On the nineteenth of October, we, the Head-Students accompanied by Laura Collins (English teacher) attended a conference organised by The Lady Elizabeth School to improve our public speaking skills and meet other Head-Students from The British School of Vila-Real. Before the actual conference day, we were sent the information about the conference and what it included. We were also guided by Jim Woods (English Teacher) on what to wear and how we should act in order to represent our school to the best of our abilities.
Upon our arrival at Lady Elizabeth, we were directed to a room where we met other ISP schools’ head students. We were offered something to eat, and in a matter of minutes we were organised into groups of three or four; a head student from LES and students from the other schools. In these groups, we were each given a tour around the school where we got to see the different sport, artistic and academic facilities in the school. Once the tour was completed, we attended a concise presentation on how to make an effective speech, which set us up for our own, as each student had to prepare a speech on how to treat people from across the world when hosting their visit. Finally, we all assembled to try and come up with ideas regarding a head student’s responsibilities and ideal attributes.
Session 1 consisted of a role play, we would all be put in pairs and pretend to be parents looking to enrol our “children” in the school, we had the freedom to choose what they are like, what they are interested in, what the school needed to offer them, etc. We expected to be partnered up with people from our own school, however we were partnered up with other students which made it much more dynamic and we got to know everyone a lot better.
Session 2 was a short individual presentation, which we though would be very serious and professional-like, yet it ended up being very relaxed which made it a lot less intimidating and a more friendly atmosphere.
Session 3 consisted of summarising the attributes the school management should have, which we expected to be a very serious task, though we all ended up having a good laugh while coming up with ideas and attributes.
Finally, the conference style lunch was supposed to be with teachers, which made us think that it would be a very formal and business-like meeting, nevertheless we all mingled around each other and ended up talking to a lot of people and was a very sociable activity.
The experience as a whole was extremely interesting and beneficial as it allowed us, Heads of Newton college, have a platform to meet other students whilst also learning about other ISP schools and their methodologies. The experience itself is one that we would highly recommend to be completed on a more frequent basis. The experience not only helped us as individuals in improving our skills, it also helps the ISP branch as a whole as it enables schools to learn from each other in order to get better and meet their objectives.