Ivy House | Parent Wellbeing Blog

“As we look into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

— Bill Gates


As Head of Sixth Form I am continually impressed by the work, energy and enthusiasm of our Prefect body at Marlborough College and their commitment to leave behind a legacy that will benefit future cohorts. Their leadership and desire to listen to others will stand them all in good stead in their future careers. At a recent Hundred parent information evening, where several of the Sixth Formers presented to parents, I was delighted to hear a parent comment that they would like their child to develop into someone resembling these impressive young individuals.

This year at Marlborough College we have given everyone in the Lower Sixth the opportunity to develop their leadership and life skills by opting to participate in the Ivy House Award. 81% of the Lower Sixth have so far taken up this opportunity. The Ivy House Award consists of 20 sessions of professional development that is normally only available to a small percentage of senior executives. At Marlborough, one of our aims is to prepare young people to thrive in the future in their life beyond the College. Therefore, putting such skills at the centre of their education will give them a platform to thrive at a time when it can really make a difference; at the start of their career pathway. This self-awareness course has encouraged our sixth form students to reflect on their own values and behaviours so that they can continue to flourish and gain confidence to step up and take ownership of their future. Throughout the Award, students have been learning and developing the seven life skills below which, according to Ivy House, are the central elements to becoming a leader.

(House, Ivy)


The primary objective of the Award is to have a positive impact on the whole person. It aims to build and show awareness of the different types of relationships needed in a work environment as well as navigating emotional intelligence and encouraging the pupils to understand themselves and their wellbeing.


So, what is Ivy House?

Elke Edwards, founder and creative director of Ivy House, has won over 40 awards for her work on leadership development and has managed one of the leading executive development businesses in Europe. She has also worked directly as an executive coach to senior leaders and their teams, with clients such as RBS, Centrica, Virgin, BMW, Barclays and the BBC. Elke and her team at Ivy House now focus all their efforts on working with future leaders, turning traditional leadership development on its head. Through the Ivy House Programme, they work with emerging talent from a range of organisations such as Aviva, Sainsburys, M&S, Lloyds of London and RBS and, in September 2019, launched the Ivy House Award for sixth formers. (Edwards, Elke)


What the Lower Sixth are saying about the Ivy House Award:

  • 100% of the Lower Sixth reported that the Award has enabled them to think deeply about taking responsibility for their behaviour, including towards others.
  • 93% of the Lower Sixth agreed that the Award had helped them to understand that their thoughts, feelings and behaviour all contribute to their physical and mental health.
  • 100% of the students have begun to think how they can combine their strengths and passions to be in their element.
  • 93% of the students consider how their communication impacts the outcome they get in life and how it contributes to their success.
  • 93% of students reported that they have used the learning in some aspects of their school life.

“Through this, I had taken a moment to conceptualise and determine my element and find the intersection of my passions and strengths which has provided me with increasing future clarity. The most valuable and applicable formula I have learned is Event + Behaviour = Result.” – Emily 


“I have changed my perspective in life. At first, I was laid back and I put no effort into changing the outcome of events. I was more a “go with the flow” person. However, after the learning, I have realised that I can change the outcomes in my life and now I put in a lot of effort into getting the outcomes that I want.” – Maxim 


“I’ve learned to be more aware of how I communicate with others and react in situations because I’ve learned that this affects the way that others perceive us and also tells others a lot about our personality.” – Rui Eng 


“I went into the Ivy House Award hoping to become much clearer about my future: who I want to become, what I want to achieve, and what I want to be known for in the future. Not only did I have much more clarity about my future, but the Ivy House Award has also allowed me to become much more aware of my actions and how I behave.” -Bryan 



Works Cited

Edwards, Elke. “Elke Edwards.” HMC, 2023, https://www.hmc.org.uk/elke-edwards/. Accessed 18 February 2023.
House, Ivy. The Ivy House Award. Brochure. 2022.

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