Belonging

Thursday, July 21, 2016


There are powerful reasons why this School community works hard at developing a culture in which there is a strong sense of ‘belonging’.

The desire to belong is one of the most basic desires driving human behaviour. To belong is to feel accepted and valued. To belong is to feel included even though there may be times when one may struggle socializing with their peers. To belong is to feel part of something larger and to participate in groups and teams.

 

An African (Nigerian) proverb, rich in the ‘sentiment of belonging’, says “It takes a village to raise a child”. This saying, I think, speaks of common values and shared responsibilities, emphasising the crucial role of broader social groups, even beyond the extended family, doing things together. It is a saying which radiates out from the belief that children are a blessing from God for the whole community. At RJ we want to be positive contributors ‘in a modern village’. We strive to come alongside parents and to assist them, in a complementary way, to raise and care for their children.

 

Nurturing social identity within a School setting is fostered via a range of smaller, purposeful groups: Houses, Home Groups, bands etc. RJ is full of opportunities and dynamic groupings in which children and teenagers alike can supportively discover more about themselves and safely explore more about the world around them. The RJ staff take seriously their role of ‘walking daily’ with our young people – as guides and confidants, as facilitators and protectors. It’s a tremendous privilege to promote ‘belonging’.