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International Links

At Heathfield we aim to expand all students horizons both within the classroom and outside. Next year as well as the many successful trips and links we are planning to do again we are also going to new places. New trips for 2015 are Borneo, Dominican Republic and Rotterdam as well as a science trip to Switzerland!

We are very proud of our dynamic and forward thinking International Links Staff and Student groups. Encouraging awareness of the global community is an integral part of the Heathfield ethos. As a result we have achieved the International School’s Award for a THIRD time running (2012 – 2015).

Some of our projects and achievements include:

1. Our Comenius Project

"Youth for Change"

"Youth for Change" is a project based on economic, social and human sustainability. With the help of local business partners the students have set up three companies, which they have run themselves, the skills involved will hopefully prepare these students for the workplace.

  • Core - an apple juice producing company
  • Bee Heathfield, - a company producing items from beeswax.
  • The Heathfield Jam and chutney company.

All three have produced fantastic products and we have been able to distribute samples to our European partners.

2. Heathfield School’s Café Paramo

Goes from strength to strength.

We have formed a new relationship with a community and school in the Dominican Republic which we are very excited about. We sent them a cartoon to introduce ourselves and are going to have a Skype link soon.

Our day to day business is still selling coffee, which we are getting quite good at! We recently went to the Sustainability Show and sold over £600 worth of coffee - that's 178 bags and means we can send over £250 from that show alone. Next week we're off to London to the 2013 Momentum Conference. It's a national conference about exciting projects and we're really pleased to be going for the second year in a row.

We'd like to take this chance to say thanks to all the people who have helped made Café Paramo such a success.

Yours, Robbie and all the Café Paramo team.

Want to keep up to date with the entire goings on with the International Links group?

Then follow us on Facebook AND on Twitter!

3. Ypres Trip (Belgium)

Over three days, a group of slightly tired but excited Year 10’s embarked on a trip to Ypres, in Belgium. We were lucky enough to be in Belgium on Remembrance Day itself, November 11th. This made our trip even more significant and interesting. We would get to experience the ‘Last Post’ ceremony at The Menin Gate.

The visit to Tyne Cot was one of the most emotionally draining visits on this trip. Tyne Cot is known for its enormous amount of graves; nearly 12,000 to be exact. After visiting the little museum, we went to look at the graves. We were all in awe at the vast number of graves but that was not all. At the back there was a large wall of remembrance that spread across the width of the cemetery that was covered from corner to corner, edge to edge, with the names of men who had lost their lives and whose bodies had not been found. Tyne Cot had been there for a long time but had grown in size. In the middle of the graves was the Cross of Sacrifice and the Empty Tomb. At the base of the memorial there was an original piece of the wall from the old memorial that is still surviving after 100 years. Walking between the graves, not just at Tyne Cot, but at Polygon Wood, we read some lovely inscriptions from the families that had lost the ones they loved.

Just before we left we visited the The Menin Gate one last time, so people could find the names of their lost relatives that were never found. Every inch of the walls of The Menin Gate are covered in the names of the men, from all around the Empire that lost their lives. Behind The Menin Gate, people had planted lots of paper poppies, row upon row. Every one of them had a message written on the back from people who just wanted to remember:

“I cannot comprehend the courage and sacrifice of the fallen but I honour it.”- was written on one of the poppies.

Bryony Reeves 10A.

4. Tacchi Internships with Bates College (USA)

Hello! We’re Anabel, Katie, and Mary Anne, the three American interns working at Heathfield this spring. We’re all from Bates College (an American uni) in Lewiston, Maine (Anabel and Katie just graduated; Mary Anne will be in her third year). Anabel is working with both the Science and Geography departments, Katie is dividing her time between the English and Dance departments, working with students in Years 9 and 10, and Mary Anne is working in Dance and Drama classes with the Year 10s, as well as coordinating the Dance Clubs.

We’ve loved working and learning at Heathfield; everyone has been so friendly, generous, and welcoming. On weekends, we’ve enjoyed exploring North Curry, where we’re staying this spring, with its village charm. The beautiful rolling green hills and vast open landscapes of Somerset are so different from the more urban environments we’re used to, so it’s been a lovely escape. We’re only here for seven weeks, so we’ve been making the most of it by saying “Yes!” to every opportunity to explore south-west England, spend more time with Heathfield faculty and students, and learn about English culture.

4. Ghana Visit

The trip was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. The host school were very welcoming and it was a privilege to teach some Technology classes to several classes of 60 plus students at a time with limited resources.

The flight up to Kumasi was intimate, with only 9 of us on-board. Flying over the country it soon became apparent how beautiful the country was.

I am looking forward to welcoming the Ghanaian teachers when they visit in December. We were given the honour of speaking at the student graduation ceremony and the commanding officer’s speech from the service basics school really struck a chord with me. The emphasis was very much on a partnership between families, staff and above all students to invest time in their education. It was refreshing to hear it from another perspective and from a non-teacher speaking about rights and responsibilities.

The visiting teachers we were buddied up with were so welcoming and visiting their homes and meeting their families was really nice.

The lasting memories for me were when the whole school came out and they laid on a football tournament played in the kit that we had brought over for them. The children seemed so happy, despite the limited resources. The universal themes of wanting to pass on knowledge and helping to improve lives certainly translated.

One point about traffic in Ghana - it is certainly a different experience! I wish I'd been blindfolded for some of the journeys around Accra, as professional drivers - taxi drivers that is - were some of the worst culprits. There didn't seem to be any order or Highway Code acknowledgement at all.

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