During the last holidays, a team of 11 students and 3 teachers travelled to Cambodia as part of the NBCS Global Opportunities program. After a number of days in the capital of Phnom Penh immersing in cultural and historical orientation, the team travelled 3 hours north up the Mekong River to the remote rural villages of Stung Trong. This area has a population of around 118,000 people, all living in extremely poor village conditions.
In the recent school holidays, the GO Uganda team visited northern Uganda, working with Tamarind Program. Tamarind is a community-based self sustainability organisation, that works with and trains the communities who have been affected by war.
Year 11 student Chloe Hodgkinson shares some reflections from the trip.
The GO Rwanda team this year was comprised of 10 students and 8 adults, spending 2 weeks in Rwanda’s Northern Province. The structure of the program is to work primarily in local schools, with a focus on building English literacy skills and running workshops about entrepreneurial thinking, work ethic, and innovation. The students on team rose to every challenge they faced, demonstrating great leadership and resilience.
Construction for Project Barcelona is now 5 months in, and the recent run of fine weather has seen great progress. To this point, much of the work has been underground and laying the foundations – with deceptively little to be seen above the surface. That will change this week as the columns and framework start to be put into place, which will very quickly give a sense of the scale and scope of the building.
Culture is the result of the fermentation process that gives yoghurt its unique texture and flavour. We can’t actually identify this elusive element called ‘culture’, it is just there, otherwise it wouldn’t be yoghurt. The added fruit or flavourings may enhance, but they aren’t what make it yoghurt.
In the same way, a culture of leadership is something that runs through a school or organisation. It is evident in its “texture and flavour”. Leadership can be added like the fruit, but it is more effective when it forms part of the whole product.
This is the first in a series of regular building updates for Project Barcelona that will be published across the year. We felt it would be beneficial to provide updates particularly for the parent community who may not be able to regularly see the construction in progress.
Project Barcelona is the most significant building project to date at NBCS. The project is essentially creating an area that will be the new heart of the campus – the epicentre of learning and community at NBCS. The project will provide exceptional new spaces for learning, gathering and administration, and will become the new signature building for the campus.
I recently had the opportunity to hear Ian Wallace, a local Consultant Psychologist, speak about the topic of “raising resilient children.” He discussed the need for children to have strategies for dealing with challenges, so that they know, when they are faced with adversity, they are equipped to overcome whatever challenge they are facing.
So often in education we expect students to learn factual knowledge and thinking skills, without any reference to the context in which the knowledge and skills are utilised. As parents and educators this leaves us open to the question “How am I going to use this in real life?” School is inherently a structured and managed environment, but it is ‘real life’ none the less.
Choosing a school for our children is one of the most important decisions we make as parents. School choice is no longer based primarily on location, but rather on values that connect with our family values and the needs of each of our children. Basically, we all want the best school for our precious kids. A school where they are happy, and will receive the best education possible preparing them for their future.