“We live in narrative, we live in story. Existence has a story shape to it”. Eugene Peterson
Story is at the heart of what makes us human: the ability to tell, share, become absorbed in, to imagine and to create stories. Words like ‘literacy’, ‘curriculum’ and ‘socio-emotional’ describe our broad scope of learning but story is the heart of Kennedy Baptist College.
Pastoral care’s story is one of understanding students individually but also as a collective. Every child is woven into the fabric of Kennedy’s original story and has created their own unique stories as individuals and as learners. Year 7s Transition days, and ‘camp’, Years 8 and 11 camps, upcoming tours, a multitude of sporting events, assemblies and award ceremonies, performing arts events such as Beauty and the Beast – a truly whole school spectacle – all contribute to our story. Even NAPLAN was a narrative task this year. By participating in presentations and writing our own stories in English or chronicling our life stories we have begun to: learn how to respond to life challenges, to think about bullying, to see the world constructed through the eyes of others through community service, to walk in the shoes of others. Our core value is that each person has dignity; that each person has a story worth sharing.
Staff have learnt much too as we continue to strengthen teaching practice in the light of research, work in professional learning teams to grow capacity, navigate new curriculum or revised WACE exams in some courses, small group moderation, or better understand depression and anxiety through such courses as Gatekeeper. Heads of Year adopt a coaching model and our aim is to build partnerships with families and caregivers. Story always happens in relationships.
Our story is not complete. In some ways our story provides continuity with the past, and in some way it points forward. Dialogue drives our narrative, interplay between various speakers.
Please join our story. This past nine months I have been privileged to be part of the Kennedy Baptist College story, of growth and renewal – together crafting the narrative. One of our next steps is generating a strong narrative voice for students.
But there is more to stories than simply responding to others and writing or living out our own. G K Chesterton, explains it like this: “I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a storyteller.” As a pastoral care team, we believe there is a bigger story, a storyteller who brings us hope, a future, a purpose.
Life is not simply a series of emotions, images, characters, conversations, forms or life experiences. Our heart is made to live in a larger story. The storyteller is God and it is in him, and his son Jesus (the hero) that all human stories culminate. Ultimately, it is this story, this storyteller that drives everything at Kennedy Baptist College.
Mrs Christine Crump
Director of Students