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From the Head of Senior College

On Strowan - Volume 13 // Issue 8 // 8 November 2018

More news for Senior College

The Senior College covers Years 12–13. Head of Senior College is John Ruge.

Last Monday, I attended the final prefect meeting for the year. It was in two parts: the first half was a time for the current team to reflect on their year of leadership, tidy up some loose ends, and swap Secret Santa gifts. Over the second half of lunchtime, the 2019 team joined us, and the new prefects spent time with their experienced peers asking questions about what it is really like to be in a senior leadership role at St Andrew’s. It was a great time of sharing and thoughtful reflection, and I am full of admiration for this wonderful group of young people who have led our student body so capably this year.

The comments from our current team about their year were especially revealing, and I thought I would share some of the insights that I received.

On what they have learnt about leadership this year:

  • “Leadership is so much harder than it sounds.”
  • “Leadership is much more than just guiding a group in a direction. Leadership is listening and it involves going out of your way to make these tasks happen.”
  • “A great team is the key to success. If many do a little, big things can be achieved.”
  • “Even when your peers aren’t stepping up to the mark, and you may not be held accountable by others, hold yourself to your own standards and people will notice if you are consistently doing your part.”
  • “You can still be a leader even if you’re not the one who is always seen.”

On what I’ve learnt about myself:

  • “I’m not a fan of telling people off.”
  • “Teamwork is so important. I need to learn from others’ ideas, and work with them.”
  • “I’ve gained more confidence and people skills this year.”
  • “I’ve learnt some ways to overcome my fears, e.g. public speaking.”
  • “It’s ok to be dependent sometimes and to ask for help.”

And some final advice:

“Be friendly to all the younger students – they think you’re scary.”

What an insightful bunch! It has been such a privilege to work with them this year, and to see them all grow in their understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, and also what it means to be a leader.

If you have a son or daughter leaving the College this year, thank you for all your support during their time here. A school is never any more or less than the sum of its parts, and you have been an integral part of what we do. Thank you for the taxi services, the lunches, for engaging and connecting with teaching and administration staff, and for partnering with us to be a part of the education of these young people. I hope that you will feel, as we do, that this has been a more than worthwhile journey. The Leavers’ chapel service and Leavers’ Assembly last week were both wonderful opportunities to honour our student body. To all of you who came to those events, thank you for your support.

If you have a son or daughter returning to the College next year, I look forward to another exciting and challenging year as we work to prepare young people who have a strong sense of self-efficacy combined with a deep sense of connection with others. Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.


John Ruge 
Head of Senior College

On Strowan - Volume 13 // Issue 8 // 8 November 2018