Our vision is to provide a programme that exposes all of our boys to leadership opportunities at every level. We want the boys to be constantly challenged by teachers and their peers. Our principles and practices are aligned with the school’s educational mission and vision, so all of the planned activities revolve around what is best for our boys.
We have a holistic developmental approach, with a theme of LEARN GROW LEAD. We have identified four broad themes aligned to our boys’ progress through the grades. The theme in Grade 8 is for every learner to start a journey of self-discovery, to understand his character strengths and weaknesses, as well as his traits and abilities. This helps each boy to grow in self-confidence and become more self-motivated and aware of his potential. We believe this is the key to understanding and relating to others (our second theme, in Grade 9) and eventually how groups function (our third theme, in Grade 10). Our fourth developmental theme (in Grade 11) focuses on looking outward, specifically at the competencies that are required in the workplace beyond school.
Staged leadership development takes place at every grade level. Our Grade 8 boys have a dedicated leadership day run by Lead4life in the first week of term. In Grade 9, our service provider is Venture Forth and our boys experience a 10-day mountain adventure, ‘The Journey’. Our Grade 10 boys have a ‘Social Literacy’ conversation at Newlands Cricket Ground. Our Grade 11 boys ‘celebrate excellence’ in a leadership day at Kelvin Grove, where prominent Old Boys share their success stories.
The Bosch Journey
The Grade 9s of 2013 undertook the inaugural Rondebosch Journey, which is a compulsory, whole grade, 10-day adventure that operates on both a physical and emotional level. The focus is on developing responsibility, leadership, co-operation, conflict resolution, tolerance and consideration of others – and the ability to stand firm in times of adversity.
In the transition from boy to young man there needs to be certain fundamental character-building phases. The Journey mimics these phases and thus becomes part of the transitional process. This happens through the separation from the parents and home. It happens through meeting the physical challenges and the lessons in outdoor skills, natural history, communication, teamwork and leadership, and the resultant self-reflection and self-understanding acquired. Transformation is also achieved through the return process that happens at the end of the Journey. This is carried back to the school during the re-integration with school, parents and family life.
The Journey is about the boys living and working in a small community, in an outdoor environment, away from the traditional comforts of everyday life. It is regarded as a rite of passage at school – it falls into that critical stage of development where our boys experience a strong need for acceptance and are trying to establish their place within a group.
The Journey aims to:
- Provide experiences that will help to equip boys with the skills that allow them to make life decisions to cope in an ever-changing world.
- Develop the boys’ leadership skills. In some cases, it offers an opportunity to learn fundamental skills of independence, cooking my own meals, cleaning my own utensils, testing my ability to make decisions and act without my parents’ advice and
- Develop each boy in relation to himself, his community and the environment.
The Journey has a real impact on school life because the whole grade is involved and bond through their shared experiences. We hope that you share our excitement in this initiative; one that we believe will be a powerful character changing experience.