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There are a wide range of activities at Chosen Hill that provide our students with opportunities to explore International links with the world. These include:
Our partner school – Victor Duruy Collège
This partnership started over 7 years ago when the lead teacher from the partner school came on a teacher exchange for one year through Erasmus+. She taught French for one year at our school and formed great friendships with the teachers. During this time a contract was drawn up committing to remaining partner schools long term. Over the past 7 or so years, there have been many exchanges where both pupils from our schools have gone to stay with pupils at their school and vice-versa. Every year, pupils are also set up with pen-pals from our partner school and pupils stay in touch via email, letter and Skype.
The school has formed a partnership with GCHQ Cheltenham as this is a local employer to us and is an employer that required people with language skills. Language Agents from GCHQ visit our school to deliver taster sessions in Mandarin, Arabic and Russian. This activity is offered to all Year 8 students.
Visit to a Spanish School
One-week residential trip to Spain, including a visit to a Spanish school. In the lead up to the visit, pupils are writing letters to the Spanish pupils that they will meet.
Food tasting is an MFL-Food Technology cross-curricular activity. This popular activity is offered to all Year 8 students.
Germany Visit Exchange
One-week residential trip to Germany. In the lead up to the visit, pupils write letters to the pupils that they then meet. In addition, the German school visits out pupils in England. The German pupils are at a vocational college that teaches Business Studies and also Lifeguarding. The German pupils are therefore able to share information about these topics with our pupils and it is a cooperative learning process.
The German school contact is Oberland-Realschule Holzkichen, in Bavaria, Germany.
A 3 week trip includes one week of service (charity work) and one week of physical challenge and one week of cultural/language activities. This is a completely student directed project and pupils need to fund raise the cost of the trip and also plan the trip for themselves. At the end of the trip pupils should have an in-depth knowledge of some of the social problems in the country they have visited (through charity work) and also the culture of that country.
Thantwe Primary School
During the summer of 2016 a number of students and Mr Bird were privileged to participate in a community project at Thantwe Primary School, Malawi, Africa. Malawi is the poorest country in Africa and is one of the world’s worst-hit by HIV-Aids with more than one million children orphaned by the disease. The majority of the population scrape out a living as subsistence farmers despite food security being precarious due to the climate. The democratically elected government is battling over 30 years of under-investment in public services; so schools like Thantwe have just 6 classrooms for 649 students.
Consequently, the students left Malawi resolved to help Thantwe School improve its educational facilities. By doing so, they hope to enhance the life chances for a number of Thantwe School’s students; improving their odds of winning a government scholarship to fund their secondary education. This in turn, will enable them to attain a wage earning job or a place at university. This will enable them to contribute to their local communities and start to break the inherent cycle of poverty.
Many fundraising projects have been running over the last 3 years. These include:
- Seeking corporate donations;
- Sponsored walks and cycle rides;
- Quiz night and hog roast;
- Sponsored half-marathon;
- Twin peak challenge;
- Mr & Mrs challenge;
- Bake sales;
- Treasure hunts;
- Football tournaments;
- Sponsored head shave;
- And seeking voluntary donations.
As a result of all the hard work done by Chosen Hill Students participating in the project, two new classrooms have now been built and have been put to use educating an additional 160 students at Thantwe Primary School; ones that previously were taught outside under a tree.
We are now just £1250 short of our fundraising goal of £10000, having raised over £8500 to date. These funds are needed to purchase desks and chairs for the two new classrooms so students no longer have to sit on the floor. Fundraising activities for this continue as the school launches into Phase 2 of the project – developing cultural links via student pen pals. This phase has been launched, piloting it with Year 7, and we hope to re-launch it once the COVID-19 Lockdown is eased.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED NOW
Malawi is a very poor country with inadequate medical facilities. COVID-19 cases are starting to rise there. To this end, the school would also like to help generate funds to help the community of Thantwe Primary School cope with the global pandemic.
If you have any great fundraising ideas (ones that can be done safely under lockdown conditions), please get involved and help us save the lives of young people far worse off than ourselves. Every Pound that you raise will make a real difference.
Contact: Mr I Bird, using IB@chosen-hill.gloucs.sch.uk, if you’d like to get involved with Phase 2 of the project and/or you are able to help raise funds for the Thantwe Primary School COVID-19 fund.