As a school we place great emphasis on developing citizenship and a community ethos. We want our children to know about the world, to recognise the inequalities that exist and to develop a sense of individual and collective responsibility to be active citizens of their local and global communities. It is essential therefore that through our formal and enhanced curriculum we create meaningful opportunities for all our students to explore and develop an understanding of what we mean by being a good citizen. We want to both promote awareness and also support students to take action, locally or globally. Throughout the year this may take the form of a class discussion, an assembly, a fund raising initiative, a recycling project, a student council initiative or hands on support at a project here in Shanghai or further afield in Tanzania or Cambodia.
Currently we are collecting bags for the Giving Tree Project as we have committed to providing a bag full of warmth for Christmas to 600 Migrant Children. Because the migrant schools do not receive adequate funding, they cannot afford to give necessary learning materials for their students. These bags provide each child with a jacket, backpack, hat/gloves, school supplies and a personalised gift of a toy and book. Thanks to all those families who have already contributed but we still have a number of bags to fill so please contact your child’s teacher if you wish to get involved. By giving a little, you can bring a lot of warmth and happiness to a child in need.
Each week we also have students and staff who spend time after school volunteering at the Qing Pu Xiu Long Migrant School, supporting learning and making the lives of the migrant children a bit more fun. This is a very humbling but rewarding experience as giving up time to help others is a powerful way of demonstrating that you care and, as all involved have discovered, helping others can also give us a deep sense of happiness.
We have 32 secondary students in the final stages of preparation for their NAE Tanzania Expedition where they will be involved in service work in the local school, orphanage and on the land. This is an amazing experience for our students where they will be personally challenged in many different ways while gaining a practical insight into the challenges locals face every day in this part of the world. They have been busy fundraising for this trip and to provide essential materials for the orphan school in which they will work. If you want to support their efforts, please come along to their final fundraiser - Silent Auction and Pub Quiz that will take place at Cool Britannia Pub on Thursday 12 November at 7pm. We wish the students luck with this amazing adventure.
Our Year 12 students have also been busy with fundraising initiatives throughout the term from bake sales to selling vampire teeth and scary accessories for Halloween. All the proceeds from their sales will go to their special charity; The Indochina Starfish Foundation which is an international charity which helps some of the poorest, most disadvantaged children in Cambodia. These students are also busy preparing for later in the year when they will also contribute in a hands on way during their service trip to Cambodia where they will volunteer in the schools for slum children supported by this charity.
This is just a flavour of what is going on in our school community which is helping to promote global citizenship and we will keep you updated as the year progresses. School experiences however, are made more meaningful when they are reinforced by conversations at home so I would encourage you all to regularly talk to your children about social issues and encourage them to be active citizens.
The small steps they take now will influence the kind of adults they will grow into and we want our children to have a positive influence in the communities that they will live in.
Thanks for your continued support.
Niki Meehan, Vice Principal