6th form leadership: building men and women for others

Leaders of the future: our heads of schools outside Fronoleu Terrace
Leaders of the future: our heads of schools outside Fronoleu Terrace

A group of sixth-formers descended on the Jesuit Villa House in Barmouth last week for a three day Jesuit Institute conference on leadership. From Wednesday 28 September to Friday 30 September, head boys and head girls came to Fronoleu Terrace to learn about leadership in the Jesuit tradition. The head boys and girls and some deputy head boys and girls came from the Jesuit secondary schools of Stonyhurst, Mount St Mary’s College, Wimbledon College, St Ignatius College and St Aloysius College as well as Cardinal Griffin Catholic College in Cannock, a school that is exploring integration with the Jesuit family of schools. Hosting the conference were Adrian Porter SJ (Director of the Jesuit Institute), Peter Brook SJ, Piotr Stankowski SJ, Peter O'Sullivan SJ, Sarah Young and James Potter (chaplains to Stonyhurst and Wimbledon College).

The sixth form leadership conference was held in Barmouth to give the students space to discuss the material in a place where, although there was a formal timetable, there was no school bell ringing every 20 minutes.

Whilst there, the students had nine sessions about a range of topics centred on leadership such as discernment, the life of St Ignatius, styles of leadership, prayer and self awareness, heroic ambition and resources that can be utilised to enact change. The students came away with a greater sense of self knowledge and how different styles of leadership are appropriate in certain situations. Small discussions were held in groups of the students where they could talk about ways they could apply what they had learnt when they return to their schools. Many said in the wider discussion held later that they were amazed that they could think of so many ways they could make a difference in the lives of their fellow students.

Many of the students had never been to Wales, so the conference was a fresh experience for them, but they came away with a deeper knowledge of how they can truly become men and women for others.

Peter O'Sullivan SJ