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Nurturing Leadership and Excellence in Education: Insights from SGIS School Program

What makes a school successful? What are the factors distinguishing the most effective and least effective schools? With multiple models for schools’ operations, can we judge if a school model is effective? And if not, what can be done to improve it? There has been a lot of debate and research over which aspects to discuss while describing successful schools.

Our SGIS school program trains students with life skills, creating positive memories for the rest of their lives. We are proud of our continuous goals, providing excellent results in academics and sports. Our students are our main focus. We believe that education is a complete process that leads to the attainment of the full potential of the child. We practice equipping our students with life skills to face the real world through planning, organising, deciding, questioning, reasoning, analysing, team building, and communicating. Quality education is the basis of all progress. The purpose of education is not to impart bookish knowledge but to inculcate humanitarian values like wisdom, compassion, courage, humility, and reliability in a student. Our school environment reflects the world in which our students will one day live and work. During the journey of schooling at SGIS, students experience the value of hard work, fair play, and friendship. Besides this, they also learn to respect all people and be honest with themselves and others.

Co-constructing Belief and Value Systems

How often do we encounter schools where a change in leadership is accompanied by nostalgia for an older core team that remained faithful to the "school culture," which has now been diluted with the new order? One reason for this is the failure of the core team to involve and invest in the emerging generation through a shared and co-constructed belief and value system, essential for sustainable school leadership.

Understanding the Purpose of Schools

To effectively prepare emerging leaders for top positions, it is essential to establish the fundamental purpose of schools as places for learning. Every action in schools must be consciously evaluated based on its impact on learning. This understanding should be internalised at every level, especially by young and emerging leaders who may be drawn to the trappings and appearances of school leadership, losing sight of the core reason for the existence of schools.

Personal Reflections on Leadership

When I was just a teacher, I embraced challenges and quickly realized that this field offered a dynamic space that kept me constantly seeking ways to improve and progress both externally and internally. There is nothing more fulfilling than contributing to someone's life, and being a teacher provided me with that opportunity every day. Education is a field that offers unique reciprocity, where one gains more than one gives. Being a teacher helped me discover myself and gave me purpose in my life.

  • I believe in translating aspirations into reality.

  • Honesty and integrity define my persona, and I am highly committed to my responsibilities.

  • A leader should always be inspiring and approachable. Without standing up for values and ethics, one cannot inspire a team to work with a level of perfection that matches expectations.

  • I prioritise fostering a culture of "we" over "I."

  • I believe that excellence should not be an act but a habit.

  • Every student deserves care and attention from their teacher. It is the teacher's duty and responsibility to focus on the development of every student and help them become extraordinary individuals.

School Practices to Promote Leadership Skills

In our school, we have programs led by students where they have complete control without assistance from teachers. These programs mark the students' journey in the realm of leadership. Additionally, activities such as the AFS Program, National Unity Day, I Dare Talent Show, and Scout and Guide Program, along with our Big Annual Day Program for five days, involve students in tasks such as securing sponsors, sending invitations, arranging travel and lodging, organising activities, and tabulating results.

Teacher Leadership

For me, leadership has never been about giving orders but rather about including others in my journey by setting examples. Sometimes, ideas suggested by my teachers are incorporated after active listening. Our various teacher teams hold decision-making power that cannot be overridden, ensuring a collaborative approach to decision-making.

Assessment Beyond Academics

In addition to academics, our school assesses and maps each child's skill set through various co-curricular activities and competitions in sports, arts, and music. Students' interests and potentials are recorded over the year, including participation in national and international competitions and performances.

Special Achievements of the School

At SGIS, we believe in the holistic development of students, fostering habits and processes to build a better India and the world. Our students demonstrate strong leadership qualities and excellent communication skills. Our goal is for SGIS to be recognised as one of the world's most renowned international schools, nurturing future leaders. We aim to provide holistic development for every student and envision SGIS reaching the pinnacle of the educational structure soon.

A team that understands its leadership aspirations also knows how to function as a cohesive unit.

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