Monday 3rd – Friday 7th February saw Windlesham House host their 7th annual World Awareness Week enabling the children to learn about some of the major social issues around the world such as child poverty and positive ways we can all get involved in making a difference.
The week provided an opportunity to raise vital funds for Free The Children, the Philippines Disaster Appeal and education projects in Kenya and Uganda where Windlesham have links.
Windlesham have regularly been sending teams of staff and pupils out to help in some of the poorest parts of Africa and Asia since 2007. In recognition of these unique experiences focused on the service of others, Windlesham was awarded Independent School Of The Year just over 12 months ago for Best Independent State School Collaboration linked to their last trip to the Tsunami-hit region of south-east India with Littlehampton Woodard Academy.
The young people delivered over 100 lessons and provided a creative playscheme that enriched the teaching and plenty of useful teaching resources were donated and left for the school to use to enhance the curriculum at St Joseph’s School in Andhra Pradesh. Windlesham will be sending volunteering teams out to Kenya and Uganda later this year. The trip to Kenya will be led by the Headmaster Mr Richard Foster and his wife.
The Windlesham World Awareness Week included a packed programme of events involving speakers from a number of charities that are making a difference to the lives of vulnerable children. Visiting speakers included Paul Sanderson MBE, Chair of Trustees for CRED Foundation Teams and Tom Brookes, Tour Speaker for Free The Children.
These charities both enable young people across the UK to discover practical ways to be a positive contribution in the world.
Free The Children, an international charity working in hundreds of schools across the UK was founded in 1995 by Craig Kielburger at the age of 12. It has since grown into the largest youth volunteer movement in the world enabling children to help children through community action. Free The Children offer a free citizenship programme for schools called We Act, which educates young people of all ages about social responsibility and local and global issues.
The charity provide speakers, resources and practical opportunities to empower young people to attain their potential as leaders of social change. Free The Children are hosting We Day UK an innovative educational event to celebrate the difference young people are making in their local and global communities. The first ever We Day UK will take place on 7th March 2014 at Wembley Arena. 10,000 teachers and pupils in Year 6 and upwards will be joined by world renowned inspirational speakers and musicians. Windlesham are sending a group of staff and pupils to the event.
“I had a brilliant day with the staff and pupils at Windlesham House. I was so impressed by their students’ independent thinking, thoughtful questions and the ideas for positive action to help improve the lives of children most in need of practical support,” commented Tom Brookes from Free The Children UK Team.
World Awareness Week was facilitated by staff member Mr Justin Blake, Head of Community Links for Windlesham. Reflecting after the week he commented, ‘A week of this kind focuses the hearts and minds of our children on the part we can all play in making a difference in our local communities and the wider world. Our children are so keen to help other children in need and they are full of good ideas. If we can harness the energy and creativity of our children then they can be a positive contribution in so many ways both today and in the future. I highly recommend a week of this kind as it has a hugely positive impact.’
During World Awareness Week, children from Windlesham presented some of their recent fundraising for charities working in the local community. This included Worthing Foodbank supporting local families in crisis and Off The Fence reaching out to the homeless in the Brighton and Hove region.
“This is an important week in the school calendar and I’m extremely proud of the fundraising the children have been doing for these very worthwhile charities,” said Richard Foster, headmaster.
Report contributed by Windlesham House. Picture by Steve Cobb.