KIS International School

DP Retreat 2017: Personal Ethical Leadership

Daniel Trump

On 22nd August Grade 11 & 12 Diploma Programme Students went on a 3 night Retreat at the beach in Cha Am. The purpose of the Retreat was to help the students to develop their leadership skills. The activities were designed and delivered by KIS staff in order to help students to minimise stress and optimise attainment in their DP studies. It was also designed to help students to effect positive change in their communities.


The Retreat kicked off with the traditional general knowledge Quiz written and compered by Mr Carl. Despite IB programmes being concept rather than content led, our students really enjoyed (& excelled in) this test of knowing things !


The next day we focussed on Leadership itself, starting with the inaugural DP Beach Olympics, organised and run by a group of Grade 12 students (Ruby, Emily Be, Krit, Mint, Byte, Erin, Jenny). The students had organised a great set of games which were thoroughly enjoyed by all. The organisation, and execution, of the event was wonderful modelling of collaborative leadership by the Grade 12 students for the Grade 11 students. It is collaborative leadership which is so crucial for DP students to help in achieve in the DP.


Later in the day KIS staff led workshops on teenage leaders who have demonstrated significant leadership both in their own lives and communities. These leaders include:


  • Malala Yousafzai’s campaign for female education rights.

  • Laura Dekker, the G9 student who circumnavigated the globe.

  • Jaylon Arnold establishing an Anti-Bullying Campaign.

  • Boyan Slat, the development of passive ocean plastic clean-up devices.

  • Liz Murray, a homeless student who won a scholarship to Harvard

  • Genie Sangpakdee (G8 KIS) - Conservation, elephants & music.


This then led us into a session where students considered what good leadership looks like in everyday life at KIS.


The following day the students participated in a set of activities relating to communication and mindfulness. Mindfulness is about increasing self awareness in order to be able to manage self expectations and therefore performance and stress. The final day was spent looking at the core Diploma subjects of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) and Theory of Knowledge (ToK). In this session G11 learned from G12 experiences.


The students showed very strong leadership skills throughout the Retreat, especially in terms of cooperative support and organisation. These are very much the skills and traits required for success in their DP studies.  



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