Kenton pupils learn about leadership

LEARNING TO LEAD: Master coach Sean Kelly giving information to one of the teams in a recent leadership workshop at Kenton Primary School Picture: SUPPLIED


PUPILS at Kenton Primary School recently benefitted from a leadership workshop conducted by Sean Kelly, a master coach through the British Army School of Leadership Studies.

The workshop was facilitated by the Rotary Club of Kenton-on-Sea, which has a connection to Kelly through his father, Ronnie Kelly, a charter member of the club.

Sean first addressed the club on various identified leadership styles and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of different models. He concentrated on six leadership styles on a continuum from transactional to transformative:

  • Visionary – “Come with me”
  • Coaching – “What if you could?”
  • Facilitative – “Team solution”.
  • Participative – “What do you think?”
  • Pacesetting – “Do what do I do, now”
  • Directive – “Do what I tell you!”

Sean acquired all his training, experience and qualifications through the British Army. He passed out through Sandhurst, which develops the leadership qualities of young officers and he later gained the qualification of master coach.

He served as a captain in the British Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan. When Sean recently resigned from the British Army, he completed his Masters degree in international politics and international security at the University of Warwick.

He is keen to run leadership workshops with children from the area because leadership skills are so important – vital for future leaders in all walks of life to learn to apply effectively.

Rotary Club public relations officer Brigid Mackay said the club “is enthusiastic about facilitating these workshops to help young people, especially our disadvantaged young people”.

Teachers from local schools were invited to the talk at the Rotary Club meeting so that they understand what is being offered to their pupils in these free workshops. The schools will then be asked to identify pupils who will benefit from these.

The first of these leadership workshops was run at Kenton Primary School on a recent weekend.

“Sean Kelly is an amazing young man who wants to give of himself to community children with no monetary recompense,” said Mackay. “He selflessly gave his time and expertise to lift the children up and inspire them.”

Sean discussed the different forms of leadership and then had fun exercises, done in teams on the field, who used different leadership skills.

At the end of each exercise, Sean would ask the children: “What type of leadership did that display?”

He encouraged thinking out of the box for solutions to the problems given and there were innovative solutions such as one team taking off their shirts and using them to form a rope.

Kenton Primary principal Erika Freeme said: “We are a little country school and not often do our pupils have the opportunity of working with someone of Sean’s calibre.”

Rotarians Stella Swanson, Tjaart Barnard, Barrie Brown, Brenda Brown, Dee Herringer, Ronnie Kelly and Lee Slater helped on the day and the Kenton Rotarians also supplied light refreshments.

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