I was in Hong Kong over Easter and met with a wonderful group of people. They were OTs from every decade from the 1960s until the present day. It was lovely hearing their stories and their curiosity of how the school had changed since their time here.
It was interesting to hear common themes. One was that Taunton School taught them how to have a go at something without being too concerned about it going wrong. If they failed they would just have another go or try something else. A number of the people I met had tried a career or business that hadn’t gone well, they had changed course and then become very successful. The important lesson being that they were not afraid to fail but that whatever they did they worked hard at.
The second theme involved the word “family”. There was a very strong sense of togetherness with people meeting up when they had not met for a long time and reminiscing about old times. There were lots of hugs and laughs. There were people meeting who had not met before but who were very quickly talking about common experiences and talking as if they had known each other for many years. They would then exchange contact details vowing to keep in touch.
But it was one conversation that made me think more deeply than any of the others. I was talking to a chap who has been an accountant for many years and is very successful. Now, you don’t get to become a successful accountant if you don’t have an eye on the money. I can’t remember a conversation with an accountant ever not involving the word profitability.
The chap I was speaking to told me that financial profit is now not the main focus of his business. Corporate Social Responsibility is what businesses are talking about more and more.
If you go online and look at any big company’s annual report you will read about how they are taking social responsibility seriously and how they are taking action.
Are we doing our bit at Taunton School? Well, we support charities and have done for many years. Our volunteering programme is getting bigger and broader and many of you support the local community. The opportunity is there for everyone to get involved. Are we environmentally friendly? We certainly try but I think we can do more here and it is something I want to explore further.
But Taunton School’s main contribution to society is in the values we try to instil in our community. We want members of the community to celebrate differences and embrace uniqueness. We value the opinions of others, we are collaborative and we play a part in spreading tolerance and understanding, thus making the world a better and more peaceful place.
We aim to support you in becoming respectful, open minded, confident and principled and as teachers we aim to develop these traits ourselves. We are always developing and learning and trying to become better people throughout our lives.
So Taunton School takes Social Responsibility very seriously in the way it develops people to play a part in the world.