Leadership and Service at the Middle School

Leadership Principles and Streams (Overview)

Our understanding of leadership has shifted. Today's leaders require more global understanding, emotional intelligence, cooperative ability and an empowering, rather than overpowering, approach. Every student at SMUS is a leader and is involved in the leadership program.

We believe that leadership is a process of engagement that moves people to understanding and action in an environment inspired by trust. Every student at SMUS is a leader and is involved in the leadership program. From Kindergarten to Grade 12 there are opportunities for each student to explore and experience their potential as leaders in an age-appropriate way.

The Five Streams of Leadership

Effective leadership requires a complex set of skills, knowledge and values. With this in mind, our school has developed a multifaceted approach to leadership education. Our program includes five interdependent streams: principles of leadership, service, sustainability, global responsibility and experiential/outdoor education.

Middle School students have many opportunities to take on leadership roles. Through an array of clubs and their Exploratory classes, older students can take on mentorship of younger schoolmates.

Formal leadership opportunities can be found in Student and House Council, and Grade 8 students can participate in the Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) program.

Student Council

Student Council members plan and carry out activities throughout the year, including social activities (dances) and service events. The Student Council also provides a voice for students at the Middle School.

House Council

House Council members foster and sustain school spirit through house activities such as sports day, Valentine's activities, and seasonal spirit activities. 

Library Council

Students on Library Council read and review the newest books coming in to the library. Members also plan special events such as a Twilight Tea Party, book-buying trips, movie events and more.

Where Everybody Belongs (WEB)

WEB is a transition program that welcomes Grade 6 and new Grade 7 students.WEB is built on the belief that students want to and can help other students succeed. Grade 8 students train to be WEB Leaders: they become motivators, leaders and teachers who guide other students to success at the Middle School.

The service program at the Middle School has a core goal of making a difference by improving the quality of life and the environment in our local and global communities. The aim is to foster a culture of service, citizenship and responsibility in all members of the SMUS community.

Community is a major focus at the Middle School and within the Student Council. The Middle School's strong sense of community has made our students value respect, kindness and  understanding.

A number of service events are planned by the Student Council, or within the Middle School as a whole. These include:

  • service days
  • fundraising dances
  • Christmas hampers
  • the Peanut Butter Blitz

Middle School students also participate in larger community events, including:

  • Run for the Cure (Breast Cancer Foundation)
  • the Terry Fox Run
  • the Cops for Cancer head shave (Canadian Cancer Society)
  • UNICEF collection at Halloween
  • the St. Patrick’s Day Fun Run (Big Brothers and Big Sisters Victoria)
  • Jeans Day (BC Children’s Hospital)
  • Swimathon (Victoria Hospice Society)
  • the World Partnership Walk (Aga Khan Foundation)

Outdoor Education

Students enjoying outdoor education at the Middle SchoolThe Middle School offers an outdoor education program uniquely designed for each grade.

Outdoor education excursions provide opportunities for leadership, team-building and physical challenges as well as the chance to take a break from technology.

As the students progress through the program each year, they’ll continue to take on more challenging outdoor activities which will prepare them for the more demanding Senior School Outdoor Education program.

Sustainability overview

Sustainability allows students to practice leadership by:

  • educating others about environmental issues and solutions;
  • spearheading initiatives at our school and in our community; and
  • creating collaborative teams and prioritizing goals.

Student Sustainability Projects

  • The e-team promotes proper use of the recycling and composting bins.
  • Exploratory students built the Middle School garden in 2009.
  • Students maintain the Middle School greenhouse and garden, starting plants in the greenhouse, transplanting them and tending to them over the summer.
  • The Middle School has a comprehensive recycling and composting system where everything from plastic bags to apple cores can be recycled or composted.
  • The whole school is working on making lunches garbage-free.
  • Exploratory students work on various environmental projects over the course of the year.
  • Students explore renewable energy projects through designing and building solar pop can heaters.

Global responsibility is closely tied to service at the Middle School level. Service activities have students learning about issues both local and international, as well as empowering them to take positive action.

Through humanities courses, students learn about human rights, politics, and history. From novel studies to cultural studies, students take part in an array of activities that allow them to better understand the world around them and the perspectives of people all across the globe.