What a fantastic week to have been Acting Principal! Alice Smith is always an energetic, bustling and exciting place to be, with so much going on daily. This week has been no exception, with a range of sporting and music events taking place over the weekend, Beauty and the Beast production rehearsals in full swing, Year 9 Options events, students taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Expedition and so much more!
It has also, of course, been International Understanding Week, and Mr Newbery and International Understanding student team involved have outdone themselves with the rich tapestry of cultural and educational experiences that have taken place, culminating in the international fashion show and food fair held today. Thank you to all parents who provided food and came along to this feast of gourmet delights!
So, why do we make a point of celebrating International Understanding Week each year? For our staff and students, the week represents a celebration of diversity - highlighting, informing and rejoicing in the sheer variety of differences that make each nationality and individual unique. With nearly 50 different nationalities represented at Alice Smith, this has particular relevance for our community. International Week is, however, more than an acknowledgement of our students’ diverse cultural heritage: it is a marker point in our wider Enrichment programme; a point at which we embrace our shared humanity, educate ourselves about and reach out to individuals and groups living in very different circumstances to our own. This year, the International Understanding team focused on the current Rohingya humanitarian crisis and the support and relief work carried out by the Malaysian-based charity Mercy Malaysia.
Nurturing an ethic of service is a cornerstone of the holistic educational journey Alice Smith students embark on during their time with us. Each annual year group residential trip involves a community service element, and this also extends to other trips, most notably the 2018 Laos residential, during which students will stay in a remote village, supporting the building of valuable infrastructure there.
You may also be aware of the ongoing partnership we have with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), who have an operation in KL that seeks to support refugees. Twice a week, a group of our Year 12-13 students plan and deliver a taught curriculum to a local UNHCR school - the Alliance for Chin Refugees (ACRs). At the moment, they are focusing on Maths, Science and Media, though this changes to support the needs of the ACR children. Our students even ran an incredibly successful sports day for the ACR children last year.
ACR children opening their Alice Smith Shoebox Appeal boxes last year.
Our Year 12-13 students are also working with a group of girls from the Home of Peace Orphanage, providing a structured Science curriculum to enable the girls to be entered for IGCSE qualifications - something they would not be able to do without the support and resources offered by our students.
Finally, nearly 20 of our Alice Smith teachers are volunteering their time and expertise this Saturday to run a teacher-training day for nearly 100 UNHCR teachers, thereby facilitating further support for UNHCR children and teachers across the region.
There is so much more I could tell you about the way our students and staff serve communities and each other. We are truly blessed to be part of such a caring community of learners at Alice Smith.
If you would like to support the ACR and UNHCR financially, please contact our Assistant Key Stage Coordinator for Enrichment Harry Rodger (email@example.com) or if you are interested in volunteering at, visiting or giving financial assistance to the Home of Peace Orphanage, please contact Justine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for this week's full issue - 17th November 2017