Learning to Lead

They [the students] undertake a wide variety of leadership roles successfully and many aspire to become peer mentors and senior scholars, providing a support structure for younger pupils.

ISI Inspection Report March 2014

Leadership is an integral part of students’ transition from Form 5 to the Sixth Form, with students learning to take responsibility and adopt an independent approach to their studies and Pangbourne life.

Sixth Formers are expected to set the bar high and visibly lead by example in front of their younger peers.

Students take on and develop responsibilities, both formally and informally, in all areas of

College life. The two most prestigious defined leadership roles are the two Chief Cadet Captains of the College (CCCCs – Head Boy and Girl) who provide a valuable link between the pupils, staff and the Headmaster.

Every morning, from Monday to Saturday, the two CCCCs have a 10-minute meeting with the Headmaster at 8am to discuss the mood of the College, recent successes and areas of Pangbourne life which need to be worked on.

The CCCCs carry out a lot of performing roles, such as reading out the sports reports during Monday’s Headmaster’s Assemblies and summarising the year, on behalf of the Upper Sixth, on Founders’ Day (last day of the school year) which serves as a farewell to Pangbourne.

The CCCCs also play an ambassadorial role for Pangbourne. Examples of this leadership are acting as role models for their peers; instructing the students in parades; escorting the Guest of Honour around the Parade Ground on College Sundays; representing the College at external events. One of the ways in which the CCCCs represent Pangbourne is by attending Head Boy/Girl Conferences where good practice can be shared between the students.

CCCCs are examples of true Pangbournians, regularly exhibiting the College Flag Values. They are constantly encouraged to come up with new initiatives to improve Pangbourne. An additional duty is to accompany the Headmaster on trips which offer a glimpse into how they can carry their leadership roles into later life.

As well as the CCCCs, there are Divisional Chief Cadet Captains (CCCs – Head of Houses) for each Division (House) who are expected to set the example for the rest of the Division to follow through their effort, appearance and commitment to Pangbourne life. Chief Cadet Captains are approachable to their peers and reflect the College’s Flag Values.

The CCCs work closely with their Housemasters/Mistresses and are challenged to implement new initiatives within the Division.

All Pangbourne Chief Cadet Captains meet with each other once a fortnight to update each other on progress within their Divisions and the school.

Each Division has Cadet Captains (CCs – House Prefects) who help the Divisional Chiefs and are responsible for creating a good atmosphere within the Division. There are currently 11 Cadet Captains in the College who develop their leadership skills in this way.

Upon entering the Upper Sixth, pupils become Cadet Leaders (CLs – School Prefects) and have a general responsibility to ensure the smooth running of the College.

Pangbourne has a Senior Scholar who is expected to lead by example through the way they conduct themselves in the classroom and their grades. As an academic role model, the Senior Scholar hands out distinction prizes (awarded to students who exceed their year group’s Merit targets) and delivers the main speech at the Scholars’ Dinner (a formal occasion attended by all of Pangbourne’s scholars, a Guest of Honour and staff).

New Entry COs are the Upper Sixth students in charge of supporting the new entry students (usually in Form 3 and Lower Sixth) within their Division by helping them with their timetables, familiarising them with the layout of the College and helping them learn to march for parades. The New Entry COs are students who can be relied upon to help out if any new Pangbourne pupils are having difficulties.

Leadership roles are also given to Overseas COs who perform the same function as the New Entry COs but specifically help new overseas students settle in to Pangbourne life. This role is given to overseas students in the Upper Sixth who can provide guidance and empathy to their peers new to the country.

There are two Guard Commanders who lead the Guard in parades, give instructions and ensure parade drills are of a high standard. The Guard are renowned for being the most disciplined marchers and the Guard Commanders take ownership of the team and organise weekly practices, driving their activity. The Guard are a key part of the big finale piece on Founders’ Day where they perform their own display, with the opportunity for the Guard Commander to add a personal flourish to proceedings and this captivating spectacle, which involves the Guard’s rifles being thrown up into the air, is an important part of the day.

Pangbourne’s Marching Band is led by the Drum Major who arranges the Band’s meetings and rehearsals, inspires their peers, and ensures the Band’s performances run seamlessly on College Sundays.

As well as the defined roles of leadership, Sixth Formers are expected to demonstrate leadership skills by helping younger students in their Division with Prep (homework), preparing their peers for Inter-Divisional competitions, and organise work experience for themselves in the school holidays.

A few examples of leadership being put into action are the Sixth Form in Macquarie meeting with their Divisional staff frequently to discuss how the Division can be run more effectively, the Upper Sixth girls in Illawarra organising the sale of red carnations for Valentine’s Day every year through Flowers for Friends to raise money for charity and Port Jackson’s 2013-14 Upper Sixth coming up with a House motto, leaving a lasting legacy for the Division.

A popular part of the Pangbourne experience is the ‘Taking Responsibility’ course which the Lower Sixth embark upon in the week after their AS Level exams.

The course aims to enhance personal development and focus on personal strengths, teamwork and other skills employers seek in the workplace, while also being trained in pastoral care. As well as the fun aspects of the course, which includes students being split into teams to create rafts and transport themselves on a river, a series of speakers guide the students as to how to take responsibility in their daily lives and become leaders of the future.