About ISH

Student Leadership


At ISH, we seek to foster leadership skills in students of all ages. Primary School students look forward to joining the Lower School Student Council when they are in the final two years of Primary School. While some students are elected to key positions, the Student Council Extended Leadership Team includes all students who wish to make a difference to our learning community.

In addition to planning events that contribute to school spirit and community welfare, the Student Council is the voice of the student body. The Council helps share students’ ideas, interests and concerns with the school-wide community.

Ensuring access and equity to school resources through the Playground Project, supporting those in need such as victims of the Hurricane Dorian and planning great events such as Movie Night are some of the highlights of recent Student Council initiatives.

Weekly meetings with academic supervisors allows students to express their ideas and opinions while being supported and scaffolded through leadership skill development.

The Primary School Student Council Extended Leadership Team has created a mission statement to be carried through by future representatives:

To make ISH a better place through learning, by having fun and by building friendships.

Not only do the Primary School Student Council want to live out its mission but the members want to ensure that through different activities and events the Council will make a difference and encourage others to do the same.


Secondary student leadership at the International School of Havana has recently undergone a change to a model of student leadership that welcomes any and all students into its Student Leadership and Initiatives Programme (SLIP). This creates a context and framework in which any student can develop their leadership skills within the framework of different systems and initiatives. Within the SLIP, there are six systems that allow for a more structured and interdependent way of working and putting projects together:

  • Purpose and values - defining a common and shared purpose and ensuring that all our initiatives and processes are in line with that purpose.
  • Decision-making - defining our decision making process.
  • Information flow - facilitating the communication of information to ensure that relevant information reaches the right places.
  • Resource flow - mapping our resources, assessing the needs that we have and managing them appropriately.
  • Feedback - developing feedback mechanisms that allows the group to reflect upon and learn from experiences.
  • Conflict engagement - developing a support framework that facilitates members to engage constructively with conflict.

Students can also operate within various focus areas, or initiatives:

  • Events - identifying opportunities and organising events for students and the community in general.
  • Assemblies - organising content and facilitating the secondary student assemblies.
  • Student wellbeing - developing strategies to increase motivation and decrease stress in the student community.
  • Dialogue - facilitating conversations to develop constructive collaboration and dialogue between teachers and students.
  • Sustainability - conducting a sustainability assessment of ISH and its facilities, with a vision of making the school more sustainable.

One particular aim of the SLIP is for students to develop the skills necessary in order to make meaningful contributions to their own lives, to the ISH community and to the world. In particular, students are trained in systems thinking, design thinking, project-based learning, change management, social entrepreneurship and emotional intelligence. These important 21st century skills are transferable in the school context and beyond, equipping our student leaders for future leadership roles that will effect positive change in the world around them.

In other words, students in the Student Leadership and Initiatives Programme really are learning to make a difference!