At UCC, we believe that all boys have the potential to lead. Because leadership begins with an understanding of oneself in the context of our shared ideals, leadership opportunities are embedded in all aspects of the Prep program. Whether in academic group work, athletic pursuits, group problem-solving situations at the Norval Outdoor School or in the hall at recess, opportunities exist for students to demonstrate effective leadership at all grade levels.
In Senior Kindergarten, leadership may look like a student who tells his classmates at recess to include another group of boys in sharing a soccer ball. In Form 7, an example of leadership may be a student initiative to reduce use of paper at the Prep.
So that students take full advantage of these possibilities, we aim to cultivate creative habits of mind, develop good citizenship and teach practical leadership skills. It can occur in direct instruction, role-playing, discussion groups, literature studies or in an interaction between a student and teacher or coach.
Students also have the opportunity to contribute toward the yearbook, community service, lighting and backstage work, as athletic team captains on the sports fields, or as form representatives in school committees, assembly leaders, community service leaders or Prep ambassadors.
There are two school committees at the Prep — one for Form 6 and the other for Form 7. Form representatives are elected by their peers, and their mandate is to represent the form by raising concerns and issues with the assistant head of student life. The representatives are involved in organizing events and sharing information about issues that concern their forms.
At the Prep, we try to demonstrate the following four core values:
In upholding our shared ideals and the Prep’s core values, all boys in Forms 6 and 7 are expected to contribute to the Prep community by meeting certain citizenship requirements. Boys must be a "morning greeter" for a week at least once during the school year and be a door attendant for one parents' night. They must take part in a minimum of two of these roles during the school year:
- Greeter at the new boy orientation day in September
- Announcer of Prep news
- Host or demonstrator at the art exhibition
- Usher for plays and musical performances
- Timer or scorekeeper at athletic matches
By giving back to the school, the boys help to foster an environment of joint concern and fellowship.
Community Service Learning
Our shared ideals and the values inherent in the Primary Years Programme and the Middle Division are the anchors that support our community service learning. Like leadership, community service learning is embedded in the academic curriculum and there are opportunities throughout all forms at the Prep. We believe that service learning is more than facilitating a string of special fundraising events. It begins with a discussion of community needs, followed by research, the designing of a community initiative and then reflecting on the outcomes. Unique projects occur throughout the day on the playing fields, in classrooms or in the broader community. Observing the world, looking for patterns, analyzing data, proposing alternatives and then acting on one’s convictions are all applications of the inquiry model that’s common to the IB Primary and Middle Years programs. School-wide community service projects are also held throughout the year. These projects, such as our annual food drive in support of the Daily Bread Food Bank and our annual clothing drive, promote awareness of community organizations and have students work together toward a common goal.
A limited number of fundraising activities are held annually at the Prep. The Terry Fox National School Run for cancer research, Hoops for Heart and casual dress days in support of local charities are all promoted and run by the students. Prep Parents' Organization fundraising initiatives are also an annual occurrence.