Year 5 pupils from five United Learning primary academies have this week been enjoying a residential course at Wellington College based on the theme of leadership.
The course was delivered through the United Learning Partnership Fund which was established to bring pupils together to share enrichment activities and nurture collaboration between schools.
19 pupils from across the country were chosen to spend two days studying what leadership means and how everyone is capable of displaying it in their everyday lives. The pupils – from Corngreaves Academy, Grange Primary Academy, Hanwell Fields Community School, Southway Primary School and Wilberforce Primary – took part in indoor and outdoor activities ranging from a blindfold obstacles course to studying leadership lessons from the Harry Potter novels and devising and performing a play.
For some pupils this was their first time ever away from their families – in itself a major learning experience. It was also a unique opportunity for many of the pupils to visit Wellington College and experience something of life at the school, which last year sent 87% of its students to their first choice universities.
The content for the course was developed by Wellington College specifically for the leadership programme and the sessions were delivered by Wellington pupils from Years 9 to 12.
Those attending the programme thoroughly enjoyed the experience:
“I’ve had a great time at Wellington, making new friends and learning how to be a better leader. I learned that by helping someone, even just a little, you can be a leader – it makes me happy to know you can do that.”
Rajeeka from Wilberforce Primary
“Wellington College is an amazing location – it has been fun and inspirational to visit this place. I have also learnt that you can push yourself to do anything you want to do.”
Ebony from Hanwell Fields Community School
“We have learnt to stretch ourselves – leading might be difficult but we can stretch ourselves to do things we didn’t know we could do.”
Preston from Southway Primary School
“As a leader you need to listen to people – if you listen to people they will trust you and you will learn from this.”
Connor from Corngreaves Academy
“The activities we have done have been so much fun and I have learnt a lot – I hope I get to do something like this again soon!”
Kiera from Grange Primary Academy
Jon Coles, Chief Executive of United Learning said:
“Bringing primary pupils together for an experience like this is a very important element of what the Partnership Fund looks to do. Giving pupils from schools across the country the opportunity to meet each other and learn together is always valuable. But to do so at a venue like Wellington College and to have two days focused on activities that introduce them to the concept and attributes of leadership provides them with something that goes beyond what has traditionally been possible in the state sector. It’s the kind of opportunity that pupils benefit from immensely and which they take back to their schools and share with others.
“It’s also very important for us to be giving this to primary pupils. Too often, such opportunities are only available to older children. Providing this for younger pupils means that the impact of such an experience can help influence their development and aspiration for years rather than be a bolt-on at the end of their education.
“We are very grateful to our colleagues at Wellington College for making our pupils feel so welcome and for hosting this event.”