this area to better prepare our students for the new world order.

“We have worked hard to create a more inclusive definition of leadership and develop a profile that will be embedded in our classrooms daily.

“We are very excited about launching the ‘I Lead’ framework and the essential elements at BHS and look forward to continuing our journey with a comprehensive focus on building leadership capabilities and skills in our students and also those in the broader community.”

Former head of school, Marjorie Hallet, said the following in 1945: “Today, to a greater extent than ever before, BHS girls are preparing themselves to enter professional and commercial fields. Efficient leadership is badly needed in all spheres of life, and in the future, as in the past, I am confident that there will be BHS girls ready and equipped to fill this need.”

Current head of school, Linda Parker, said: “These words still hold true today, and we hold very dear the responsibility to equip our students with the skills, tools, knowledge and confidence to face the world that awaits them outside of our walls.

“Aligned with our vision and increased focus on leadership, we have created this in-house programme to positively develop leadership skills in all of our students, and we are excited to continue the work of educating tomorrow’s leaders.”