Developing leadership qualities in children is crucial as it lays a strong foundation in their character development. Leadership does not only instil confidence. It helps children work collaboratively in teams and have good social interaction skills. How can we teach our children the necessary skills to take on leadership roles now and in the future?
Over at Oasis Primary school, the ‘Lead with a Heart@Oasis’ programme provides the necessary resources for students to show care and respect for people around them and get along harmoniously with their peers. Based on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, they were also encouraged to use what they have learned in the programme and apply it in their daily lives.
As an example, the “Leader In Me” lessons teach students to be responsible, resilient and take charge of their own learning by taking on leadership roles such as class monitor, group leader, Physical Education (P.E) Captains and Prefects.
Some of the lessons conducted are, “Let’s keep our classroom clean” where students learn to be responsible for the class cleanliness and “Getting ready for lesson” where a group leader is being assigned to be in charge of collecting and distributing books.
Speaking on the positive impact of the programme, Primary Two student, Gabriel Wong shared that he would get discouraged at times when he performed badly for his spelling test. He had also learnt from his mistakes and would try harder the next round.
Similarly, another Primary Two student, Alexis Tham said that she became more responsible as she will always make it a point to pack her bag the night before and became more concern for the environment by picking litter and throwing them into the dustbin. She also learned about teamwork through fostering good relationship with her friends.
Developing leadership skills
“In order to make the lessons fun and engaging, teachers tap on online resources like videos and stories that are relevant, impactful on students’ learning and at the same time, highlight positive behaviours,” explains Ms Celeste Yap, the Student Leadership Coordinator. Ms Yap also noticed that her students became better listeners and attentive.
Mr Ken Chong, Head of Department of the programme is proud of his students’ positive transformation through the many leadership opportunities provided. The programme provides a strong leadership foundation that makes a real difference to the lives of the students.
“Our students have higher self & social awareness after practising the 7 Habits. They are able to practise active listening and show more initiative in helping others without being told to do so,” said Mr Chong.
Learning to prioritise
Mdm Rebekah Seragih, mother of Primary 2 student, Moshe Hans was glad that her son is able to learn how to prioritise, become more disciplined and learned how to plan his schedule. She added that it helped her son a lot when it comes to his homework. He is able to prioritise which homework to do first based on the ones that are due earlier and plans his schedule independently.
“My son learned a few principles that I’ve been trying to teach him since last year,” said Mdm Seragih, who also shared that the programme complemented the values that she was trying to teach her son at home. “He has a goal in mind and knows his priorities. Now he spends lesser time watching TV and playing his iPad,” she said laughingly.