Students encouraged to become leaders of tomorrow

Year 11 and lower sixth students from South West state and independent schools have joined together for the inaugural Inter-School Leadership Symposium

Students from a range of Somerset state and independent schools joined Millfield students for a day of training sessions that aimed to build their confidence and encourage them to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Participants came from Strode College, Sexey’s School, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Richard Huish College in Taunton, St Dunstan’s School in Glastonbury, and Cheltenham schools Balcarras Academy and Cheltenham Ladies’ College.

Throughout the day students enjoyed interactive sessions on resilience and team work, then later developed their skills of presentation, communication and the art of conversation.

Paul Jones, history teacher at St Dunstan’s, said: “Our students were most definitely pushed outside their comfort zone at times but blended in so brilliantly with students from other schools and colleges.”

The symposium culminated with a panel Q&A discussion with entrepreneurs from fields including European litigation funders, catering, global brand design, health and wellbeing, events management, executive coaching and construction.

Students from independent and state schools were in attendance

A student from Sexey’s School in Bruton added: “I really enjoyed learning about the different careers and pathways that the entrepreneurs had taken to get where they are now.”

Jeremy Niblett, head of physics at Balcarras Academy, said: “My students loved it and have been talking about it all day, even putting bits into action.”

Chantal Bowring, Millfield head of sixth form, organised the event. She said: “We deliberately created mixed school teams in workshops and asked that no students arrive in their distinguishable uniform. After understandable initial shyness, by lunchtime the venue was buzzing; it was wonderful to see those emerging adults, from many different backgrounds, communicate and work together most effectively and enthusiastically.

“Friendships were certainly formed that day, as was a newfound confidence that continued to develop throughout the day.”

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