Jaw on collaboration

After all the togetherness of the Global Awareness Badley Celebration Weekend, collaboration seemed an appropriate theme for my first Jaw. We started assembly with an experiment: everyone drawing a house without looking, then tidying it up themselves and then working to improve it further with a neighbour. Most people enjoyed the freedom of the activity and found working with others led to better-looking houses, but some, of course, found the experience irritating or uncomfortable.

These feelings chimed with the results of a survey about collaboration also done over Badley Weekend and which I shared at Jaw; most students declared they find collaborative work enjoyable and stimulating – ‘two heads are better than one’ – while some declared others can be annoying and distracting. Opinions were yet more divided over collaborating with animals; many find great pleasure in walking and training their dog but one asked ‘who collaborates with animals?’

The two messages from this exploration of collaboration are both deeply human. Each of us wants to feel part of the community but a time to reflect, to be silent and alone is an important element of a happy life together. And, for humankind, when we consider what we achieved as a small community over a weekend, we can believe that we may achieve the seemingly impossible* to help the global community so that the work of one may be for the weal of all.

*borrowed from Michael Truss’ commentary on the collaboration of the Apollo space missions

By Louise Wilson, Managing Head

Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.