Kirkcaldy pupils first in UK to pick up leadership award

Fair Isle Primary pupils with head teacher Rae Walker and staff Steven Hutcheson, Lyndsay Liddell and Christina Daher  have become the first school in Britain to achieve the Lighthouse Award for the 'Leader in Me' programme incorporating the 7 Habits of Effective People
Fair Isle Primary pupils with head teacher Rae Walker and staff Steven Hutcheson, Lyndsay Liddell and Christina Daher have become the first school in Britain to achieve the Lighthouse Award for the 'Leader in Me' programme incorporating the 7 Habits of Effective People

Pupils at Fair Isle Primary in Kirkcaldy have been building their leadership qualities through a special programme devised in the USA.

And the school recently proved it was a true leader of the pack when it became the first one in Britain, and only the third in Europe, to achieve Lighthouse status, the top level possible in the ‘Leader in Me’ project.

Lucy Scott and Jaye Binnington, last year's head girl and boy with their 7 Steps books

Lucy Scott and Jaye Binnington, last year's head girl and boy with their 7 Steps books

The Leader in Me helps students to learn a series of disciplines, including self-confidence, teamwork, initiative, responsibility, communication, creativity, self-direction, leadership, problem solving and social skills.

The leadership principles and lessons are not taught as part of the curriculum, but are incorporated into the coursework, traditions, systems and everyday culture of the school.

The Lighthouse milestone is a highly regarded standard set by the Leader in Me programme that is awarded to schools in recognition of their outstanding achievement. The attainment of Lighthouse status represents a significant benchmark and it is evidence that a high standard has been met by a school.

Rae Walker, head teacher at Fair Isle, said: “This is a huge achievement for the school and it has taken a massive commitment from the pupils, staff and parents to get here.

“We started the The Leader in Me programme three years ago and it is now part our daily life at Fair Isle. ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ as defined by the programme’s founder, Franklin Covey, are now firmly embedded in everything we do from the P1 to P7s and with all the staff.

“The programme has brought benefits to all aspects of the school. We are improving attendance, lateness, behaviour and attainment. Every child in the school has some kind of leadership role in their class.”

The Lighthouse award represents a huge step forward in the continual effort to close the attainment gap in Fife, with Fair Isle acting as a beacon for other schools to follow.