Building leaders through our Preparation for Life programme
We all want the very best for our children. As parents, we want to see them thrive socially and academically and we want them to evolve into happy, fulfilled, and successful adults. Here at Eaton Square Senior School, we launched our Preparation for Life programme to help our students transition into adulthood with the tools they need to success in future life.
We consider leadership to be up there among the most valuable skills a young person can learn. With the right leadership skills, a young person may have the confidence and know-how to start their own businesses or rise through the ranks during their first stint as an employee. They will be assertive and empathetic in the workplace and will be able to build strong relationships with their peers.
However, further to this, leadership skills can also help young people become more fulfilled outside of work. Leadership tools enable people to assert themselves effectively and have confidence in their own abilities. Self-esteem plays a huge part in young people’s lives and the value of this continues into adulthood.
The Children’s Society says: ‘Your self-esteem can be influenced by your beliefs on the type of person you are, what you can do, your strengths, your weaknesses and your expectations of your future.’ The leadership skills we teach in our Preparation for Life programme help our senior students grasp a better understanding of all these elements.
The UK needs more leaders
A new report from PWC has found that a third of employers have a ‘profound concern’ about skills shortages in vital business areas, including leadership. Another piece of research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) asserted training in leadership was one of the keys to successful ‘levelling up’ in the UK.
It’s clear that young people who learn leadership skills and equip themselves with the tools they need to be effective leaders, can look forward to promising prospects when they enter the world of work.
How our Preparation for Life programme builds leaders and confident young adults
Each of our senior students takes part in Preparation for Life (PfL) classes as part of their standard curriculum. Head of Eaton Square Senior School, Caroline Townshend, explains a little more about the content of the PfL classes: “Our students enjoy a diverse range of subjects. We have masterclasses on ‘Crypto – what should I know, mortgages and financial literacy, political understanding, the importance of service within communities and career insight talks and alongside all this, we teach Leadership in Practice.”
These sessions are part of the core curriculum offering from Year 7 through to Year 11 and will also run alongside A-levels when our Sixth Form opens this coming September. All sessions are run in our Creative Facilitation Space which was purposely designed to encourage group work and collaboration.
After the periods of lockdown we all endured as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we realised that students needed more support to identify areas of self-development. As part of our Preparation for Life classes, we looked at practical steps to improve study habits. Our ‘Study Skills 101’ classes are a great place to start before going on to learn leadership skills.
We work on self-auditing study skills, using tools, calendars and apps correctly and effectively, and improving students’ academic housekeeping. From dating documents to making sure papers and computer files are properly labelled and organised, these are the kinds of skills that help young people adapt to challenges and new environments as they emerge from education into the world of work.
Not everyone is interested in leading others. But this isn’t really what leadership skills are about. Our Leadership in Practice classes will help our students to identify their own strengths and weaknesses, with self-improvement always at the forefront of their minds. They will also work on communication skills, relationship building and making the most of opportunities.
These are tools that can help our students to take on life with the self-awareness and self-confidence needed to face adversity with resilience, and grab opportunities with both hands, whatever their personal aspirations.