Student Leadership Conference (Sacred Heart Catholic High School, Fenham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
On 15 and 16 September 2016, Woldingham School hosted a school leaders' conference with three secondary schools; Beechwood Sacred Heart School, Sacred Heart High School and Sacred Heart Catholic High School.
Sacred Heart High School in Hammersmith and Sacred Heart High School, Newcastle are voluntary aided state schools for students aged 11-18, and Beechwood Sacred Heart School is a mixed independent school with approximately 250 students. The Student Leaders' Conference included workshops, discussion and reflection on the qualities of leadership for the newly elected student leaders of each of the partner schools.
The project aims to give student leaders from the network of Sacred Heart schools the opportunity to come together to learn and discuss ideas about leadership that relate to their roles.
The first of the leadership conferences was held at Digby College, Roehampton University for one day. It was then felt beneficial for a slightly longer conference to allow for greater scope. The move to a two day conference hosted at Woldingham School came at the request of staff at the Sacred Heart School, Fenham who felt that spending time in Woldingham would provide a greater level of confidence and aspiration for their own student leaders. This is the first year the event has been hosted by Woldingham and the school hopes to host future leadership days.
Critical to the success of the conference is the availability of spaces at the host school. This year's conference used the school's chapel and meeting rooms. Hosting the event required two members of Woldingham School's teaching staff and a member of WSHA. Financial contribution is made through the Sacred Heart Network and any additional costs are shared between the participating schools.
Feedback from the conference will be gathered via questionnaires; the results of which will inform the planning for subsequent leadership events. It was an enjoyable event which reflected on the qualities of leadership within a Sacred Heart school during which each student leader was given time to reflect on their leadership style.
The conference involved 20 students from the schools' Upper Sixth Forms.
The Student Leadership Conference is an annual event.