Head of Campus Update – 24 August 2017

Leadership and Excellence as Keys for Change

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the BGS Community in full flight at Friday’s assembly. Our musicians were superb and the school presented itself with polish in the company of a group of proud parents. It was delightful for me to speak with the community about the key focus of our gathering, notably student leadership and academic excellence. Not only were these two topics relevant to the awards and presentations of potential School Captain for 2018, they are both key drivers in changing the teaching and learning culture of a school.

Leadership is perhaps the most heavily discussed but least understood phenomena’s in our world, largely as our appreciation of leadership is ever evolving. We all have an image of leadership in our minds and this is often difficult to shift from the notion of historical or heroic leadership perpetuated by Hollywood. What we do now from our consumption of daily media, is that in our world today there is a dearth of leaders with the capacity to enrich the lives of others in our society. However, many theorists would argue and I certainly agree that educational leadership has the capacity to change lives through improving school performance in a number of areas. It is absolutely essential that leadership is available to everyone within a school to enable them to grow and learn. However, the type of leadership which is modelled for students must be one of servant leadership. In this sense, the leader doesn’t require a badge, position or popularity. Individuals lead teams through their capacity to guide and influence, rather than direct or berate. It was certainly heartening for me to hear these messages come from our Leadership candidates and I look forward to working with them in the future.

The other great notion of a focus on leadership is that it promotes excellence, people at their very best. Our core purpose here at BGS is the learning and growth of our boys on their journey to manhood. At the assembly I encouraged them each to discover their own brand of excellence, essentially striving to be the very best version of them self. If each and every one, of our students at BGS has this purpose, then our teaching and learning culture can only transform for the better for all. These are exciting times for our boys as they seek to lead and excel in all that they   do, a key ingredient for success beyond their examinations.

Dr Steven Middleton
Head of Berwick Grammar School