Service & Leadership
Student Leadership at HIS
Leadership is an essential element in the development of a student, both as an individual and as a member of the school community. A ‘Student Leader’ is typically a student who takes up (normally through an application process) a position of leadership in a school and who is committed to making a difference within the life of that school. The aim of ‘Student Leadership’ within HIS is to give students a chance to develop their leadership skills through creating opportunities for them to contribute to the running of the school. ‘Student Leadership’ is a valuable way to express ‘pupil voice’. It is a way for students to take ownership of the spaces, places, systems and identity of their school and to think how to make them ‘work better’ for everyone.
HIS has created a space for our students to gain leadership experience, to display initiative and to illustrate passion and drive. An essential aspect of the university application process, particularly when applying for Scholarships, is the ability to show these qualities. Essentially students need to display a level of independence and initiative, going beyond what the school offers and looking for ways to work with and impact the community. Specifically, in an environment such as this, there is a wealth of community-focused projects available for students to be involved in. Taking the initiative to join a group, start a group or to volunteer for something outside of the school indicates a level of maturity and development that Universities are interested in. Universities are looking for students who can bring valuable experiences to their school while indicating that they are socially minded and willing to give back to local communities. In this regard, closely aligned to our Strategic Priorities, HIS focuses on developing leadership opportunities for all students.
Student leadership lies at the heart of improving our school and enabling all students to realise their potential. It builds the necessary skills, confidence and motivation for students to engage directly in the wider improvement of the school and, in particular, in the improvement of the learning experience. It enables all students to become advocates for their own needs and the needs of others. It lies at the heart of building a sense of community and trust in our school and builds effective relationships. Leadership quite simply lies at the heart of our moral purpose.
Taking on a leadership role requires a great deal of commitment and balance. A student leader needs to keep in mind that taking on a role of leadership cannot be for personal gain or to line letters of recommendation. Leadership within a school community means making a conscious decision to make a difference to the members of that community, to contribute to the student body, to be a positive role model at all times and to develop their group and leave a legacy.
Service at HIS
One of the key goals of a HIS education states that our students will make a positive difference in the lives of others. Furthermore, Harare International school benefits from its geographic diversity, and we believe it is our responsibility to respect our host country and identify opportunities to provide tangible and sustainable support to our school and local community.
Our students participate in service learning opportunities appropriate for their age, including school sustainability programmes and community outreach that seeks longer term and reciprocal relationships with local groups. Students often lead these initiatives with guidance from our teachers, developing their own ideas and plans, and executing them themselves. During the process, our students learn social responsibility, leadership and empathy, developing an understanding of their role in the school community, the local community and the outside world.
Service learning forms an essential part of shaping character values and dispositions that can alter the lives of our students and those they support. This is an integral component of a truly holistic education that we dedicate resources and time to in order to develop a culture that will enable these values to flourish.