At Isleworth & Syon, we are committed to providing our students with leadership opportunities. In the classroom, we encourage a “learners as leaders” approach. This means students taking initiative for their own learning. Meanwhile, across the school the pastoral and house teams have greatly enhanced our Ambassador programme so that more students have the opportunity to be role models.
Academic research is plentiful regarding the benefit of student leadership, including:
- Academic achievement
- Raised self-esteem
- Better attendance
- Improved attitudes to learning
- The opportunity to develop a wide variety of desirable skills, qualities and attributes.
During their time in school, students journey along the Isleworth & Syon way to develop into an Isleworthian. One of the key traits of this is becoming “a confident leader – ready to listen and take initiative where needed.” The Student Ambassador programme brings this to life.
What is the Student Ambassadors Programme?
This programme exists to give students a voice. Research shows that students feel more connected to their school if they are involved in the decision making surrounding their experience. We have been doing this for years – the Ambassadors programme just formalises it.
The programme integrates the Sixth Form into the house system, assigning a Senior House Ambassador for each house. These Ambassadors work alongside the Head Student Team – Ben Rawsthorne, Tinashe Chituku and Ben Lumm – to support Key Stages 3 and 4. So far, the Senior House Ambassadors have been regularly going into forms and speaking in assemblies, aiming to encourage participation in activities like Movember and the Christmas Charity Drive.
As shown in the diagram, each form group in Years 7-11 has four ambassadors. Following the launch of the programme in October, we had 250 applicants across the four year groups – an outstanding amount. House and Pastoral Leaders selected students based on their applications, before meeting with the chosen students to outline the roles and responsibilities. So far, the boys have risen to the task – as you can see in the next section.
Autumn Term 2021
House & Citizenship
- Distributing poppies to mark Remembrance Month
- Selling badges for Prostate Cancer UK (during Movember)
- Supporting with our food collection for a local Hounslow-based foodbank
- Feeding into and attending this term’s Student Council meeting.
Sport & Extra-Curricular
- Organising form teams for the House rugby competition
- Raising the profile of sport & extra-curricular clubs within their form group
- Presenting to their form group on the importance of joining sports & extra-curricular clubs.
Digital & Online
- Encouraging peers to get involved in Charity events and House competitions through Teams
- Presenting to their form group on how devices (computers, tablets, phones) can support progress in school.
Reading & Literacy
- Helping Ms Squires collect outstanding books so that our library is fully stocked
- Presenting to their form group on why reading is so important
- Helping new students use our online platforms for learning.
As mentioned earlier, Student Voice is a key component of life at Isleworth & Syon. In Autumn Term 2, we held our first Student Council meeting of the year, led by the Head Student Team. It was a very productive meeting with an agenda decided by students themselves. Topics included:
- Behaviour in lessons
- Study Support
- IT access
All students across school had the opportunity to give feedback which was then discussed. The Senior Leadership Team received the meeting minutes for further discussion, while House Leaders will meet with the CucinA regional manager to discuss the use of plastic in school. Developments will be fed back to the student council at the next meeting, scheduled for next half-term.
We will keep developing the Student Ambassadors programme as we can already see the impact it is having – both on the students involved and their peers. Keep an eye on this website and our social media accounts over the next few months for more!