Why is community so important?
The great Harvard philosopher William James commented that a “community stagnates without the impulse of the individual.”
I have always believed that a school community, although a community with deep foundations and robust collective goals, thrives and journeys forward due to the individuals, past and present, who each leave their indelible mark on our objectives and practices.
Community is an important word for a school and as new cohorts are embedded into the school and its ways, that sense of community pervades all that we do. However, what is this sense of community that we instil and, more fundamentally, why is it so important?
Everyone at Hillcrest works hard at trying to create a deeper community which links aspiration and dedication to forge a rugged sense of self. This manifests itself in many ways, from our consistent focus on team building through our bonding trips or activities to our diverse co-curricular programme which kicked off today.
At Hillcrest, we always make sure that our common vision and values are something that the whole community buys into. To that end, we have a newly structured Student Parliament at Hillcrest Secondary and a Student Council at Hillcrest Prep to ensure the voice of individuals are taken into account.
Having the students take such an active decision-making role encourages them to take ownership of and ultimately responsibility for the shaping of much of our community’s work, and our school spirit stems also from what we don’t do and from those things we refuse to engaged in.
Hillcrest students seem to inherently understand that their individual success depends on the success of their community, and their sense of solidarity. As one of the new Year 9 students said to me last week when reflecting on their involvement in the Year 9 bonding trip, “the thing is Mrs Algar, how can you understand how great our community is unless you’re actually part of it?”
And on that note I wish you all a happy weekend from the Hillcrest community.