What is leadership? What does it mean to be a leader? Is it about power? Responsibility? At Dulwich Pudong exploration of leadership is an essential part of our educational DNA, culminating each year in the selection of a new group of Senior School Prefects.
Our Senior School Prefect team consists of four Head Prefects, each with a different portfolio and supported by a team of student prefects. The portfolios are:
Leadership roles play an important role in the life of a Dulwich student. As I remind students, 'We’re all leading all of the time…it’s simply a question of whether or not you’re leading well or poorly.'"This statement usually confuses students at first until I drive home the point that all leadership begins with self-leadership. You can’t lead other people well if you can’t lead yourself well.
"Opportunities for leadership like becoming a Prefect, or Head Prefect, give students the real-world experience of self-leadership and in the exercise of that self-leadership, they learn to lead others towards significant change, or (as is most often the case) small, subtle changes that over time create a new way forward for the entire Dulwich Community.
"These are essential life lessons that prepare these students exceptionally well for both university and professional life because both university studies and professional work require traits like self-awareness, resilience, focus, empathy, and the ability to collaborate with others…all of which Prefects and Head Prefects are taught in our Leadership Programme."
The Path to Prefect Is Intense
Each Year 12 candidate prepares an in-depth application including a platform of intent and delivers a speech (husting) to peers. After the hustings, candidates are voted on by students. After that they are interviewed by successive panels of current Prefects, teachers and administrators, including the Head of College, before final selections are made. Successful candidates are inaugurated during the annual Investiture Ceremony which takes place toward the end of Term 1.
Prefects take their responsibilities seriously and play an important role in school life by leading new initiatives and setting an example for the entire community. Prefects work closely with school administrators and form an important bridge between teachers and students. For many Prefects, it is a life-changing experience. With that in mind, let's hear from our new 2020-2021 Head Prefects:
The term 'Student Voice' has been in use for years, but what does it truly mean and look like here at Dulwich? A large part of our agenda this year is to branch out and connect ourselves within the student body; forging strong relationships so that we can understand and address the core issues students face. By the end of my term, I hope to confidently say that my team and I have left a strong foundation which will propel future Student Voice portfolios forwards and onto greater things.
Helping people is a great passion of mine, moreover, serving students and staff by being able to create change that will benefit them long-term is such an extraordinary experience; [being a Prefect] is an opportunity to initiate and be part of a change process. Being part of a team with individuals who are just as passionate as you is extremely motivating, exciting and, honestly, a once in a lifetime experience!
Being a prefect is not a responsibility to take lightly. Your role as a prefect is, first and foremost, to serve the student body and this requires a high level of commitment, passion and energy. Being a prefect allows you to grow incredibly as an individual. From my experience as a Year 10 Student Voice Prefect, and currently as the Head Prefect of the Wellbeing portfolio, every challenge that I have faced, task I have been set, and opportunity I have been provided with has let me grow.
I decided to apply for prefect because I’d seen from previous prefects how much impact the position could have on how student life operates and thought, 'I want to make that impact too'." I believe that a great way to bring people together can be through events surrounding service, sustainability or diversity where we are all clearly working toward a goal which betters our local community, global community or the environment.
Here is the full list of 2020-2021 Prefects:
Please join us in congratulating them as they embark on this important leadership journey.
- The new Prefects for the 2020-2021 academic year have been formally invested.
- The process of application is intense.
- The Prefect program help students develop important capabilities which prepare them for university and beyond.