PYP Leadership Profile & Grade 5 Leadership Week

PYP Leadership Profile & Grade 5 Leadership Week
Serrin Smyth


'Leadership in action' is a guiding belief of the Primary Years Programme. 

“Leadership will explore different ways to draw on a range of capabilities to innovate and encourage agency in a PYP school. Students, teachers and all members of the learning community take on formal and informal leadership roles, to discover new ways to reach shared aspirations together.” (Preparing for the Enhanced PYP,

The Phase Level 3 Teachers (Grade 4 & Grade 5 teachers), led by our Phase Level Leader Michael Swindells, therefore set the collective goal; "To create a student leadership programme for KG/ES highlighting the skills needed to be a leader, when skills will be developed, and opportunities for students to develop these skills."


(Thank you Mr G. for supporting the design process of this profile!)


Stage 1: How was student voice incorporated into the development of the Leadership Programme?

In the first stage of the inquiry, teachers discovered what student leadership looked like at each grade level and the opportunities there are currently for students to be leaders. Mr Michael Swindells gathered student voice by conducting interviews of students at each grade level and explored the questions: 

- What is a leader? Are you a leader? How do you learn to be a leader?

- Do you think a leader has any special skills? 

- Do you think you can develop these skills or are good leaders born that way?

- Who is a leader you look up to?

- Would you like to develop your leadership skills? Why? 

- What opportunities do you currently have to be a leader?

By analyzing student voice, the teachers considered how we may grow leadership for all students in the PYP. 

Stage 2: How was the Seisen Leadership Profile Developed?

In an IB School, members of the learning community come from diverse backgrounds and leaders understand how cultural and organisational factors may influence leadership practices. Therefore IB leaders are adaptive and globally and locally engaged to embrace diversity. Leaders draw on a range of capabilities to manage these challenges, as well as leveraging them to enrich their learning communities. (Adapted from The Learning Community, Leadership,

Teachers collaboratively developed the Leadership Profile by:

- Using the IB Leadership Capabilities as a framework

- Reflecting on what skills (do), attributes (be) and leadership behaviours (become) to guide the profile

- Incorporating the Seisen Profile and IB Learner Profile

- Using the Approaches to Learning to support the 'I can' statements


Mr Swindells' launched the Leadership Profile with students at a Grade 5 assembly. In their Leadership Focus Groups, students reflected by placing a green dot on the leadership capabilities they felt they confidently display as a group and a red dot on the leadership capabilities they would like to strengthen and grow.

This self assessment supported the Leadership Mentors (teachers) in developing further learning opportunities for students to develop these skills.


With a three day focus on Leadership, students engaged in a wide variety of learning experiences to learn about themselves as leaders, develop leadership skills through a series of collaborative challenges and take action in preparation for their Grade 5 Exhibition.

Day 1: Focus on Relationship Skills development by;

  • Helping others to succeed

  • Communicating with all members of the community

  • Using conflict resolution strategies 

  • Taking on a variety of roles

Activities included:

An Orienteering Challenge, designed by Ms Grantham, had students developing the skills to collaborate, work together and establish themselves as leaders in order to achieve a common goal.

Minefield! You must get the blindfolded members of your team from one side of the space to the other - without hitting anything! Students reflected on; what was frustrating about not being able to talk or see? How did you feel throughout the process? What roles do trust and communication play in this activity? How does this relate to challenges we may face when working on issues important to us in our community?

A Decision Making Challenge, saw students having to decide as a group, based on fictional characters, who they would choose to save from an island first. 

A Construction Challenge, where students had to collectively problem solve, offer ideas and solutions, design and invent the largest castle our of cardboard. 

Day 2 & Day 3: Leadership in Action Group Challenges!

Each Leadership focus group was provided a challenge in order to apply leadership skills and take action within their groups. They considered the roles and responsibilities within their groups:

Across these two days, students developed their initiatives and shared their journey and ideas with Grade 5. 

Art leaders: How can we use art to help build community and celebrate our G5 exhibition journey?

Your challenge is to: Design an exhibition t-shirt for the G5 students! You will present your design to Grade 5 to receive feedback

As a group you will need to decide:

  • How will you work together?

  • How will you make sure the design is a result of collaboration?

  • Think about colour, symbols, position, text, size.

  • Create a prototype to see what the logo would look like on a t-shirt and on a real person.

Design process. 

Sharing the Logo Design with Grade 5. 

Our Exhibition Logo by the Art Leaders!

Communication Leaders - How can we share our Leadership Camp and Exhibition journey?

Your challenge is to document and share our leadership camp and exhibition journey. 

As a group you will need to decide:

  • How you will gather information?

  • What tools you will use to document the journey?

  • What platform you will use to share the journey?

  • What audience are you targeting?

Design process. 

Preview of the Communication Group Website - launching soon!

House Leaders - How can we use the house system to promote and grow Seisen leadership profile qualities? 

Your challenge is to: organize and run a house activity for G5 on Wednesday afternoon which helps G5 students develop their leadership skills.

As a group you will need to decide:

  • What activity will you run? Collaborative or Competitive?

  • What resources will you need?

  • How will you delegate jobs?

  • Who will you need to communicate with?

House Activities in Action!

Environmental Leaders: How can we ensure our exhibition has a low environmental impact? How can we upgrade our G5 environment to promote mental wellbeing during exhibition?

Your challenge is to: Develop and implement an initiative to ensure our exhibition has a low environmental impact and that our G5 learning environments promote mental wellbeing.

As a group you will need to decide:

  • What initiative(s) will you implement?

  • How will you delegate jobs?

  • What resources will you need?

  • Who will you need to communicate with?

Grade 5 outdoor learning environment area.

Sustainable Development Goals Leaders - How can we have productive and organised discussions? 

Your challenge is to:  

  1. Learn about a controversial topic of global significance. 

  2. Prepare your responses to the debate questions

  3. Take turns to discuss and score.

  4. Share on Wednesday how lessons you have learnt from this experience can help the G5’s through exhibition (Thinking skills and communication skills and anything else!)

Students debating the issue: "Wearable Technology - Friend or Foe?"

Health and Wellbeing Leaders - How can we maintain our wellbeing during Exhibition?

Your challenge is to:  Create a wellbeing resource for Grade 5 to use during the exhibition.

As a group you will need to decide:

  • How will you delegate jobs?

  • Appropriate resources to maintain our mental and physical wellbeing?

  • How will you share the resources?

  • Will you have more than one initiative?

Students present the health and wellbeing calendar they have developed to Grade 5. 


Students used 'The 3 R’s reflection' for Leadership Camp:

Revise: Write or draw two important things you learned about during Leadership Camp.

Reveal: Now take one of the important things you have learned (above) and explain why it is important to you.

React: How will this learning make a difference to you? What is your responsibility now as a G5 leader?

They also used these prompts to support their reflection on the development of their personal Leadership Skills:

- List the leadership profiles you think you did well at. Choose a few of them and go deeper.

- What activity or experience helped you grow the most?

- What is your biggest takeaway about yourself as a leader?

- Which leadership profiles would you like to get better at and why?

Congratulations Grade 5 on the incredibly inspiring action you took during this Leadership Camp!

A huge thanks to our Grade 5 teachers, Ms Sharon & Ms Swindells, for facilitating these opportunities for Leadership in Action!

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