Head: Mr Phillip Stapleton
Developing leadership is the essence of the CCF at West Buckland School – to equip young people to become young leaders. As part of this initiative, three members of the Armed Forces – two of whom are parents of WBS students – were asked to speak about different facets of leadership to cadets in Years 11-13.
Brigadier Frazer Lawrence spoke on the importance of leadership and the qualities that a leader requires. From leading Gurkhas and troops under fire in Afghanistan, to responsibility for a brigade, he spoke of a leader’s need for integrity and moral courage. He also emphasised the need to develop the team, as well as the difficulties of making timely decisions and taking risks.
RSM Ross Wilson RM considered the need to develop the character of a leader. Drawing on his training and his service across the globe, RSM Wilson spoke of the need to open oneself up to adversity in order to learn. He explained to the cadets the importance of adaptability and becoming comfortable with uncertainty, while finally touching on how potential leaders should reflect on events in order to respond well to future situations.
Wing Commander Andrew Coe challenged the cadets to reflect upon effective team leadership. Evoking leadership in different times, including the World War 1 trenches, the Dambusters and during Covid, he enabled the cadets to consider their own leadership. Furthermore, he urged them to take note of the people they lead, emphasising the need to understand that “being an effective leader is understanding that every person is important” and to deal with individuals as individuals.
This has been a fantastic opportunity for the cadets to develop their thinking about leadership, and we are very appreciative of the speakers giving their time to our students. This inspirational leadership initiative will be further developed as the cadets undertake an Institute of Leadership and Management Level 3 award before Christmas. After Christmas, we have plans for further talks with with a Royal Marine Bandswoman involved in sport, a retired member of the SBS and a winner of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.