Best Practice

Ideas for teaching students leadership skills

The Girls’ Day School Trust recently held its national Young Leaders Conference. Dr Kevin Stannard discusses some of their schools’ approaches to teaching leadership skills.

Leadership skills don’t develop in a silo. They originate and grow out of a meshed group of attributes that we seek to develop in schools.

Learning how to evaluate information, sifting significant facts, developing physical and mental discipline, being resilient, open and engaged with the world, listening to and respecting the views of others, effectively communicating one’s own views, knowing when and how to work independently and collaboratively – these are all attributes that are important in effective leaders. They matter as much as knowing facts, figures and formulae.

The difference is that while the latter derive from what pupils are taught, the opportunities and attributes important to leadership arise out of how pupils are taught, and more importantly how they learn. They also spill out of the classroom and into extra-curricular activities.

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