They say it takes a village to raise a child and indeed, it takes a village to welcome a new Deputy Principal! This has been my experience of my recent welcome into the community at The Knox School.

From my very first visit to TKS, it was clear that this was a special place; a warm and open community which welcomes newcomers with an authentic mix of enthusiasm and empathy.

Over the course of my career I have been privileged to visit and spend time in a large and diverse range of schools. Although on the surface, these organisations can share many characteristics, comparable style buildings, logistical structures such as timetables and visible elements such as uniform; it is the intangible aspects which, for me, sets it apart.

In my experience, a strong community is the very essence of a good school, founded upon a solid culture and meaningful values.

In my recent article on resilience, I reflected on the importance of community and the significance of a sense of belonging for our young people. I alluded to the impact of connectedness as one of the most substantial protective factors in establishing holistic and positive wellbeing. In our complex and volatile world, community is the cornerstone of our existence – our sense of being.

Over the last few weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the community response to my arrival; from my incidental chats in the car park at morning drop off, to the “random fact” conversations I have had with the Junior School students during Lunch (did you know that Gorillas burp when they are happy?) I rapidly felt that I was becoming part of the every day fabric of the school.

The personalised approach at TKS ensures that every member of the community feels a sense of value and belonging. Being a smaller Independent School, housed on one campus allows the students, parents and staff to be known personally and feel a sense of place.

Although this is merely the close of my 4th week at TKS, it already feels like I have been here forever. Each day has brought a new experience and adventure, from the Welcome to Country Ceremony to the House Swimming Carnival, where I tried out all the different House Colours for size! However, the moments of the day that have brought me the greatest joy, have been the casual conversations in the Foyer at Lunchtimes with students of all ages. You see, that is the beauty of The Knox School; you don’t need to venture far to see a smiling face, to hear a laugh and a squeal of excitement or simply to have a chat about the everyday things in life. These are the things that matter, that make us individuals and that ultimately make us belong.

We say at The Knox School, you will find your niche.

I can certainly say that, with the support of this community, I have found mine.

Thank you for the warm welcome, I look forward to building the future of this community together.

Nikki Kirkup
Deputy Principal