Pupils and staff from Lawrence Sheriff School will soon be India-bound trekking in the Himalayas and teaching English to underprivileged people in remote villages, with trip organiser and geography teacher Charlotte Woolliscroft (right).
COMPASSIONATE students at Lawrence Sheriff School (LSS) will venture to northern India this summer to help young women in deprived rural communities learn to read and write.
In July, a group of 53 students and four teachers will visit parts of the country where less than half of the female population is literate.
It will be the tenth expedition the school has embarked upon through World Challenge – a company which organises trips to build young people’s courage, kindness and sense of adventure.
The students will trek through remote parts of the Indian Himalayas where they will reach dizzying heights of over 4,500m, and visit famous sites including Jaipur and the Taj Mahal.
And during their month-long expedition, they will help to educate deprived women and build facilities which will enable sustainable education in the future.
One of the volunteers, 17-year-old Gregory Sinnett, said he was drawn to the project because of the deprivation of education in the area they will be visiting.
He said: “I myself am a tutor for younger kids, so I hold the education of others close to my heart.
“Although we may only be helping one group of people, there will be a spillover effects on others.
“I really want to make them feel like they’ve gained something out of my visit. I also hope to make a difference or in some way have enriched their lives.”
He said his excitement was building after a year of planning the trip.
“My family are really jealous because they haven’t done anything like this before,” he added.
Fellow student Prakhar Gupta added: “I am really looking forward to this opportunity due to the freedom it creates.
“The ability to organise, explore and create once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that go beyond our personal comfort zones will be a great way to celebrate the end of our final exams.”
One of the teachers going on the adventure, geography teacher Charlotte Woolliscroft, said the literacy skills project was particularly popular with the students.
“The students are passionate about helping others,” she said. “They decided they would like to help improve learning environments as well as possibly teach in local schools.
“We hope to learn as much as we teach. It will be very much a cultural exchange where we will be able to learn new skills and develop existing ones, as well as helping other communities in English and other studies.”
She added the students had met the challenge of raising funds for the trip through fundraising activities and part-time work.
She said: “They have done very well to balance the challenges of academic studies as well as raising large amounts of money.
“In school, a sum of money is also raised to give to the volunteering project and those who need it most.
“I am very excited about this trip – it offers a challenge in the form of the treks and cultural differences, as well as a chance to visit some particularly remote areas.
“Families have been very supportive of the challengers throughout this opportunity, and are looking forward to seeing the photos when they get back!”
The school is currently looking for sponsorship of the t-shirts the challengers will wear during the trip. Contact Charlotte via LSS to get involved.
Visit www.weareworldchallenge.com/uk for more information on World Challenge.
British Biology Olympiad (BBO)
The British Biology Olympiad is a competition which is open to students around the world. It challenges and stimulates students with an interest in biology to expand and extend their talents, enabling them to demonstrate their knowledge and to be suitably rewarded with publicly recognised certificates and medals.
Our students were competing against nearly 8,000 other students by sitting two challenging 45-minute examination papers online in January 2018 and the results have just been released, with all sixteen students being invited to attend an awards ceremony in London.
However, as a result of his exceptional performance, one outstanding Lawrence Sheriff School student is now eligible to progress to the next round of the competition. Rob Gummery will be challenging the top students from across the country – this time with the aim of being selected for a place in the British squad of sixteen biologists. These sixteen will then train for selection as part of a final team of four students who will be representing Britain in the International Biology Olympiad in Iran in July.
Head of Biology, Mrs Bronia Costello said 'The Olympiad is a great opportunity to stretch our students beyond the realms of the A level Biology course and increase their understanding of the importance of the subject. As a school, we are particularly proud that every student we entered for the competition has been acknowledged with an award. This has boosted their confidence and is a fitting acknowledgement of all their hard work over the past 18 months.'