One of Lakefield College School’s defining characteristics is its long-held commitment to developing leadership and character in students. We offer a unique Leadership, Character, and Values program that reaches students across grade levels and focuses on four key pillars of development.
Key Pillars of Development
- Grade 9: Self-Confidence
- Grade 10: Stewardship
- Grade 11: Citizenship
- Grade 12: Leadership
By the time students reach Grade 12 at LCS, they have built a strong foundation to put their leadership skills into practice and are given meaningful opportunities to lead the way for their younger peers. For example, our senior students gain the opportunity to participate in our Grade 12 Senior-in-Charge (SIC) program and (traditionally) enroll in our School Life Class. This year, we are broadening opportunities for our Grade 12 students by offering a new leadership course: Community and Connect Class.
The Community and Connect Class (CCC) complements our School Life Class and allows students to further immerse themselves in community-centred learning and programming. The CCC is anchored by our Chapel and Community Time programming, which sees our community gather thrice weekly. Students in the CCC help plan and develop the Chapel program, working with members of clubs and co-curriculars and faculty and staff to gather important information to share with the community. They research current world issues, track the school calendar to monitor school activities and events, research music and art to share with their peers to convey important messages, organize information into a cohesive presentation deck, and practice presenting the program before each gathering on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
One of the core benefits of the CCC is that students develop and strengthen their communication skills while finding their voice and learning best practices for interpersonal relations. They form working relationships with their peers and with faculty and staff as they collect news, information, and updates to share in each program. In connecting with their peers to identify important messages, students in the CCC also practice building confidence in others by encouraging them to contribute to the Chapel program. This work drives our students to develop critical soft skills that are highly desirable in the workplace, preparing them for life after high school.
They also have opportunities to exercise excellent organizational and time management skills to systematize information and disseminate it in a logical and coherent manner. Critical thinking and creativity skills are vital to designing a compelling presentation deck to convey information, and confidence is required to present it verbally to hundreds of students and staff. Amidst all of these tasks, students must effectively work together, and they quickly recognize the necessity of practicing respect, curiosity, and open-mindedness.
The CCC was designed with our school’s value of Inclusive, Caring Community in mind. Course instructor, Mr. Peter O’Grady (who has stewarded leadership courses at LCS for over 15 years) appreciates the importance of strengthening these characteristics in students to facilitate a harmonious learning experience. He teaches the value of practicing empathy and understanding when working with others and encourages students to examine their own thoughts and beliefs to better understand how to collaborate effectively. Involvement in the CCC helps students to strengthen their empathetic and listening skills because they must think intentionally about how the information will be received, when and how to recognize important issues and what the possible ramifications of action (or inaction) may be.
Through their participation in the CCC, our students develop their social-emotional intelligence, one of the most sought-after skills employers seek when hiring new talent. According to a 2019 Global Talent Trends study, 92 percent of hiring managers rated soft skills as more important than technical skills and 89 percent stated that bad hires typically lack those skills. Furthermore, Google discovered that soft skills served as the primary determinant of success during a 2017 study of their highest-performing teams.
We are pleased to offer a course that allows students to strengthen their leadership skills, become more deeply involved in the school community, and practice character traits that will benefit them in all aspects of their lives—in the classroom, on the field/court, in the workplace, and in social and professional relationships.