Nurturing community

‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’
(Helen Keller – 1880-1968) 

HOM: Thinking Flexibly 

This term our thoughts for the week will be structured around the theme of nurturing. And as we return to school, we begin by considering the importance of community, which can support our wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. This is particularly important as we welcome many new pupils to the Wychwood family, some who have come from across the globe.  

As a part of developing a nurturing community, Remove pupils are assigned house parents and older pupils are assigned house siblings. They are tasked with befriending and helping new members of the community ‘find their feet’. This helps nurture the new pupils and develops important interpersonal skills which are essential for a supportive community. 

The quotation that will lead some of our reflections this week comes from the deaf/blind person Helen Keller, who against all expectations went on to become an author, political activist and lecturer and the first deaf/blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The level of disability meant that without asking and accepting the help of others, she knew that she could not achieve her potential. Her teacher Anne Sullivan started teaching Helen when she was seven years old by communicating with her hands. Sullivan followed Helen to college and continued to be a guide throughout her life. Helen eventually learned to speak and could listen to others by reading their lips with her hands. She also became proficient in Braille and reading sign language by using her hands and sense of touch. Helen truly knew what it was like to work together as a team. She accomplished so many things in her life that had never been done before by a deafblind person, but she could not have done it alone. Helen’s many teachers and followers allowed her to have a voice and contribute her thoughts to society. Sometimes teamwork means saving someone’s life, and for Helen Keller it did.

Most of us do not face the challenges that Helen faced but we learn and grow in a supportive community. And since we are a part of the Wychwood community we can play our part in nurturing others too.

Wishing everyone a happy new school year!

Christine Crossley