Jamie Holden is a Teacher of Mathematics and Outdoor Pursuits Coordinator at ICHK
I had just completed a PSHE session with my Year 7 form group and the outcome was too powerful not to share.
We had been asked ito share a message with our students and I decided that I wanted to to use ‘Community’ as the main driver, but where the conversation went was much more than that.
The question I asked my group was “What does ICHK stand for?” The first response was International College Hong Kong, which yes, is the name of the school. When asked to better define ICHK, my group took a moment and then hands started appearing.
Caring, confident, happy, hopeful, success where some of the first responses…themes that are embedded in Ben Blain’s leadership of the Year 7 team and the idea of “Happy, confident, intelligent warriors”. The next response was ‘intelligent.’
When asked to define ‘intelligent’ the level of thought from the group was fantastic. The definition they evolved was: “How you use your knowledge?” When asked, “Is intelligence about how smart you are?”, the response was equally amazing. “No. Everyone is different. Intelligence can be grown.”
This is where I developed the idea of ‘community’. And this is where the students led me. Students and teachers at ICHK have community. The students recognise that staff work together, and with students, to ensure all the things that define ICHK in the eyes of our students are true everyday. The staff are not above the students in hierarchy, but with them as learning peers. We communicate at the same level and there is genuine buy-in of those shared values from everyone in that community. We defined community as “a group that shares.” This included parents, our local villages and wider relationships, our primary partners and sports clubs.
I think the overriding takeaway, is that the sense of belonging to this ICHK community, drives every person in it to be the best that they can be. Our Year 7s have only been part of our community for four months, but have come a long way in that time. I cannot wait to see where they get to in the years ahead.