Abingdon School’s Developing Leadership Programme

Here at Abingdon, there are vast opportunities for students to take the lead in a multitude of areas of school life, from sport and the CCF to drama and music to prefect and mentoring positions. Along with many traditional roles, we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to take the lead by showing initiative and by being supported to suggest and develop their own ideas and activities. Examples can include setting up new clubs or societies to reflect their own interests or simply organising a card for a friend in need of support.

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher, 6th-4th Century BCE

Students can find further advice and support on the school’s Firefly intranet page on Leadership Opportunities. Here there is a link to a form allowing students to propose a new activity that they would like to set up and lead. Students can also contact the student leadership coordinator Mrs Eleanor Kaye via [email protected] for further advice.

Students are able to study for ASDAN’s Leadership Short Course. Find out more here.

Taking the Lead Examples:

In maths we have various mentoring schemes all run through partnerships or as Royal Institution masterclasses. Students train as mentors and then help younger pupils from Abingdon and other schools to improve and enjoy their maths.
Mrs Coull, Head of Maths

I organised a whip round on our bus at Christmas time to buy a present for our regular driver.
A sixth former 

Leadership news and updates

Leading the Way

Jasper Furniss - Joint Secretary General, Model United Nations

What does your role involve?

Coordinating the club, planning and researching debates, liaising with other schools to organise conferences and recruiting new members of the society.

What qualities are important to do this role well?

Public speaking, organisational, leadership and communication skills.

What do you look forward to most about doing this role?

I am looking forward to (along with my co-chair) sharing my ideas on how the club can improve as well as the satisfaction of seeing the skills of others around me grow as a result of my leadership.

Samuel Turner - Head of RAF, CCF

What does your role involve?

My role is all about providing an enjoyable experience to those in the younger years and giving them the same opportunities that I had when I was in their year group.

What qualities are important to do this role well?

Much of the role is about being dependable and reliable for the CCF staff, but it is most crucially about trying to be a role model for the younger members of the CCF. As the most senior group within the CCF, we all need to be able to work together as a group, to show the younger members what can be achieved and the opportunities that they have.

What do you look forward to most about doing this role? 

I enjoy being given responsibility and trying to be a dependable and reliable member of the CCF. These are both things I feel that I have developed during my time at Abingdon and in the CCF. Furthermore, I relish the opportunity to prove what I can do, not only to myself but also to the CCF staff, who have given me an experience that I want to pass on. I am looking forward to the year ahead and hopefully providing enjoyment to the RAF section and the CCF as a whole.

Advice on Taking the Lead from Abingdon pupils

“Do it wherever and whenever you can. Don’t wait to be led, take the lead!”

“Being a mentor and/or a house prefect are great ways to lead without committing your entire life to them (like the school prefects).”

“Science Partnership is a brilliant way to get involved in leadership and organisation and Saturday Science Clubs are convenient to get to, not time-consuming, and very rewarding (both in terms of the experience itself and for a UCAS form)!”

“If you are worried about being judged then don’t, just give it a go because you might love it and people will turn out to respect you.”

“I think it is important to stress the importance of more minor leadership roles and how these are necessary for various things, including in academic work.”