Ensuring students are “future-ready” and equipped with life skills is a critical component of preparing them for the evolving and complex world ahead. Self-directedness, the ability to think creatively, reason critically, and communicate effectively, are essential skills, and educators at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) believe that the success in preparing students for their future depends on how well they support them in developing 21st-century skills today.
ISKL has adopted a proactive, schoolwide approach to guiding, mentoring, and supporting students to become effective leaders. Learning and practising the skills of leadership begins in Elementary School (ES), with all Grade 5 students, becoming “Red Hats” and acting as role models for younger grades. The Red Hats programme is not only built on setting an example for the younger grades, but for developing personal growth and leadership skills throughout the Grade 5 and the upcoming grades as well. As one Grade 5 student explained, “Being a Red Hat means to be a leader who is both responsible and respectful, and to set an example for the other grades. The Red Hats programme is not only a chance to model for the other grades, but to help yourself grow and be a better person, so take advantage of this opportunity.”
Opportunities for leadership evolve in complexity as students transition through each division. The Middle School (MS) Student Council provides an avenue for students to use their voice to encourage contributions, share ideas, and work collaboratively towards common goals. The students have created an inclusive forum to encourage their peers to contribute to the wider MS community and, most importantly, to have their voice heard.
In High School (HS), a Student Leadership Team offers a student-led platform to advocate for student voice in learning, enrich the community, enhance school spirit, and create lasting memories for all students at ISKL. HS students are also empowered and encouraged to take on leadership positions and are responsible for running many of the clubs. This hands-on learning experience provides invaluable practical preparation for university and the workplace.
ISKL believes building leadership capacity is one of the greatest attributes it can provide to students in preparation for the future and offers a rich variety of opportunities where leadership skills can be nurtured and cultivated: service-learning and sustainability initiatives, student-led clubs, and co-curricular activities all provide opportunities for students to learn, develop, and practice the skills of leadership; how to inspire others, create consensus, identify goals and work collaboratively towards achieving them. At ISKL, learning is done with students rather than to them; the school’s focus is on nurturing growth and empowering self-directed learning to support students in becoming successful, socially responsible, global citizens.
Find out more about how an ISKL education creates future leaders in ISKL’s Head of School, Rami Madani weekly posts: https://www.iskl.edu.my/introduction/head-of-school-welcome/hosweeklynews/