Reaching out to the less advantaged in our immediate and surrounding communities is a cornerstone of the Chesterhouse educational experience. We believe that in order to influence a child to open their heart to the needy and to become a humane citizen of the world, a school’s influence and educational philosophy is of the utmost importance. That is why we have a clear vision and strategy towards outreach in our College.
The outreach programme is driven by two important groups within the High School:
- The tutor groups – every school term (four times a year) the school staff organise a major activity related to outreach. All our pupils are involved through their tutor groups and much preparation beforehand has always ensured the success of these events. Pupils are involved in the process from the beginning, discussing the plight of the organisation or group of people that they are assisting; understanding the circumstances and frustrations of their lives and finding a common way in which to help – not just handing out money, but getting their hands dirty; spending time doing the good deeds.It is through this system that we ensure spiritual and physical involvement. In just this year, our High School pupils have made sandwiches en masse for the Salvation Army and for The Valley School – an under privileged school for children living in under privileged communities; have made many sleeping bags from newspaper, plastic and foil and delivered these to the Salvation Army just in time for the cold winter nights; the linking to the Junior School programme when our College pupils spend time doing an activity with a Junior School child allowing them to better understand their smaller fellow scholars but also building relationships that extend beyond the morning – compassion for the younger ones and strengthening leadership skills within themselves when a younger child looks up to them as an example; and for the end of the year, involving themselves in the Santa’s Shoebox programme which delivers shoeboxes with gifts and essential goods to orphans and other children in need.
- SRC Outreach – although the SRC does not have a specific fund raising function, it is none the less true that at SRC events funds are raised when income for an event exceeds expenditure. When this happens, the money is handed over to a suitable cause. For instance, the funds raised at the SRC Fashion Show in 2010 were given to the SA Guide Dog Association. Funds raised at the Valentine’s Day dance were handed to the school’s Gryphon Trust.The SRC also takes an interest in the activities at Blue Mountains School and recently used some of its funds to purchase books for the library at Blue Mountains School.