Ethical Leadership Series- Inter-Community School Zurich
Posted: 27 January 2021
- Communication Skills
- Problem Solving
- Sense of Responsibility
- Self awareness
- St Mary’s Colchester- shared the resources to allow them to participate
- St Philip’s College- shared the resources and also connected via zoom to share their own project
A group of motivated secondary school students at ICS masterminded, designed, and delivered “The Ethical Leadership Series” as a professional development opportunity for other students.
The series is in its third year and is targeted at Middle School students. The first group of students came up with the idea in response to needs they saw in the school (behaviour). They decided that the workshops would have an ethical focus and be created to offer constructive, positive education to students. For the first two years of the programme the students delivered the workshops as part of a retreat within the school day. The third year, this year, was a challenge as the school went into lockdown and all workshops were cancelled. The student leaders responded by creating podcasts and stand-alone sessions that could be used independently, or with a facilitator. This was shared with the secondary school as part of the Personal Development Programme. https://sites.google.com/icsz.ch/icsethicalleadershippodcasts/home
Several years ago, ICS student leadership groups were struggling with their identities. At the time we were not sure of the roles of Student Council (as it was then), House, and Round Square Action Groups. Students from the three groups signed up for a retreat led by teacher mentors and their concepts of leadership grew from those sessions.
Afterwards, the Grade 10 Round Square Group began reflecting on the ethics of leadership and how character is developed. This group decided to host a workshop for the younger students in the school and raise awareness of the ethics of leadership and importance of character development. The number of participants were small, we had to host after school, but we were encouraged as participants signed up to give the workshops the next year. This time we were able to offer the sessions during a collapsed afternoon.
For our third year, the plans came to an abrupt halt. Just as we were about to deliver our sessions, we went into Lockdown. After a planning session, we decided to offer the workshops as Podcasts with Slideshows. Ones that could be facilitated by other students/teachers or could be taken in Lockdown. We wanted to share these with other students who were also locked down at home with limited access to others.
- Identify behaviours / trends in the school
- Match those trends / behaviours with sessions (eg. supportive conversations)
- Brainstorm ideas for workshop sessions
- Create the workshops
- Peer review each other’s workshops
- Deliver workshops
- Solicit feedback from participants
Communication and Organisation
- Weekly meetings with student leaders and teacher mentor
- Close liaison with Secondary Principal
- Obtain permission to take students out of classes
- Book teaching spaces
- Communicate with parents
- Communicate with the Communication Dept.
- Create central platform (Website) that was used as:
- Central access point for research and documentation
- Open access area for student participants
- Advertise through Managebac and Registrations
- Create the sign-up
- Communicate with teacher to excuse participants for missing class
- Share student list with reception for safety
- Meeting with other leadership groups to share resources and understanding
- Offer to pilot workshops with other leadership groups
- Connect with other RS schools to share resources
Safeguarding and Data Protection
- Obtain permission from parents of presenters to share their resources
- Ensure no personal information was visible
- Use the Teacher Mentor as a central communication point
- Ensure that photos of the workshops did not have students’ faces visible
- Collapsed afternoon (Administration permissions)
- After school (clash with after-school activities)
- Available spaces
- Ensuring that photos / videos that were to be shared out did not have students’ faces on them
- All resources could only have students’ first names on them
- Digital Platform
When we moved to Podcasts, we had to approach curriculum leaders to see if they would launch the podcasts during their slots (this was because the school was in Lockdown).
A powerful example of student leadership and mentoring. The original aim was to identify and celebrate the difference between the leadership groups. The students then developed the series in response to issues they found in tension in the student community (language use in international schools). Each year the student leadership groups chose different workshops to host. Some were in connection with behaviours they wished to see (supportive coaching conversations), some were connected to the concept of leadership (strength-based, non-hierarchical, values-based).
Long Term Outcomes
Staff were able to see the engagement and professionalism with which the students cultivated their workshops. Students were able to learn from their peers and see role models in the older students.
The activity relies on the engagement of the student leaders. At the moment, it is a challenge to connect with students in the same way pre-Covid restrictions but it will continue.
- GDPR – Ensure the material shared outside of ICS met school requirements.
- Find a place within the curriculum – connecting to curriculum where possible.
- Encourage participants to sign-up for training to be workshop leaders at the end of the course. This will ensure the sustainability of the workshop.
- The students will run the programme, but need guidance on how to put on a workshop and teach.
LINK to the site: https://sites.google.com/icsz.ch/icsethicalleadershippodcasts/home
LINK to student leaders testimonial
Author: Lydia Eckstein, RS Rep, Service Learning Coordinator, Personal Development Coordinator G11