2018 has met the arrival of a new leadership board at Rosebery School in Epsom. After an exciting round of interviews and speeches, the staff and students at Rosebery managed to rattle applications down to a final six candidates with outstanding potential to sustain and improve the school standards at Rosebery over the next year. We have Freya Hawkins and Sophie Watts as head girls. Our deputies, Ciara Sirkett- (community representative), Sarah Atherton- (well-being representative), Anabel hindmarsh- (speaking and learning representative) and Sam Perren-(inclusion representative). To get more insight into the process I interviewed co-head girl Freya Hawkins about her experience.

When applications for prefects opened, what made you want to go for head girl?

It was my first choice. I’ve wanted to do it for years. I was on the Junior Leadership Team in year 9 and ever since then, getting the opportunity to work with the head girls and seeing the impact that they had, made me know I wanted to be a part of that.

Did you anticipate how far you would get?

No, definitely not. Like everybody else I hoped to get shortlisted, but no I didn’t expect this outcome.

Can you tell the readers who may not know the outline of the application process details of each ‘round’?

It felt like a long process. At first you had this submit an application about why you wanted to be head girl. This included what qualities you would bring, what you wanted to achieve and why you were so passionate. Then they got submitted and the teachers voted. They also looked at things like attendance and behaviour points. And then we found out whether we had been short listed. In this meeting they told us we had to prepare and deliver a speech to the sixth form. So that week we had to write up our speeches. We found out on the Friday and I was writing my speech all afternoon up till the following Friday. I wrote a first draft on Friday night and then I edited it over the weekend. Every time I edited it I was talking to different people or editing it in a different way… I really wanted to get it right. After that the students voted. In the following week we had to pitch to our headteacher about our vision and what we were to achieve. Although, this part of the process was not as nerve racking and was a lot easier to formulate.

How was it emotionally?

The application process was fine. Once you were shortlisted, that’s when it got emotional, we all got fully emotionally connected to it, and I think when we first got shortlisted we said we wouldn’t actually mind being deputy, but then by the time it came to the interview and speeches,  I really want to be head girl, especially for all the time I put in. I was always thinking about it.

Would you recommend younger students to try for the role and why?

I would 100% recommend it. I’m trying to convince my sister to do it in fact. But even if you don’t get shortlisted, the process of writing an application is massively beneficial…you’re going to have to do it when applying for university anyways. Even applying and getting your ideas voiced, will give teachers an opportunity to read it, and potentially act on it, even if you’re not shortlisted.

Have you had any previous experience with leadership and if so how has that helped you with the process and encouraging you to apply?

So I was in the Junior leadership team, which was so helpful because it included public speaking. Also, I’m head cadet at cadets, so that comes with responsibility such as arranging events and organising groups. I’ve had bits of experience here and there. But I would just say to take every opportunity. Anything that comes along that you think you might be interested in, such as cadets or form captain or even being part of the netball team. Have a look into it. Any experience is good experience.

What are some of the major issues or projects you want to pursue?  

When I was talking to Ms Alan, one of the major things I want to put forward is more opportunity. I want everyone to have opportunity, and I feel the issue is we could create loads and people won’t join them. I feel like organisations such as the junior leadership team could be used as a platform to encourage people to enrol. This is if we improved it and made sure everyone attended regular meetings and acted on ideas. And then the other thing I really wanted to get involved in is the community side of things, encouragingthe elderly to come and eat with students on a Friday night or encouraging people who use the food bank to come and eat food in the canteen…reaching out to the local community and really getting them involved with Rosebery, will increase the schools profile with the local community. As well as the local community, students could gain massively from spending time talking with the people in our community.

Good luck Freya! And congratulations to Rosebery’s 2018 leadership committee.

Saranya Umashankar