Over the last few weeks, we have begun our student leadership selection process. Meriden provides several different opportunities for students to practice everyday leadership throughout their time at the School. The formal roles of Year 11 House Officers and Year 12 Prefects are offered to the girls, providing them with opportunities to lead initiatives on a broader scale, in collaboration with staff and younger students. In these positions, the girls play a significant role in shaping Meriden’s long traditions and our school culture.
We believe that leadership is an act of service, following the example of Jesus who “came not to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). From the day of their appointment to the end of their tenure, Meriden’s student-leaders are encouraged to consider how they can serve the School community and those around them. For some, this might look like a creative new venture, for others, it may just be quiet acts of service such as sitting with a lonely girl at lunch.
These positions are by no means the only way that the girls can exercise leadership and serve others at Meriden. There are many opportunities for students to lead across the School through Cadets, or as cocurricular, Music and Sport Captains, Ambassadors, SCG leaders and through day-to-day acts of service and care for the girls in the classroom and playground.
As many girls wait to find out whether they will be elected a School Officer, it is our hope and prayer they will be thinking about how they can thoughtfully use their gifts and abilities to contribute to the life of the School and how they might model the values and attitudes that we seek to instil in all Meriden girls.
A helpful resource that I have recently discovered for parents is The Parent Hope Project. As a parent myself, I have found it very helpful! Run by Dr Jenny Brown, who co-founded the Family Systems Institute, this resource supports parents as they help their children navigate the challenges of childhood and adolescence.
Here is a snapshot of the philosophy:
“The resources at the Parent Hope Project support parents, and those who assist parents and families, to shift from making children a project – to making the parent the focus of attention.
Most parent education programs help parents to be better attuned to their children. While there are sound ideas in such programs, they risk cultivating parents making a project out of their children rather than growing their capacity to facilitate their children’s maturity. The problem is that when tension inevitably mounts in family life, a parent’s natural protectiveness and care for their children become exaggerated and they become overly sensitised to how their children are. This may crowd the child’s breathing space for developing age-appropriate independence and management of their emotions.”