22 Nov, 2019
10 : 00
Leadership skills are a quality that we at Yew Chung International School of Beijing champion in several ways. This includes the creation of Student Leadership opportunities in both our Upper Primary and Secondary Schools. Via Student Councils, our students are given the opportunity to have their voices heard through their respective committees which they fairly elect at the start of each semester.
To become a member of the Primary Student Council, students “are invited to put their names forward and they hold small campaigns in their year groups to try have their peers vote for them to be their representative”, said Jane Martuneac Kang, Upper Primary Learning and Teaching Coordinator. After the campaigning period, the rest of the year groups vote for their representative of choice, a feel of what a voting process entails.
In Primary School, of the 18 elected individuals, students from all genders, year groups and countries are represented - a perfect depiction of the diversity the school thrives towards. The very first assignment the Primary Student Council committee was tasked with at the beginning of the year, was to clearly define what the objective of the council was. After much deliberation, the purpose they unanimously came up with was “To improve the students’ lives in our Learning Communities at school by listening to the ideas of our peers and acting on their and our ideas for school improvement”, said Miss Kang.
To become a member of the committee it is important that the student exemplifies the values that our school is rooted in, which is why ideal members of the Primary School Council have to meet the requirements of a Portrait of a YCIS Students Representative, which was compiled by Jane, Mr. Michael Cole, Y6 Learning Community Teacher and the students. This was important, “so that the students understood the criteria they had to meet. For example, the representative has to have consistent attendance, patience for others, be a clear communicator, be responsible and have a passion for school” said Jane.
Like every other organization, the Primary Student Council meets during break time every Tuesdays, under the guidance of both Jane and Michael. During these meetings, committee members raise the concerns of their peers and come up with solutions for those. One of the recent concerns raised was the unavailability of basketball shooting hoops on Playground A, where a majority of the students play. Miss Kang shared that “Students noted that and put together a proposal that was sent to the SLT (Senior Leadership Team) about how we could either use the hoops on Playgroup B or install removable hoops for Playground A”.
This was an issue Sum Chan from Y6 who has been part of the Student Council for over 2 years was happy to have contributed to solving. “It feels good when people thank you for solving an issue and seeing the idea you came up with being used” he said.
Another initiative by the council was the Halloween celebration “We also planned a Halloween celebration and it was a lot of fun and we had many activities”, added Jolie Wang Y5
This is one of the ways becoming a part of the committee benefits students, by nurturing them to become solution based individuals in addition to ensuring that they are reflective, clear communicators and that they are developing their leadership ships.
When asked why they became members of the student council, this is what some members had to say“I enjoy thinking about things you can do like solving problems using other students ideas”Rocky Ferguson Y6“I enjoy making the school better and also helping people who need help at school”Alice Xie Y5
“I joined because I like helping my peers in class when they do not understand tasks, and to make the school better”Abbie Lapham Y4
With Thanksgiving approaching, members of the Primary Student Council have suggested that the whole school celebrate the day by giving thanks to members of our support stuff, including ayis who keep our environments clean. They have suggested either getting small gifts or making cards for them.
Another great lesson of leadership and character formation.