ISP Europe Student Leadership Conference – Laude Fontenebro School in Moralzarzal, Madrid ( 11th Nov. – 12th Nov.)
What was the conference about?
How did we participate?
What impact will it have / what actions are we going to take? Would we change something overall?
Did we enjoy it?
The main themes of the conference were: leadership and becoming an ECO-school.
The first day, Monday, started with activities to bond with each other and to get to know students from the other schools. We then were divided into three teams, which had to go to different ‘master-classes’ which head teachers, teachers or members of staff of different Laude schools taught. These classes included: speaking in public, techniques to feel more comfortable, to hide your nerves and what gestures you should to captivate the audience; team-building course, where we learnt what aspects a leader needs in order to form a team; leadership styles and skills; prioritizing, in a diagram which ‘important’ and ‘urgent’ make your ‘to do list’ have certain priorities; working as a team exercise, here we had to come all together as a group with a solution for breaking a not of people; and finally we were taught how to have difficult conversations, using various techniques.
We all agreed that most of the classes were very useful, however we also thought that it was all a little rushed and we barely had time in each class.
After that, we had to prepare a presentation for the next day about the application of the ECO-school project in our own. So, that’s the work that we had to do most of the evening.
Tuesday came and we had to proceed with our presentation at a certain point of the day after other several groups. Our presentation consisted of explaining the plan that we have in mind to apply and execute the first steps of this project. Then, we specified whose support we needed to help us with it and what are the problems that we will probably have when we start to execute this project. Finally, we had to explain the three first ideas that we wanted to implement first: ecological and environmental projects in the “Science Fair”; the creation and implementation of a compost inside our school to show how much waste we actually produce; and also the idea of installing recycling bins throughout the corridors and playground as well as the replacement of plastic water bottles with reusable ones. We had to relate this part of our presentation to the leadership skills and styles that we learnt about on Monday.
How did we participate?
Almost all the time, when we did an activity, we were together as a school, except a few times when it was general collaborative activities. The main acts of participation on which we were involved were the different workshops some teachers from the other school prepared. We participated in workshops for public speaking, having difficult conversation, the golden circle (why, how and what), team building and motivation, prioritising and being a leader. We
also participated with our presentation were as we already mention we talked about how we would implement the ECO School programme. In this presentation we had to utilize all the skill we learned in this different workshops.
One of the best things about this conference, was that it allowed us to have our voices heard and it gave us a feeling that we could do something to change our school. Mainly, we would want to implement the ECO-school project into our own. We feel that it would be a great start to a chain of following changes that want to be made to our school. We also got really good ideas from other schools’ structures and elements that they have. For example, we have really taken into consideration the idea of creating different and more types of “clubs”. We do have right now the debate club, but we were thinking of having multiple clubs which were done after school finishes. However, we do know that the school finishes quite late, so for now it’s not a priority. Finally, there was another aspect that other schools had and we wanted to implement in our own school. I
Mainly we will like to make changes related to the ECO-school project like having a green week, the compost, banning one use plastic and more things staff members or students come up with. Apart from things related to this project we would also want to implement changes not related to this like an improvement of the school council, more responsibilities and privileges for prefects, having extracurricular for secondary students like a dram club, technology club and more changes that would benefit the students live in school and will help create a community with in it.
We enjoyed every single minute from this conference from the moments were we had to do prepare for the presentation to the free time were we got to meet incredible student from all over Spain and some of them even from out of Spain. We feel very proud with ourselves due to the things were learned and the way we presented the school and would like to take part in similar experiences.