The School Captains with support from Ms. Hutton pitched the Student Leadership Charter to the student voice body during term 1.

We separated the session into two parts. The first part consisted of the Captains describing and explaining the intention of the Student Leadership Charter and making sure each student was on the same page. This was followed by a brainstorm session on what we already do well as Student leaders in our community and what we can do better with improvements suggested for each guiding principle. There were improvements suggested to the Student Leadership Charter along with additional requests regarding the improvement of student learning, building strong interpersonal student – teacher relationships and many more.

Our first session was conducted with the Year 11 Peer Leaders and Year 12 and 11 Student Voice with 29 people in attendance including Captains Dang Vy Anh, Sudarshan K, Melanie Mehcic and Jaydan Smith. Throughout the session they were quite focused and engaged in conversations with their peers about what we do well as senior student leaders and what we can do better. Each student had valuable inputs for each leadership principles/value.

The next session was conducted with the year 9 and 10 Student voice with 22 students in attendance including the Captains, Dang Vy Anh & Sudarshan K, Vice Captains, Melanie Mehcic & Jaydan Smith and the International Captains, Nhu Le & John Pham. At the start, the students were a bit chatty but then settled down, interacting with each other and sparking discussions about improvements, offering new perspectives, and principles to add onto the charter.

The year 8 student voice session had to be split into two session rather than one due to insufficient time and as they were new to the High School Leadership setting.  We needed ample amount of time and help from Peer Leaders to engage them in discussions. There were 23 students present in the first meeting including 5 Captains including Dang Vy Anh, Sudarshan, Jaydan, Nhu and John. The second meeting had 18 students in attendance along with 4 School Captains Dang Vy Anh, Sudarshan, Jaydan and John. They were aided by Year 11 Peer Leaders, Hong Doan, and Caitlyn Angel. During the first meeting the students seemed lost and were not engaged. This was due to their lack of understanding of the role of Student Voice in a High School setting. The charter appeared to be too complex for them as they had nothing to compare it to and had not seen anything like it before. To spark some interest and some brainstorming we started off the first session discussing our roles of School Captains and Student Voice members. Then we asked the Year 8’s to compare this with any leadership roles they partook in in Primary School. With this we were able to find similarities and differences between Student Voice present in High School and Primary Schools.

With the Year 8 Student Voice we noticed that coming from Primary School, they were not exposed to this kind of leadership and the role was significantly new to most of them. We learnt that there needs to be more awareness of leadership roles to year 8’s as they transition into the high school setting, preparing them for their years ahead. Comparing the improvements table with the other year levels, you can notice that their reasons and suggested improvements were catering for a classroom setting or for individuals rather than values that a leader should have and commit to. Although not having a lot of leadership experience, they were keen to learn more about leadership and opportunities of where it could take them in the future. 

In the majority, all the year levels agreed that the Student Leadership Charter was substantial and embodied all the matters that were already in action. We noticed that the leadership charter was a bit difficult to grasp for the students of the younger year levels as most of their suggestions were about improvements, we can do within our school culture to improve each principle/value and how each issue related to it.

An interesting point that was observed during the sessions, not necessarily related to the charter was the need for more support in classrooms. Several students expressed concerns that they felt they weren’t getting enough support from teachers and that they may not be able to provide an ample amount of support that everyone needs in a classroom due to time constraints, and that SSO support in class would help this.

Below are tables compiled of all the improvements suggested by students of all year levels, segregated by year level and principles.

Year 12’s & 11’s
Driving Future Direction
Understanding school leadership structureEncourage students to be involved in student voice
Enhance Personal Effectiveness
Setting goals + managing stress (in conjunction with improvement student wellbeing) Creating a respectful and successful relationship throughout the school community Having and improving one’s self-confidence Being persistence
Building Student Culture
Ready to cooperate and work together in a team setting. (Further facilitation of teamwork)Developing yourself first and then helping others, creating relationships throughout year levelsBuilding a stronger student teacher relationshipAwareness of issues Student – Teacher relationships
Year 10’s & 9’s
Driving Future Direction  
Process improvements Must follow through with solutions to problemsTracking of progress
Enhance Personal Effectiveness Developing oneself Acting with integrity   Specific teachers and year level teachers knowing issuesNotified about significant issues and solutions to them in each year level (year level managers)
Building Student Culture
Effective communicationStaff to student Student to Staff. Staff – student relationships Easier to voice opinions Leadership communication 
Achieving Performance Goals
Increase of support in a class setting from teachers Tutoring
Year 8’s
Driving Future Direction  
Asking for more fun lessons, interactive learning Brain breaks Interactive learning Big goals into smaller sections (chunking) Harsher punishment for troublemakers…?Using mind maps in real life situations*Increasing Voice Value More Language choicesMore communication and collaborationVoice yourself first
Enhance Personal Effectiveness   Developing oneself Acting with integrity   Specific teachers and year level teachers knowing issuesNotified about significant issues and solutions to them in each year level (year level managers) More focus on leadershipExperienced leaders should lead Ambitious leaders
Building Student Culture  
Increasing group work Higher year levels help younger year levels Peer tutoring Sharing experiences and best practices
Achieving Performance Goals
In-depth understanding and continuing the process at a higher standard

Written by:

Sudarshan Kabbinahittalu, School Captain. In conjunction with Female School Captain Dang Vy Anh Nguyen, Vice Captains Melanie Rachelle, Jaydan Smith and International Captains Nhu Le, John Pham.

Supported by Ms Hutton.

Student Leadership Charter

Student Leadership Charter Statement

  • School leaders have built an inclusive, collaborative culture
  • The school ethos is built on high expectations and a commitment to excellence
  • A strong moral purpose aligned with strategic action
  • Contribute to the improvement of learning, engagement, and wellbeing of every student
  • School leaders engage in and model learning and lead the development of a learning culture in schools
  • Being collaborative, consultative, empathetic and a presence for others
  • Effective strategies to strengthen student voice in decisions around learning and wellbeing
  • Community engagement is fostered and nurtured
  • Relationships are fostered and promoted to nurture mutual respect and the wellbeing of all staff, students, parents, and wider school community