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The Learning Curve

Student Leadership Summit
  • Secondary Matters
Lise Cudin

Student Leadership Summit at Stonar

Stonar School, our school sister from GBIS cluster that we discovered with this podcast, hosted the annual Globeducate Student Leadership Summit. Twenty-three senior students from Canada, Europe and India joined together for a three-day, online symposium to develop their leadership skills, both in theory and practice.

Involvement of our senior students

As head student at Mougins British International School, Madison Perkins had the opportunity to attend this leadership conference organised by the Globeducate group. This virtual event involved the head pupils of over 23 schools, which allowed her to interact with student leaders from around the world.

The Leadership Symposium was a really enriching experience. I learnt so many things about leadership in general from the different lectures as well as the kind of leader I am by doing the "Belbin Test" (apparently I'm not the most creative person out there, but we already knew that). It was so fun meeting Head Students from across the world, I was able to meet amazing people from Spain, Canada and even India! In teams of 4, we had to create a presentation about a famous leader and their leadership style... with strangers! It was an exciting, yet slightly daunting, experience that turned out to be really educational. I'm sure Chiara Goldig and Lola Lahaye will agree with me on that. Needless to say, the whole Senior Prefect Team can't wait to participate in more conferences in the future!"  Madison Perkins

Focused on exploration of different successful leaders and the various types of leadership, this event took place over two afternoons welcoming guest speakers and Stonar Staff.

What happened during the summit?

Guest speaker Dr Lucy Walker from Britten Pears Arts joined Stonar School Staff to deliver inspiring talks, workshops, questionnaire evaluations and feedback. Dr Walker curates exhibitions and writes about the life and works of musicians Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, and has presented study days at concert venues and opera houses in the UK and internationally. She spoke about how leadership comes in many forms and styles.

Headmaster of Stonar, Matt Way, opened the event with a session on leadership theory – drawing on his own military career experiences and on leaders as diverse as Tito and Shackleton. Students were challenged to think about the characteristics of a good leader and the session was followed by an analysis of Belbin´s leadership styles. The students had all previously completed a questionnaire which was then used to identify where their dominant leadership styles lay. Zoom break-out rooms allowed smaller groups of students to discuss what they had learnt about themselves, and each other, and how to build an effective leadership team. 

Leadership Summit

David Wicks, a former Colonel in the British Army and current Head of Science at Stonar, spoke about leadership in action and importantly defined the difference between leadership and management. David also stressed the importance of honesty and integrity as the basis for any successful leader. More break-out sessions had a focus on planning presentations on an inspirational leader of their choice – the students did not disappoint in their choice of leaders with a wide range being chosen, from Michelle Obama and Jesus to Stalin and Colonel Gaddafi!

The second day began with a workshop on public speaking led by Jamie Dyde, Head of English at Stonar; many of the students had already noted that communication was a key skill for any potential leader. Following more group work, Dr Lucy Walker listened to the fantastic presentations. All students participated in the presentations and the confidence with which they spoke, the engagement they had for the subject matter, informing their research with the leadership theory they had learnt the previous day, ensured that the presentations were lively, informative and delivered with style. As well as providing constructive feedback, Dr Walker praised the students and left the event questioning what her own leadership style may be. Prior to Dr Walker’s keynote speech, students participated in a fun scenario planning event, where they had to use their leadership skills to plan for survival, or escape, on a deserted island. 

We would like to thank Stonar for organising this successful event with panache, given the virtual situation. This incredible leadership summit was a great opportunity for our young leaders to work together, learn from each other and embrace the notion that leadership is multifaceted and appears in many styles and ways.


  • Globeducate
  • Secondary