The new School Officers set off for their training day at Kingham Hill School in Oxfordshire on Thursday 22 September with rain in the air. Fortunately the clouds and mist of the Cotswolds lifted to present beautiful views from the Kingham library, which was our base for the day.

TISCA (The Independent Schools Christian Alliance) organised the day for schools from as far away as Cheltenham and Salisbury. Our officers, Hasan, Maya, Monique, Henry, Tanya, Billy, Rohan and Lazara benefitted from sessions called “Leading like Jesus”, “Being a team”, “Serving the school” and “Prefect Pressures”. All of the pupils had a chance to learn about being a leader at school and discussed the way in which they can work as a team. Theory sessions inside and practical sessions outside kept the children interested and engaged throughout the day.

Tanya was keen to be involved during the morning discussions and cited Malala as a leader who has inspired her. Then, when we went outside, the group of eight worked so exceptionally well together that they were the first team in five years to complete the “Bomb disposal” task – well done everyone! Mrs Redfern and Mr Wurr were delighted that the teamwork was so good.

Henry was thoughtful during the “A bridge too far” challenge and helped Lazara and Maya to complete the course. Great teamwork was evident again and they even progressed to the blindfold challenge where Rohan, Monique and Maya were not allowed to see where they were going!

The “Enigma Code” allowed yet more teamwork using group communication. This improved with each attempt enabling the time taken to complete the task to diminish. Lazara completed the course first in 2.45 before Maya and Hasan managed 2.09 and Billy and Monique ended with 2.03.

Henry showed fantastic leadership skills in choosing the shepherds for “Moriaty’s Maze” by suggesting those who had not completed the Enigma course should lead the task. By using only whistles to communicate the challenge was particularly hard! Fun was had by all even if the flock of sheep did scatter over the Oxfordshire countryside!
The afternoon was spent discussing the job description of school officers and it was interesting to read what the children think they should be doing this year. Sixth Form students from Kingham helped by leading small groups to enable discussion about scenarios that a school officer might face.

A great day was had by all and the eight officers felt immensely privileged to have learned so much from the day. Mrs Redfern and Mr Wurr certainly felt that the teamwork was the best we had seen at the TISCA training day. Good luck for the year ahead as you lead the school!