Penryn College has a strong Christian ethos and scholars are taught the principles of servant leadership. The development of leadership skills is an important part of the school’s non-academic programme and several opportunities are presented to the scholars. During August, all scholars and staff participate in a democratic election to determine the twenty members of the Scholar Executive Committee for the following year. All Exec members are in matric and the group consists of a head boy and head girl, the chairperson of the Scholar Representative Council (or SRC), eight heads of houses and nine heads of committees. The head boy and girl are full voting members of the Council and manage the different activities and programmes organised by the heads of houses and committees. The heads of houses are team managers and represent their register classes on the SRC. Each head of a committee has three matrics to assist with the organisation of activities for the scholars. The nine committees cover the following aspects of school life: cultural activities, outdoor pursuits, community service, spiritual activities, social events, spirit and traditions, Round Square, transformation and diversity and, lastly, environmental issues.
The SRC is elected during the first two weeks of an academic year and is chaired by a member of the Exec. Each register class elects a boy and a girl to represent them and at least two meetings are held each term. At these meetings, scholars raise issues that concern them, express thanks where due and may ask for clarification of policies and/or structures that are unclear. The chairperson discusses the points raised with the headmaster and gives feedback to the representatives who then report back to their register classes. This process gives every scholar at Penryn the chance to express their opinions freely and even to initiate changes in policies or procedures where such changes are needed or would be beneficial.
The boarding establishment comprises an important part of campus life and heads of hostels are elected annually. This body is chaired by a head boy and head girl and assist the hostel parents with pastoral care and keeping law and order. They also organise inter-hostel activities such as mini sports tournaments and even Monopoly matches to ensure boarding is always fun.
The school’s extra-curricular programme is extensive and offers further opportunities to learn and practise leadership skills. Sports teams elect captains and team managers and various clubs are chaired by scholars from different grades. The annual inter-house play evening is very popular and the directors – and often even the script writers! – are scholars. Any member of the Penryn community is encouraged to organise events, activities and programmes that supports the school’s ethos.