Up and down the country, boys and girls apply to be Head Boy and Head Girl. These roles are common in both secondary schools and sixth form colleges. Of course, there is often competition for these high positions at school, so what is the best way to apply and have a good chance at becoming Head Boy or Head Girl?
Why Would You Want to Be Head Boy Or Head Girl?
So, why should you aspire to be Head Boy or Head Girl? There are so many benefits to gaining this role, and here are a few of them:
- This position looks great on your CV. When you are applying for a job (especially a position of leadership), being Head Boy/Girl will show your potential employer that you have had experience in leadership and organising things. Not to mention the people skills being Head Boy/Girl will give you.
- Being Head Boy/Girl gives you experience in leadership and organisation – you will most likely be asked to attend events outside of school time and play a part in organising these events too, which will give you an idea as to what it is like to have a position of leadership in the future (possibly even your career).
- The position usually sets your university application apart from the rest. If you are looking to apply to university (especially Russell Group Universities), being a Head Boy/Girl shows them that you have the enthusiasm to study at their university. However, it is important to remember that being Head Boy/Girl will not guarantee your place at university – academic ability takes precedence. It is also important to note that certain universities (including Oxford) do not look at whether you were Head Boy or Girl at all on your application.
Think About What the Role May Involve
The amount of work you are given to do as Head Boy or Girl may differ depending on your school, and it is important to think about the responsibilities you will have to take on before you apply.
Head Boys and Girls tend to be involved with events which happen outside of school time such as networking events and parent’s evenings for any year group. Being a Head Boy or Girl means that you are setting the example for the school, so you will probably be needed at open evenings for prospective students and subsequently Year 6 induction days. You should be willing to turn up to these events, and they should take priority over any extracurricular activities you may be a part of. Because you are setting the example for younger students, your grades at school may play a part in whether you are picked to be Head Boy or Girl.
As a Head Boy or Girl, you may also be required to deliver speeches to a variety of people, whether it be staff, your own year group, or those lower down the school than you. This means that you will need at least basic public speaking skills.
No matter where you become Head Boy or Girl, it will require dedication to what you are doing. A good Head Boy or Girl will put work into everything they organise and show enthusiasm about their role in the school.
Before you apply for the role of Head Boy or Girl, you should have a good think about whether it is the role for you. Remember, if you decide it isn’t, there are plenty more positions you could take up which may be more suited to you with the same prestige as Head Boy or Girl.
What Qualities Do You Need to Be Head Boy or Girl?
The majority of schools have a good idea/picture as to how they want their Head Boy and Girls to behave, and the qualities that they want them to have. Firstly, you must be willing to take on the responsibilities that the position would involve – writing speeches, meeting new people and being there when and where you are needed. The whole point of being a Head Boy or Girl is to take on a huge responsibility for the school, so if you are not willing, then maybe it’s not the position for you.
One of the most important skills you need to be a Head Boy or Girl are leadership skills. You will most likely be asked to organise events either by yourself or with the other Head Boy/Girl opposite you, and you will most definitely need resilience and management skills to do this. Of course, being Head Boy/Girl is an opportunity to work on these qualities/skills through experience, but you must have some idea of what you are to do when you apply for the position.
Another important skill which schools tend to look for is public speaking. Head Boys and Girls must deliver speeches to their fellow students, as mentioned above. However, do not worry if you feel like this is a weak spot of yours – there are many ways in which you can improve your public speaking before you apply for your position. For example, delivering speeches to your friends or family may improve your confidence in speaking in front of people. For some more ideas about how to improve your public speaking, check out Better Public Speaking – Becoming A Confident, Compelling Speaker.
Something which some schools may look at is your involvement with the school in general. You may want to join clubs or other extracurricular activities so that your school knows how you interact with the school as a student before you as a Head Boy or Girl. Schools often looks for Head Boys and Girls who are very enthusiastic about school both in and out of the classroom.
If you want to read more about the qualities that schools look for in Head Boys and Girls, I would recommend that you have a read of this useful article, which discusses the top qualities that a Head Boy/Girl should have.
Famous Head Boys And Girls
You may be surprised to find out that many famous faces have been Head Boy or Girl during their time at school. For some, it is possible that their position at school even helped them get to where they are today!
Famous actors who have been Head Boy and Girl include Kate Winslet (Titanic), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Hayley Atwell (Captain America), Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) and Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who).
Notable politicians who were Head Boy or Girl at their schools were Jeremy Hunt, Alison McGovern and Margaret Thatcher.
Other famous faces who were Head Boy or Girl include J.K Rowling (author, Harry Potter series), Leigh-Anne Pinnock (singer, Little Mix), Prince Charles and Princess Beatrice.
These all did it, and so could you!
Tips For Applying For Head Boy or Girl
Obviously, the way in which you apply for Head Boy or Girl will determine your chance of getting the position, so it is important to really have a think through each step of the process. The three most common application techniques for Head Boy or Girl are application letters, in-person interviews and speeches, so here are some ways in which you can polish up your skills for them.
Effectively Compose Your Head Boy/Girl Letter
When applying to be Head Boy or Girl in most schools, you will be asked to write a letter to a senior staff member stating your reasons as to why you want the position. This letter could be written to your Head of Year, Head of Sixth Form, or even your Headteacher – it will all depend on which school you go to, so make sure you check!
Your letter should show off examples of when you have shown the qualities which your school is looking for in their Head Students. Perhaps you have shown teamwork skills in your sports team or have shown leadership skills when organising a charity event in the past. You should also mention how being Head Boy or Girl would benefit you personally (try not to make it sound as if you only want the position to put it on your CV). It is good to mention the experiences you are looking to gain by being Head Boy or Girl. You may also want to consider discussing the issues that you would like to face within your school, and what practical solutions you have come up with to improve them (if you are looking for ideas, this article could be very useful!).
Of course, the application letter should use accurate, good English, and you should proofread it multiple times. Leaving spelling and grammar mistakes in your letter will leave a bad impression on the school and will significantly lower your chances of being asked back for an interview. The best way to proofread your letter is to read it aloud or get your family and friends to read it as they are more likely to spot mistakes which you might have missed.
Most importantly, in your application letter, you should really introduce yourself to the reader. Let them know about your hobbies, interests and possible future career paths. This will bring a sense of uniqueness to your application, and make you stand out from the rest. If you don’t do this, your letter could be boring to read.
Prepare For Your Head Boy/Girl Interview
If your letter of application is successful, you will be asked to meet a member of staff for an interview. This may seem nerve-wracking, especially if you are applying to be a younger Head Boy or Girl at your school, but there is no need to panic!
You should treat this interview as you would a job interview – following these simple rules can ensure that you appear as a worthy candidate for the role.
- Arrive early/on time. Turning up late to your interview, no matter when it is, will give a bad impression of you to your interviewer. If you cannot turn up on time for your interview, then how are you going to be on time to an open evening or speech in the future? Arriving early will show preparedness for your interview and enthusiasm for the position.
- Dress appropriately. Again, not doing this will create a bad first impression for your interviewer. You may be asked to wear your school uniform if you have one. Make sure you have the basics covered – shirt tucked in, tie straightened, hair tidied, and shoes polished. If you are in sixth form, you should arrive in clothes which are smart, modest and not too uncomfortable – you don’t want to be distracted by your clothes while talking to your interviewer. For more information about what you should and shouldn’t wear to an interview, check out What Should You Wear To A University Interview.
- Have a think about what you want to talk to your interviewer about – they may ask about why you applied for the position again, and past experiences you have had with leadership and public speaking. You will most likely be discussing what you have written in your application letter, so it is important not to lie. By thinking through what you want to say beforehand, you will be giving yourself some confidence for when you walk into the interview room.
- Thoroughly read the email or letter about your interview. Some schools may ask you to deliver a speech to your interviewer for them to see your public speaking skills. You don’t want to turn up unprepared for something you could have made preparations for beforehand. Read on for some tips on writing and delivering your speech.
Write Your Head Boy/Girl Speech
You may be asked to deliver a speech either before or after you get given the role of Head Boy or Girl. As stated above, some schools get their applicants to show an example of their public speaking through them delivering a speech.
By the time you are applying for Head Boy or Girl, you will have probably studied speech writing in your English Language classes, but here are a few tips to keep in mind when writing a speech for Head Boy or Girl.
- Use paragraphs. This may seem obvious, but it is a technique that many students tend to forget when coming up with a speech. Each paragraph you write should have a slightly different topic, however, these topics will of course depend on the general topic of your speech.
- Use anecdotes and personal experiences to make yourself more relatable to your audience. By doing this, you are making yourself more likeable, and using an advanced literary technique at the same time.
- Make sure that you know exactly what your point is and what you want to convey. There’s no use in writing a speech with no clear conclusion – you should ensure that you know exactly what you want the audience to gain from listening to you.
- Proofread your speech! The most important thing to ensure when writing a speech is that it makes sense – if you can’t understand your own speech, then how can you expect your audience to? You may want to ask a friend or family member to do this for you as a fresh pair of eyes often helps when spotting mistakes.
- Practice! It is a bad idea to turn up on the day and recite your speech for the first time. It doesn’t matter if you are memorising your speech or reading it from a script – you will need practice in delivering it. This is another good way to proofread your speech while also practicing the way you want to deliver it. Perhaps you would like to put emphasis on certain words or phrases, or simply just need to go over it a few times to help with some tricky parts which you find difficult to read aloud.
What If You Don’t Get It?
If you don’t end up getting offered the position of Head Boy or Girl, then there is no reason to panic! You will be given plenty more opportunities in the future for positions and experiences which look just as prestigious on your CV. As stated at the beginning of the article, being Head Boy or Girl will not swing the decision of whether or not you get into university.
It is also important to remember that if you are applying to be Head Boy or Girl from Year 7 to 11, then you will most likely have another chance to apply for the position again in sixth form – you could even use this time to prepare for the application process even more!
If you are looking to apply for Head Boy or Girl, you should definitely consider the tips given in this article as they will boost your chances of being successful by a lot. Remember, there are lots of applicants for this position every year up and down the country, so you shouldn’t be hard on yourself if your application is unsuccessful. If you have applied to be Head Boy or Girl lower down the school, you can always apply again in the future for your sixth form.