Newport Gardens Primary School

On 19 Apr 2012 we had the opportunity to work with Ian Murdoch and the wonderful senior leadership group from Newport Gardens Primary school. To begin this MetaMorph program, we asked the students to reflect on one simple question:'What qualities / actions do you need to demonstrate to be a good leader and team member at Newport Gardens Primary?' (Note: See the featured article in SchoolDays Magazine here)

After some initial responses, the students undertook some of the MetaMorph experiential activities, each designed to elicit certain actions and behaviours relating to teamwork and leadership. Upon the completion of each activity, we returned to the student responses to debrief and further develop our knowledge regarding team behaviour. What always surprises me is just how perceptive Primary age students are when it comes to being a good member of a team and leading a team successfully.


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Here are the answers that the group came up with before, during and after the MetaMorph activities:

'What qualities / actions do you need to demonstrate to be a good leader and team member at Newport Gardens?'

  • ipad2 443Communication 
  • Listening
  • Encouragement
  • Do what is best for the School, not for yourself
  • Improvisation
  • Fairness
  • Happiness
  • Courage
  • Respect
  • Decision Making
  • Organisation
  • Helping
  • Share ideas for the best idea


Fantastic insights - and this from a group of students from Grades 4 to 6! The bolded terms are those that the students chose when asked 'What is the most important area that you need to keep doing to be a good leader?' The responses were from a group consensus from the three groups of students we were working with.


At the completion of the workshop, here is what Ian Murdoch, Grade 3-6 Mini School Leader at Newport Gardens Primary, wrote about the workshop:

"Michael Peiniger from Metamorph Leadership came to Newport Gardens to help gel our Junior Leadership team together and encourage them to realise what a leader does at Newport Garden Primary School. We had a range of student from years 4 to 6 in our Leadership team who were School Captains, House Captains and SRC members. The children brainstormed a list of values and skills a leader needs to possess at Newport Gardens Primary School.

Michael made them feel important and quickly had them engaged in a range of fantastic team building activities that required communication, working together, improvising, and going back to the drawing board when a strategy wasn’t working.

After completing an activity Michael would ask the children what skills they had used in their team to achieve the goal. Any new skills were added to the list on the whiteboard. In a short time the children were surprised at the list they had built up.

The children loved working with Michael and he was able to build a great rapport with them in such a short time. The activities were fantastic and left the children wanting more. I would thoroughly recommend Michael for any Primary School looking to build their Junior Leadership teams skills and knowledge."

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0902-014 n1 cweb4x6Could your student leaders come up with the same kind of list when asked about leadership and team skills within your School? Do you need help in developing these skills in a practical way? Michael Peiniger is a leadership and team development specialist who helps Principals, Student Coordinators and students develop their leadership and teamwork capabilities. To discuss how we can help your School develop leadership and teamwork skills through the MetaMorph program, why not call Michael on 0409 627 270, email

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