he Leadership program was developed when Orchard House School was founded, concurrent with writing the mission. The Leadership program reflects the mission, philosophy, and objectives of Orchard House School.
In a culture where the inclination is to think personally, the goal of the school’s program is to think and to act with a wider lens of awareness and connection. As the world becomes more unified economically, ecologically, and technologically, Orchard House School students are led to understand and appreciate the connections of life among all members of the world and respond with respect, awareness, and positive contribution. Orchard House School believes the world is a better place when students are engaged, constructive, and useful. It is with the long view in mind, imagining children as adults, global citizens, leaders and followers, that the Leadership program was developed.
The Orchard House School Leadership program is based on extensive research in the areas of leadership, physical and emotional development of adolescent girls, and brain and gender science. The Leadership curriculum is sequentially based and spirals over four years. The program is based on the following premises:
- In a single sex environment, each girl has greater opportunities to lead and to follow;
- Identity formation is the chief developmental task of adolescents;
- There continues to be a gender inequity in leadership positions;
- Effective leaders are distinguished by self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, a strong work ethic, empathy, and positive social skills;
- Culturally, people sort through massive amounts of information and are called upon to make a multitude of decisions quickly.
The Leadership program is designed to begin with self-knowledge and end with a strong sense of personal authenticity and full participation in the broader community. The effectiveness of the Leadership program is measured by a student’s ability to make the transition successfully, both as an individual and as part of a group, into the next stage of her life, whether it is from one grade to another or from middle school to high school.