St Mary’s Gateshead Year 11 leaders ready to take reign

“Even though some of us may not have badges, we’re all leaders” – that’s according to the first Year 11 leaders at St Mary’s Catholic College in Gateshead.

Their aim is to set an example by instilling positive, honest and trustworthy, respectful and supportive attributes amongst the senior levels of the school throughout the year.

With each attribute supported by a range of signature behaviours, students are confident they will these traits.

Student leaders, Sooay Smith, Alyssa Ayling, Coen Harvey and Joel Holland want to use this leadership opportunity to set a high standard for future year groups to follow.

“We’re trying to focus as much as we can on how we can achieve these throughout the year. I think the hardest part is setting the best example; we need to set the highest standard we can as leaders in the hope that future years will try and achieve and the same,” said Sooay.

As well as influencing the school community, the student leaders also recognise the opportunity to use their extra responsibility as an opportunity for to personally improve.

“Because we are the leaders it feels like we have a bit of an extra workload but it’s a good workload that helps build our character and work ethic,” said Sooay.

As the seniors in the school, the students are aware that the younger year groups, particularly those entering high school for the first time, view them as role models.

“One of our attributes is to be supportive so we will need to be supportive of the Year 7s, be willing to help them out whenever they need and make them feel as comfortable as possible at this school and, above all, to be happy to come to school,” said Sooay.

“We want to inspire them to be like us. Even if they’re not comfortable being called out as a leader, we can still help them to see there are many opportunities to be a leader behind the scenes.”

“We’re also helping them to understand how high school works because it’s quite different to primary school,” said Alyssa.

With posters highlighting the key attributes and behaviours present throughout the senior common area and classrooms, the students hope this practice will become a new tradition.

“This list represents our year personally, so hopefully as new year groups come up they will create their own,” said Sooay.