As a school we began the half term by thinking about our leadership skills and trying hard to develop these across all areas of school life. In our assembly on Monday, we looked at some traditional examples of leadership and I paid tribute to the remarkable story of South African Rugby Captain, Siya Kolisi. His challenging early life and journey to world champion and the first black captain of his country is a powerful and inspiring story, but it is very important we remember that we can all demonstrate leadership every day; it is not just reserved for the very rare few who will lead their country to glory.

Leading by example is something we encourage children to do and our children can demonstrate this by living out our school beliefs. By being Kind, Respectful, Ready, Safe and by being yourself, there is scope to set standard and an example of which we can all be proud, every day.

We also discussed some alternative ways that we might view leadership and reminded the children of the following things that leaders do:

  • Listen as well as talk
  • Follow as well as lead
  • Aren’t always at the front
  • Don’t always need followers
  • Do the right thing (even when no one is looking)

The focus on leadership took on even greater significance as we spent time as a school in Remembrance today. The Royal British Legion’s national theme this year is honoring service, particularly the commitment and sacrifice from millions of people across the commonwealth who came to support our nation. We talked about some inspirational examples of men and women from Africa, India and Jamaica and how they contributed to the second world war and I shared with the children a story about a small town in France called Le Quesnoy (Ler Kay nwah) that was liberated by New Zealand in November 1918. My family visited this town during the summer holiday and found the bond between the two countries stronger than ever and a very special example of the importance of gratitude.

Our own Year 6 Leaders helped lead our Remembrance assembly by reading beautifully, and I was very proud of the whole school and the respect they showed this important event.

Thank you in advance to the children joining me as part of the Banstead Village Remembrance day parade on Sunday.