Seven habits guide student leadership

Sally Roberts and principal Colin Chisholm with Glen Forrest PS students in front of one of the signs. Picture: David Baylis           d442754
Sally Roberts and principal Colin Chisholm with Glen Forrest PS students in front of one of the signs. Picture: David Baylis         d442754

Glen Forrest Primary is one of only a few The Leader in Me schools in Western Australia, with the aim of becoming a lighthouse school.

The �seven habits of happy kids� leadership approach seeks to encourage students to adopt positive behaviours such as being proactive, have a plan and work first, then play.

Students are taught to believe everyone can win, listen before they talk and follow the mantra �Together is better�.

Special needs education assistant Sally Roberts said the habits were shining through the school community, with students adopting the language of the seven habits.

�We introduced the Leader in Me about two years ago and because we�re seeing the habits becoming embedded in our students, staff and parents, we thought the time was right to seek to become a beacon school,� Mrs Roberts said.

�Students use the language on a daily basis and talk about being proactive.�

Mrs Roberts said staff participated in a three-day induction based on a book written by the American educator Stephen R. Covey.

The Leader in Me is a process that teaches 21st century life and leadership skills and creates a school culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader.

Glen Forrest primary principal Colin Chisholm said the approach was enabling students to take ownership of their education and learn the leadership and life skills they needed to succeed in life.

�Students are learning how to become self-reliant, control their emotions, do their homework, prioritise their time, resolve conflicts, interact well with others, and more,� he said.

Parents recently received a letter from the school providing more information about the program.

Local businesses have sponsored Leader in Me signage around the school.

What the children said about their favourite habit.

Patrick Ulgen-Burnell: Synergize (habit6) � It means taking turns but working as a group. The whole school took turns showing their costumes for book week.

Alby Denys: Think Win-Win (habit4) � It means making things fair. If I had uneven soccer teams, I would use one of my players to even up the other team so everyone can win-win.

Lilika Allam: Be Proactive (habit1) � I like to get things done without being told. Mrs Patchett says every morning, to get our reading folders out and because I know that�s what we have to do, I do it before she asks – I am being proactive.

Imala Gray: Synergize (habit6) � It�s working together. I make sure it�s fair and everyone gets a turn. In the classroom, when we do our reading groups, we work together. We help each other without giving the answer, we use an example.