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Project Santiago
Year 10 Elective Subject

What is Project Santiago?


Project Santiago is a leadership curriculum designed to be run as an elective for year 9 & 10 students. We have developed an online course for teachers with videos, resources, activities and lesson plans that can be shared directly with students or adjusted to suit each context. 

Leadership formation takes time. Project Santiago is aimed at middle years students to help prepare them for when they are senior leaders in year 11 and 12. By participating in Project Santiago, they will be more confident and equipped for the complexities of senior school leadership and beyond.

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Save time

By embedding leadership education into your curriculum, you won’t have to worry about competing with other electives for time to meet with your student leaders at lunchtimes and after school! We have created the structure and provided all the materials so that you can focus on your students and their unique leadership potential.

Go deep

Great leaders make time for self-reflection and contemplation of their personal leadership style. Our courses encourage this and provide the space for the development of grounded and thoughtful leaders.

Be transformative

We believe that leadership is “caught not taught”. Our curriculum is designed to be experiential, with students having experiences of leadership and then unpacking the learnings in the debrief.

Cater for all leaders

There are many different kinds of leaders. While it is often the extroverted students that traditionally are given leadership roles, there are many students with incredible leadership potential who wouldn’t necessarily recognise it in themselves. Through Project Santiago you can nurture the leaders who are great behind the scenes, the one on one communicators and the logicians as well as those who love public speaking and being the centre of attention. Each student will have a unique journey with unique leadership goals.

Be flexible

Our units can be adjusted to fit into your existing schedule. You can run Project Santiago over one semester with one unit in each term, or stretch it out to fill the full year. Chat with our team about what schedule would be best for your school.

Be supported

We understand that you might be the only person in your school responsible for student leadership. This program will give you access to a community of fellow staff who are in a similar position. You’ll also have access to our team who have decades of experience in leading youth leadership programs and activities.


We have spoken to many teachers who have all told us the same thing: they want more meaningful leadership formation opportunities for students before they reach year 12 and take on a formal role. Leadership is a complex skill that takes longer than a day to master. We aim the program at year 10s, so that they can develop their skills and then remain at the school for two more years to continue to learn and contribute.

When designing Project Santiago, we aimed to address two of the key challenges that many schools encounter when developing a leadership program:

  1. Ongoing student engagement &

  2. Teacher time.


Many student leaders start the year with a lot of enthusiasm and big ideas and end up getting disheartened when they don’t know how to put their ideas into action. In Project Santiago we provide the framework and support for students to achieve their goals and face challenges with a growth mindset.  We provide resources, structure and professional development training so that teachers aren’t tied up with admin and can focus on journeying with the students.

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Unit 1: Intro to Leadership


Unit 1: Intro to Leadership will provide your students with the necessary foundations to explore their own leadership style and grow as a leader. Students will journey through the following stages:


  • Setting the scene

  • What kind of leader am I?

  • Leadership skills bootcamp

  • Taking action

  • What have I learned and experienced?


Their final assessment for this unit will be to design and lead a leadership workshop for your year 7 students. 

Unit 2: Design Thinking for Social Change

Unit 2: Design Thinking for Social Change will allow students to learn about design thinking and come up with a unique project to make a difference in their school or community. Students will journey through the following stages:


  • Setting the scene

  • Discover - Research and discover an area that is in need of a solution. 

  • Define - Get really specific about the unique problem that could be solved by the students.

  • Develop - Come up with many potential ideas that could solve the defined problem.

  • Deliver - Choose one viable, feasible and desirable idea and consider how to make it happen.

  • What have I learned and experienced?


Their final assessment for this unit will be to design and deliver a pitch outlining their unique solution idea.

What does Project Santiago mean?

We named our student leadership program “Project Santiago” after the Camino de Santiago (which is an 800 km ancient pilgrimage across the north of Spain). We think that the journey to become a leader is not so dissimilar from the Camino. The journey doesn’t start until you take your first step, there are many ups and downs and the people that you meet along the way make it meaningful. We wrote a blog about why we named our company after the yellow arrows on the Camino, check it out!

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What are our outcome themes?

Project Santiago Student Leadership Program Outcome theme: Heart
Project Santiago Student Leadership Program Outcome theme: Head
Project Santiago Student Leadership Program Outcome theme: Hands


"The biggest strength of Project Santiago lies in the people behind it, Felicity and Michael Walter. Their enthusiasm to help develop the leadership of young people is clear to see. Both Felicity and Michael have a genuine sense of care and respect for the students involved in the project and have also instilled a real buzz about the program for the students from St Joseph’s College.


The students involved in the project have been afforded a unique opportunity to grow as young leaders and as young people in general. Project Santiago has opened many doors for these students as they learn about their strengths and how to lead others. The program has helped foster a sense of community and social responsibility in these students and has allowed them to experience a great deal of personal development as they seek to understand those around them with care and empathy."

Liam O'Keefe,

Head of Students, St Joseph's College Ferntree Gully 

Key Teacher for 2021 Pilot Program

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