DAY OF EXCELLENCE: Mrs Oppermann's Year 6 class learning about the qualities of leadership. Picture: Julian Lehnert.
DAY OF EXCELLENCE: Mrs Oppermann's Year 6 class learning about the qualities of leadership. Picture: Julian Lehnert.

Students step up to leadership roles

RESPONSIBILITY, a willingness to help others, goal-setting skills and being prepared to make sacrifices — these are just a few of the qualities of leadership taught to students at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School at the Year 6 Day of Excellence.

The nine Year 6 students at the Gayndah school spent their Monday learning about what makes a leader by discussing leadership and looking at their own contributions to the community.

As part of their final year of studies at the school, the entire class has been declared school leaders — a tremendous responsibility for a school of only 59 children.

“Our day was about what it means to be a leader, and what we think a leader should look like,” said Asher, one of the Year 6 students.

“(A leader should be) responsible and guide other people.”

Taylor, one of Asher’s classmates, added: “(Being a leader means) we are doing our jobs, like watering the plants, taking out the bins, and tending to the sports shed — helping out the other kids and not just slacking off”.

When asked by her teacher, Inge Oppermann, Ella explained that being a leader “is about goal-setting and how we are going to manage to do it) about leadership and taking on responsibilities”.

Ella’s classmate Poppy stressed the importance of making sacrifices for the community.

“(Leadership is) putting the needs of others before yourself,” she said.

St Joseph’s principal Terese Shephard said the Year 6 Day of Excellence helped prepare students for the school year.

“We always start the year with our Year 6s with a leadership day to explore for them what leadership means,” Ms Shephard said.

“We find out what they think it means, and then explain what we expect of them as Year 6 leaders at St. Joseph’s.

“It’s a lot about being role models — not just for the younger students, but for the whole community.

“We talk to them about putting the needs of others before their own, and that they are going to have to make sacrifices by giving up their time in order to serve the community.”

This, Ms Shephard hopes, will teach the future leaders valuable skills.

“All of those skills are part of preparing them, not just for high school, but also for life after school,” she said.

“Being able to communicate and collaborate are all important skills in this 21st century world.

“I’m very proud of all our students — they’re an amazing group and I’m sure they’ll make remarkable leaders.”


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