Last week I participated in the biannual meeting of the Senior Leadership Team of Nord Anglia Education (NAE). On this occasion the gathering took place near Arusha in Tanzania where NAE runs a camp for students from our family of schools. This was also my first opportunity to meet with the other 30 principals from the four regions in which NAE operates schools: Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America.
It had been many years since I last slept in a tent or eaten camp food. However, the experience was unforgettable. The campsite, a short distance from Mt. Kilimanjaro, was set in a landscape of farms and villages. Indeed, it would be hard to find a more beautiful location for a campsite.
The camp is run in conjunction with the Global Classroom programme that is such an integral part of the educational offerings in our NAE schools. Last year 500 students travelled to Tanzania over a number of months to engage in a diverse offering of activities designed to target resilience, leadership, cooperation and service. Pitching tents, camp cooking and bush activities formed the backbone of the week long camps. However, it was the community service aspect of the programme that was the highlight of the week for many of the students. NAE has established close links with the local community and our young people spend time on active service projects at a school and orphanage. Nothing could be more rewarding. Towards the end of their stay the students are taken on safari at one of the game parks close to Arusha.
We hope to send the next group to Tanzania in 2015. For those able to participate, this Global Classroom experience will be such a rewarding experience.
Dr John Kennard