News from The Kings of Wessex Academy


Jess is Top Guide Leader in Cheddar!

30th April, 2019 by Jude Owens

Year 12 student Jessica Way at The Kings of Wessex Academy is leading the way in the world of Girl Guiding after she was the first Cheddar Young Leader to achieve the Lions’ Young Leader in Service Good Award presented at the Axbridge District Service at Wedmore Church and enjoyed a double achievement when she gained her Young Leader Qualification for Cheddar Guides.

Jess has been committed to the movement since she was a little girl starting her career as a Rainbow aged five years-old, then moved up to the Brownies aged seven, until she became a Guide at 10 years-old and is now in the Senior Section of the Guides. Jess volunteered as a Young Leader when she reached the end of the Guides aged 14, providing a support role talking and listening to the younger guides and being there for them. Jess attends the weekly meetings at the Cheddar First School Guide Hut and helps to lead fun and innovative activities; for example, a Scavenger Hunt, whereby the Guides had to locate hidden labels on the field; and answer correctly the general knowledge question, before proceeding to the next. Having been a dedicated Guide herself, Jess helps her protégées to achieve their various badges and also organises events at special points during the year, including Chinese New Year, Halloween and Christmas. Jess leads on residentials, enjoying the all-important cooking (sometimes on the campfire!); as well as helping the Guides undertaking other cooking back at Cheddar Guides HQ.

To gain her Young Leader Qualification, Jess had to lead specific activities and organise events, attend leader meetings representing the Cheddar Unit and undertake a variety of training, including safe space and safeguarding. She helped the Guides with their development and reflected on her own leadership skills that she presented to the District Commissioner and was delighted to learn she had been successful. Jess has always enjoyed being in the Guides and giving something back as a Young Leader. She likes to see her fellow Guides have fun, values working with other people and she enjoys helping others. “They’ve all got personalities,” she says.

Jess is as dedicated in school as she is with the Guides and is currently studying A Levels in English Literature, History and R.E. After her exams she plans to pursue a career in the Army and is confident that her many experiences as a Young Leader will greatly benefit her career choice in fostering her leadership, teamwork and communication skills and more skills besides. Jess is now working as an Adult Leader that involves more responsibility; for example, in gaining more responsibility planning an entire event, and budgeting for a residential trip.

Executive Headteacher Gavin Ball said:

“This is a wonderful achievement for Jess and she is clearly a very dedicated and enthusiastic leader with Cheddar Guides. I commend her for her commitment and support to helping others that they might follow in her footsteps as such an accomplished Girl Guide. We are proud: well done Jess!”