"One of our most important roles at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) is guiding, mentoring, and supporting students to become effective leaders. Building their leadership capacity today is one of the greatest qualities we can provide them with, in preparation for the future," shares ISKL's Head of School, Mr. Rami Madani.

"Ensuring our students are future-ready is critical to our Vision and Mission. In a world where self-directedness, the ability to think creatively, reason critically, and communicate effectively, are crucial for success," he continues.

At ISKL, we firmly believed that leadership is a skill that can be fostered and nurtured in every student. One of the school's goals is to support students in developing the 21st-century learning skills required to be future-ready and socially responsible global citizens in a rapidly changing world. 

Students at ISKL are encouraged to take risks and practice their skills in a nurturing school environment, to become influential leaders for the future. This is part and parcel of the unique learning experiences offered at ISKL, where several school-wide opportunities for leadership are available.

In Elementary School (ES), all Grade 5 students participate in the Red Hat leadership program, intentionally developing leadership skills to create personal growth and development opportunities. The Red Hats make the morning announcements, assist at school assemblies, and coordinate community service projects, including the annual Change Makers Conference. Here's what some Red Hat students had to say:

"Being a Red Hat helped me gain confidence and overcome shyness. As a Red Hat, we are role models for the younger students. The best part about being a leader is that people trust you and come to you for advice, and that's how you can help others," shared Hannah A. (Class of '28).

"Through the program, I've learned how to be independent and work better with others. Red Hats get special privileges, and I've learned how to use this privilege properly because if you misuse it, your leadership role will be taken away," says Rushdan S. (Class of '28). 

ISKL's Grade 5 Learning Resource teacher in ES, Amy Schneider, who is involved in the Red Hat program, commented, "When students begin taking action in the early years of learning, this leads to a lifetime of service. At the Red Hat orientation, our older students share why they started their clubs, what they want to accomplish, and how the Red Hats could support these important causes. The Middle and High School students readily support our Red Hats to become social change-makers. Bearing this in mind, the Red Hats decide which service projects work best for them. "

In Middle School (MS), students have the opportunity to put their leadership skills into action through the Student Council (StuCo). Here, they are empowered to develop leadership skills in several ways, including leading and participating in clubs, service initiatives, and community activities.

"A big part of StuCo is learning how to collaborate well with others and working together to achieve a common goal. Even for those who aren't involved in StuCo, ISKL has plenty of in-class opportunities for everyone to take charge of a particular project or even just to speak up," explains MS student Naiema S. (Class of '25).

In High School (HS), the Student Leadership Team (SLT) comprises an elected student body of representatives who advocate for student voice in learning to enrich the community, enhancing school spirit by creating lasting memories for all ISKL students. 

HS student Jeffrey S. (Class of '22) shared, "Taking part in leadership roles like the SLT will prepare you for responsibilities later on in life. It's good to practice now." 

"Being a leader is a helpful skill when we move on to university and enter the workforce. Confidence and teamwork are some important skills I have picked up through working with fellow students across different grade levels." agreed Jasmine N. (Class of '21).

Whether promoting change in the ISKL community, demonstrating sportsmanship on the field, or being a Red Hat role model to younger learners, everyday ISKL students have the opportunity to practice essential 21st-century skills to ensure they are future-ready.