Each year, as the Summer term comes to an end, Lower Sixth pupils embark on our Taking Responsibility Course. Established over 20 years ago, its aims are to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills for leading the College in their final year. This year, following 12 months of lockdowns and distant learning, it was great to enjoy face-to-face activities in the extensive grounds of the College, as well as at the Boat Club on the River Thames.
The week encompassed an array of activities, from leadership tasks, to community service, to networking exercises. Kicking off the course was an inspirational and popular talk by Mark Herbet, author of I am [not] a leader. It’s safe to say there was a healthy queue for his book afterwards!
During Day Two, the pupils tested their leadership capabilities through indoor and outdoor challenges. These were physical challenges, such as rafting on the river and command stances on Piggeries. After a rather strenuous day, the Sixth Formers dressed to impress for an evening full of delicious Indian food and presentations. Congratulations to Archie and Tess for winning Best Speaker prizes.
As the week progressed, pupils spent time preparing for university applications. Fred Binley (Admissions Department, Southampton University), visited the College to offer guidance on how to write a persuasive personal statement for any university application.
An assortment of activities rounded off the week, with some students undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold practice, whilst others took part in a community action day. Nicknamed ‘Ground Force’ day, pupils volunteered at St James the Less graveyard in Pangbourne, helping the local village church gardening team to achieve at least four days’ gardening work in a single day.
Those who had not opted for the Duke of Edinburgh expedition engaged in an Old Pangbourninan (OP) networking exercise. Pupils learned how to create a LinkedIn profile and understand the many professional benefits that the social media channel provides. Special thanks to the Chair of the OP Society, Phillip Plato, our own Development Manager, Tim Hamilton, and OP, Connor Brown, who all helped deliver an insightful afternoon. Alongside professional networking advice, Connor Brown discussed how to write the perfect CV and how best to prepare for an interview.
The Taking Responsibility Course is a key event in our calendar year, instilling team-building, leadership, and communication skills into our forthcoming heads of College. Well done to all of those who took part and we look forward to watching you put these newfound skills into practice during your final year at Pangbourne.