Unorthodox leadership training proves to be a success with the women of tomorrow as we send our students over the edge with the new BOLD programme.
Developing an ‘elevator pitch’, planning a military coup, walking on precarious platforms 20 feet off the ground, and partaking in post-graduate level job application tests were all part of the Burgess Hill Girls’ three-day scheme for incoming Sixth-Formers. The programme has truly proven how warm, wonderful and supporting a close-knit, school community can be. The girls attending included those moving through from the Senior School, as well as those wholly new to the School – including three who had never met before!
The first day focused on social awareness and global citizenship. It aimed to encourage the wider literacy of these aspiring young women as they approach the penultimate year of compulsory education. All were encouraged to widen their social and cultural awareness through a number of activities, ranging from lectures on current affairs, a ‘cultural literacy’ quiz aiming to broaden their knowledge ‘hinterland’, and – as a way of emphasising the fragility of illegitimate institutions and the importance of liberal democracy – planning and executing a lego coup d’etat.
The second day took the girls off-site to a climbing and rope-running centre, where strength and agility were challenged through traversing a complex course of obstacles 20-feet up in the air. Teamwork and trust amongst the girls developed through the ‘towering oak’, where the girls each helped each other 40-feet up to the top of a wooden oak. Competitiveness was rewarded in the melee that followed, where the last girl standing was crowned champion! The day ended with the rope-pull swing, challenging the girls to overcome fears and fall weightless before together swinging to safety.
The last day focused on skills development and future recruitment, with a guest speaker from InvestIN Education leading a workshop on CV-writing, personal statement planning, and assessment centre group activities. Girls practised their ‘elevator pitches’ and evaluated each other’s ability to reflect on past skills and experiences. They then took on the role of a graduate job-seeker, completing an ‘in-tray’ exercise of the type they will face in the years ahead, with everyone excelling at prioritising their time and assessing how to respond in challenging circumstances.
The girls have already begun, therefore, developing the skills and qualities that will be championed through the BOLD Programme, which they complete in the Sixth Form across the next two years.
Francesca, who has been with us since Reception, said: “I thought it was an exceptional experience; it not only strengthened current friendships but also created new bonds between soon-to-be sixth-formers.”
Megan, who is joining for Sixth Form, said: “I enjoyed getting to know the students I’ll be studying with next year; sharing in academically and physically challenging experiences was a great way to develop friendships.”