Trent Schools

November 29, 2021

 

How do you define a leader?

Leaders are found in a variety of forms and places; this is especially true at Trent College and The Elms, where leadership opportunities can be pursued in the library and on the sports field, and even the youngest members of our school community step up to the role of leader.

Pupils see leadership in action every day, making the act of leading an important part of our school culture. From Head of School and Prefects to Scholars and sports team captains, older pupils inspire younger pupils every day and in turn become role models to aspire to. Being led by someone who was once in your shoes can have a powerful impact on how you view your own potential.

The best way to learn how to lead is to try it for yourself! Lessons in leadership start as early as reception, when pupils get their first opportunity to represent their class on the School Council, and continue through to sixth form where pupils have more than 45 roles to choose from.

The School Councils

We actively encourage pupils of all ages to have their say in school life. Elms councillors are responsible for voicing classmates’ opinions on matters from the lunch menu to the school recycling policy and are expected to report back on council meeting outcomes. A School Council trip to meet the Mayor at Erewash Borough Council is an exciting opportunity for the children to explore the councillor role at a higher level.

The Trent School Council operates on a much larger platform. Instead of representing their class, council representatives become the voice of an entire year group and represent their peers’ views on all aspects of their school life.

Head of Schools and Prefects

At its core, being a Prefect at Junior and Senior level is about supporting others, embodying school values and giving back to your community.

Trent’s substantial Prefect body is integral to the smooth running of the school. Five teams take responsibility for supporting the five different year groups in school. Each team has a Senior Prefect to oversee the work of the team and to liaise with the relevant Tutors, Heads of Year and Heads of Tier. In turn, the Head of School oversees the work of the Senior Prefects and liaises with the admission department and senior staff. The Boarding Houses have their own Heads of House and in addition to duties in their allocated area, every Prefect is expected to provide support at important school events.

Our Head of School roles are the pinnacle of school leadership. As focal role models for all pupils, the Head of School at Trent and the Head Boy and Head Girl at The Elms must lead by example.

To become Head of School, a Trent pupil must prove their leadership abilities to their peers, the School Council and the Head of Sixth Form, before sitting a final interview with the Head himself. Their extensive duties include representing the school at important events, preparing speeches and termly reports for assemblies, and managing a team of 40 prefects. At The Elms, the Head Boy and Head Girl positions may be occupied by 10 year olds, but the level of responsibility remains much the same – represent the school, lead prefect meetings and attend weekly talks with the Head.

Co-curricular and Activity Programmes

Our extensive co-curricular and after school activity programmes ensure that all pupils develop a varied skillset that can be applied in all areas of life. In our specialist areas of Music, Drama and Sport, we nurture the skills and attitudes that are essential for leading – responsibility, commitment, organisation, problem solving, confidence, initiative, communication and teamwork. A range of enrichment activities, such as karate and debating, offers every pupil the chance to discover new interests and avenues for personal development.

Additional programmes such as the Combined Cadet Force, Service Activities and the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Trent introduce pupils to new skills and enhance existing ones by challenging pupils to venture outside their comfort zones. Sixth Formers who have demonstrated their commitment to a specific pursuit have the opportunity to use their skills to help others go further. Sports captains, debating coaches and orchestral leaders are all examples of pupils who have transformed a hobby into a talent through hard work and dedication.

Further opportunities at The Elms include the newly created role of Play Leader for aspiring leaders in Year 5. The position allows the pupils to develop confidence working with younger children by escorting them to the dining hall and leading lunchtime games for Infant pupils. Since hosting The Diana Award in 2018, The Elms has also ran a student group of Anti-Bullying Ambassadors aimed at giving pupils the confidence to turn to their peers in situations where they feel isolated. Anti-Bullying Ambassadors are empowered to devise strategies as well as driving activities during the annual Anti-Bullying Week.

We encourage every pupil to embrace the opportunities for leadership during their time at Trent College and The Elms. Even if a pupil does not see themselves as a leader, the skills they gain from learning about successful leadership and what it involves will benefit them in their education and the future.

Lucy Matthews, Deputy Head (Co-curricular) at Trent, says, “We give the highest priority to the quality of our academic provision and our reputation for delivering a fully rounded curriculum, with a full and exciting range of curricular and co-curricular opportunities at every stage of the school journey. Within both of these spheres, the development of independence and leadership skills are absolutely central to everything we do, so that our young men and women are equipped for life beyond the school gates.”