Last week, some of our H1 and H3 students joined over 400 students from across Asia at online student leadership summit. The summit consisted of speeches, presentations and reflections on a variety of leadership issues such as empathy in leadership, neuroscience and positive leadership, leadership in the digital age, and leaders as learners. 

This was an excellent opportunity as many guest speakers were experts in their field with a lot of experience to share with our students. Reflecting on leadership like this is especially important in an age where additional challenges brought about by technology are being added to the traditional notions of leadership such as teamwork, how leaders lead and behave, and communication through public speaking. 

One key speaker was the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ahern, who recorded a message to the students to close the summit. She is an advocate for youth leadership and spoke to the students about the concept of leadership without a title. This is an area that I am pleased to say we already talk to TES students about. Leadership is what you make it, not what you are called, and we are increasingly seeing students taking the initiative to display leadership skills beyond the formal titles in school.

After each session, we spent time reflecting on what the students learned and how they responded to the ideas. I also encouraged them to take a critical approach to the presentations to help them come to their own conclusions and to practice the skills that we have worked on all year. Students at TES are well versed in being critical thinkers so I was very pleased to note that they really enjoyed the conference and engaged in some deep thinking about how they might develop as leaders with this new knowledge and the ensuing discussions that we had.  

The next step is for the students who attended to start putting some of these new learning experiences into practice and role modelling them for their peers. Finally, I want to acknowledge how well they all represented the school and how much fun they seemed to have whilst doing so.