At Greenfield we provide a rich range of opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. These holidays we have three groups of students travelling to very different places: Lucknow, India, rural Nepal and Prague. Two are service learning and a sports team.
A group of our Grade 11 students, led by Mike Worth and Emma Holmes, has travelled to Lucknow in India to work with an orphanage there. The orphanage was started by the parents of Neeraj and Mona Massey, two of our long serving members of staff, and GCS has had a long association with them and the school. Over the years we have supported the orphanage financially and relationships have been built. Our students will be doing some maintenance and upgrading work as well as working in the classrooms with the children. This forms an integral part of the Service Learning component of the Career and Diploma Programmes.
Andrew Ritter and Michelle Sakande are leading a group of students on a trip to work in a village in Nepal. The country is still struggling to recover from the effects of the earthquake two years ago and, they will be supporting a World Challenge programme to improve the infrastructure in the village. They will also be taking a hike up into the foothills of the Himalayas and experience some thin air and cold nights! It will be an amazing opportunity to experience a very different culture and landscape and to give of their time and resources. Expeditions like these are a wonderful opportunity for our students to expand their horizons, become more internationally minded, and to engage with communities that may be poorer in material terms but have a great deal to give in other ways.
On the basketball side, 10 members of our successful U16 Boys Basketball team are heading to Prague to take part in the annual Eurobasket Tournament, all part of a new collaborative idea called the Taaleem Titans. We have partnered with our previous rivals and Taaleem friends Uptown to take on some of Eastern Europe’s best teams. They have been practicing at weekends since December preparing for their 8 day tour and stepping into the shoes of elite athletes. Obviously they will also be getting the chance to experience some of the highlights of Prague. We all know that the diversity of our school is impressive, but we have 11 nationalities represented by 10 players (one lad has both Austrian and Brazilian passports). Thank you to Matt Christensen for leading this team.
During the half term break last month we had two groups travel abroad. One went to Bali where they had an educational and service learning tour and the second was our annual ski trip to France. Being immersed in a different culture and language is the best way to learn. Speaking to the teachers who led these trips they spoke glowingly of how well our students behaved and embraced the physical and social challenges of these events and how much they had learnt.
Thank you to all our staff who plan and run these service activities and tours and who give up their holiday time to make these adventures for our students possible. Yes, they are fun, but the teachers are never off duty and it is a huge responsibility.
I hope that you have some good family time together this holiday.