What makes community?

By Deputy Headmaster, Kyle Thompson

Community. We tend the throw this word around quite a bit at BBC, but what does it really mean? This week alone we have heard many stories about the different ways our boys, staff and parents engage in activities. At assembly this week I mentioned that a community isn’t just about participating in activities, it’s also about supporting others in their endeavours. It’s about doing ones best to advance a cause whilst also helping others to achieve and contribute.

As coach of a cricket team at BBC, I believe this ‘team’ is an excellent representation of what a community is and does. A cricket team, like society, indeed like a school, is made up of individuals. Individuals all of whom have a specific task or expertise. The community requires these individuals to perform their task and achieve individually for the collective to achieve as a whole. Also, each member of this cricket community has a different role to play. There are top order batsmen who have a different role to the middle order and the lower order. We have bowlers of all shapes and sizes, not to mention the differences in what they bowl. Each job different, yet each contributing to the community. Members of this community have good days and bad days, just as happens in life. Different jobs, different personalities, not everyone necessarily having the same success on a given day.

For the community to be successful every member of the community needs to be prepared to provide energy and support for those who need it, knowing that it will be returned.

This cricket analogy applies to the whole school context. Our community is filled with boys, parents and staff. Each brings an individuality, a different skill set, a different way of doing things. Each are related by their individual roles, working for a common outcome or benefit. Each will have good days and not so good days, each will rely on the other at times. Parents rely on the school, the school needs the help of the parents, the boys need the staff and their parents, as we need them. Each for different reasons, at different times. It is this melting pot of skills, personalities and potential that forms our personality, our community.

This week I have heard about our seniors helping our Preps become part of our community. I’ve heard about the seniors in our GPS swim team supporting a new Year 7 boy at the College in one of his first swim meets, I’ve seen the Pipe Band leaders recognised for all they do, and the GPS swim team recognised for their representation of the College. I’ve also heard of the amazing work done by our Housemasters, each different to the other, working with individuals and groups of boys. I’ve also heard about classroom teachers going over and above to support boys. And, I’ve constantly seen parents and care givers working tirelessly to provide this wonderful opportunity to their sons. What a dynamic, colourful and human place our school is. Whilst it may not always be perfect, in its human way it is all it should be to allow our boys and our community to evolve and develop, providing the skill to not only change within, but beyond our walls.

Another change from within our community over the last week has been the launch of our Learning Management System, Highlands. We hope to provide our community with a more customised and dynamic environment in which to share all of the things that are happening within BBC. If you have not yet explored this new environment, I encourage you to do so. Maybe with your son, so he can simultaneously share his view on our BBC world with you. Something I know our boys are deeply proud to be part of.