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Students from 10 COBIS schools in Europe and the Middle East travelled to Madrid for the COBIS Student Leadership Weekend 2017 hosted for the 4th year running at King's College Soto de Viñuelas, Madrid from 6 – 8 October.

The event kicked off with a lively interactive discussion on the nature and purpose of leadership. Students discussed whether it was better to be respected or liked and participated eagerly under the guidance of Simon Nixon, Programme Director and Head of Secondary at King's College Panama. They then went on to collaborate in a social media project with the aim of encouraging other students to get involved in the weekend next year. The following day they learned about presentation skills and body language from Laina Pattni from Future Foundations. They enjoyed the human continuum they formed and stepped out of their comfort zones to practise public speaking.

A fascinating session by Dan Price from Interactive Schools on personal branding and social media profiles made everyone aware of the importance of ensuring their online profile was fit for purpose.

The students also had an opportunity to visit Madrid and had an authentic Spanish lunch on Saturday afternoon. Later that evening they went bowling and enjoyed interacting with each other in teams.

An early start on Sunday morning began with a hands on coaching session led by Dawn Akyurek, Chief Academic Officer at King’s Group who encouraged the students to have a go at coaching each other using the GROW method.

The final day ended with an excellent presentation on the Growth Mindset by Simon followed by a feedback session. Following the weekend, students returned to their schools taking their newfound skills and knowledge with them. One school gave an assembly about their experiences to the wider school community, putting their newly developed public speaking skills to good use, as well as generating lots of interest in the event for next year!

COBIS is grateful for the hard work and excellent organisation of Georgina Sutton and Martyn Wiggett at King’s Group.