On Friday 26th April Steyning Grammar held its year twelve Head of Year elections. Present at the assembly was the previous, now year thirteen, Heads of Year who used their vote to assist with passing on the proverbial torch to the next candidates. Each of the dozen students, male and female running for head boy and girl respectively, gave a four minute speech. I had the opportunity to interview Jemima Coleman, one of the candidates, afterwards to get her opinion on how she felt her own speech and those of her fellow students went.

When asked why she decided to run for Head Girl, Coleman saw it as a chance not only to help others, but herself ‘in terms of boosting my own self esteem and self confidence’. She went on to add that when she ran for the position at her previous school, she was unsuccessful and that she wanted to take forward what she had learnt from her past experience. She wisely stating that ‘nothing exciting ever happens inside your comfort zone’ so she made sure to not let herself get disheartened.

Despite having to cross multiple hurdles before reaching this stage of the election process, the speech itself accounts for the most ‘points’ that can be gained from the votes of students. Coleman also believed that the speech was one of the most important elements stating ‘that the student voice is the most important thing’. However, she did mention worrying about coming across as egotistical or ‘cliché’ and wanted to make sure she was distinctly genuine. With the sheer amount of people she was addressing, Coleman noted that she made sure to ‘get into the swing of things more and relax’ showing that mind over matter can be a powerful force.

Finally, some candidates were not only content with explaining why they would be good for the role but also mentioned changes they intended to bring up at meetings should they be elected. One that Coleman thought was particularly effective, brought up by fellow candidate Phoebe Croft, was ‘about reducing our plastic consumption and becoming a more sustainable site’. She mentioned Croft’s skill at making a subject that was ‘not the most exciting to discuss’, engaging to the audience.

The new Head Boy and Head Girl, along with deputies taken from the runners up, are to be announced at the end of the reflections service on 10th May.

Words and accompanying photos by Benjamin Jesse, Steyning Grammar School (Sixth Form)

Interview statements provided by Jemima Coleman of Steyning Grammar School (Sixth Form)