A.B. PATERSON COLLEGE
GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND

Illalong News

  • 11th August, 2017

It Takes a Village.

It came to my attention recently that Seniors Week occurs in Queensland from 19 - 27 August. When I read this, I paused, as I didn’t realise that there was such a thing as ‘Seniors Week’, and it got me thinking, ‘Where would we be, and where would our children be, without the Seniors in our lives?’  After all, it takes a village to raise a child, right? 

What does your village look like; do you even have a village?  Does it involve your child’s grandparents, aunts and uncles, or is your village comprised of non-related ‘family’ involving neighbours, friends and workmates?  Perhaps it doesn’t take a village; perhaps it takes a community. 

I have written about community before; a community can be defined as …people living in one particular area or people who are considered as a unit because of their common interests, social group or nationality… (dictionary.cambridge.org).

I like to think of the College as a community that works in partnership with families to help raise our children because we have an interest in the whole child.  Each and every child at the College comes to us with a different set of life circumstances and experiences, with a wide variety of abilities, interests and learning styles.  At our College, we acknowledge these differences and each child is encouraged to be the best person they can be.  Our College community succeeds in this partnership with parents because we value diversity, open communication and transparency, which fosters trust, respect and a sense of belonging.  It is this sense of belonging that is the greatest gift to our children.  When our children feel included, that they belong, they feel safe to take risks and try new things, and are open to challenge and change.

With a number of our students competing at the APS Athletics carnival this week, and without the support and encouragement of the community – the coaches, the teachers, the parents – students may have missed this opportunity. Very rarely do people succeed in isolation; even the most talented sportsperson has coaches, advisors, and assistants – it really does take a community. 

There are a number of people who make up the College community who support the growth and development of our students. From those at the front line teaching, right through to those behind the scenes that ensure everything is running smoothly; think the tuckshop staff, the grounds department and those in the uniform shop.  Henry Ford said it best, “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.”

I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to reflect on what the College community means to you, to contemplate the partnership that exists between our staff and families and to consider the following:

  • What can you continue to do, to grow the College community and the partnership that exists between College staff and families?
  • What can you begin to do that will build on this sense of Community so that students, parents, staff and families continue to feel connected?

I would like to thank parents and families for allowing us to be part of your community in educating your children, and for trusting us to share in this journey with you.

Toni Kirton
Director of Positive Education & Leadership

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