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On Monday 11th April, Future FoundationsLaina Pattni spent the day at Wellington College supporting a small group of students from the College with their delivery of a United Learning leadership residential training programme to 18 Year 5 students  from United Learning schools around the country who have been identified as having leadership potential. Here she explains the aims and outcomes of the programme, and lessons in leadership she can take from it.

“My role was focused on coaching and mentoring  young people from Wellington College  to deliver impactful leadership sessions to United Learning participants, rather than Future Foundations’ usual style of coach led training.  The day was a brilliant opportunity to take a step back and teach others about what makes a good delivery.

The sessions they had prepared included Ice-breakers, high-energy leadership & team work challenges and chocolate Rice Crispie cake decorating to model the concept of serving others.  What struck me from the start was their understanding of leadership and skills they put into practice, the young people leading sessions were selected from Year 9 – Year 13 and had given up a few days of their Easter Holidays.  Their main aims were to pass on leadership messages with a range of fun games.

Their delivery style was similar to Future Foundations and watching them run ice-breaker activities helped me to see what an integral part they play as part of a programme.  Within minutes the shy, timid Year 5s, many of whom had never stayed away from home before, were laughing and running around.

I had the opportunity to speak with the Year 5s myself  and one conversation that has stuck with me was when I asked a few of them what they wanted to do when they were older.  Their answers were immediate and ranged from Artist, Hairdresser, Doctor to one young boy who wanted his job title to be ‘Genius’.  At such a young age, these Primary students were dreaming big and fearless in expressing their ambitions to others.  Some may argue that primary students are too young to understand leadership concepts but clearly they have never spoken with these particular students! When we start dreaming big, part of following through those dreams is knowing how to lead ourselves and how not lose confidence in our own potential.

My favourite part of the day was giving support in planning a session that involved teaching the Year 5s about stepping out their comfort zone.  At first, the students leading the activity thought it was be too complex a concept, but after guiding them through how introduce the idea and develop questioning skills to relate the theory to their lives, they delivered a session that would give us Future Foundations Coaches a run for our money!

The Wellington students demonstrated incredible leadership themselves and I have no doubt that some of them may cross paths with Future Foundations again.”