LOWER SCHOOL: Third formers shine in leadership challenge

THIRD formers have been praised for taking on leadership roles at Ripon Grammar School while older students have been sitting exams and doing work experience.

The 13-year-olds donned traditional prefect gowns to rise to the challenge of carrying out duties including supervising lunch queues, organising assemblies and patrolling the playing fields.

Deputy head of lower school Patrick Barber explained how the third formers returned to school after their week at Bewerley Park Centre for Outdoor Education to discover they were the oldest pupils in school.

“As such, as per this wonderful tradition at RGS, it was their time to step up as prefects for a week,” he said.

“Each prefect donned the prefect gown and each one stepped admirably into this leadership role. We would like to thank them all - the future really is in safe hands.”

Student Jasmine Cheung said it was a very exciting experience: “We all felt much older and more responsible.”

Classmate Jack Jefferson added: “Standing at the entrance to the lunch hall, patrolling the field and managing the break queue were all beneficial and fun experiences.”

The students’ written applications were considered by teachers, form tutors and the lower school office before 45 were selected for the short-term positions of responsibility.

The lower school office met with all form captains and a team of volunteers to co-ordinate the week, with each form taking it in turn to carry out duties.

Benedict Dunn explained how he helped coordinate the prefects in his form: “It was an excellent experience and benefited everyone involved. We all stepped up to the challenge.”

Expanding on the key aspects of the role, he added: “As well as patrolling sections of the school premises, we held doors and showing students to seats for morning assembly. We also had to control the flow of students into the canteen and make sure bins were being used correctly to maximise the amount of plastic recycled during lunch and break time.

“Brief though our experience was, it was brilliant that we were trusted enough to do it and I would love to do it again.”