DANCE and sport provided some common ground when students from Redland Green School visited a partner school in India.
RGS youngsters and their teachers learned modern interpretations of local folk and Bhangra moves known more widely as Bollywood Dance while their hosts at The Hope Foundation School in Bhuj had an opportunity to learn a dance from UK musical theatre.
On the sports field, Redland Green students took football and rugby equipment to introduce these activities to the Indian students. In turn, the visitors enjoyed learning the Indian sport Kabaddi and playing a high level of cricket, which is clearly the most popular sport!
The Hope Foundation School was set up in 2001 after the Gujarat earthquake to enable children of the poorest families in the area to access an education. RGS, led by international coordinator Mr Peters, has been collaborating with the charity-funded school in many subject areas over the years and has been running visits since 2013.
During the week-long visit by 22 RGS Year 11 students and their teachers in December, virtual assemblies were held so that their experiences could be shared with others back home in Bristol.
They shared stories about their lives and led on many activities in maths, literature, art, dance, sports and language. The national language across India is Hindi, and students enjoyed learning a few sentences to both speak and write in Hindi.
They also enjoyed visiting the houses of students and the areas in which they live, seeing the community and areas around Bhuj, visiting many different shops, wearing local fashions and travelling further afield. The visit to a temple via Tuk-tuks, the Rann of Kutch (Rann meaning desert in Hindi) which is a salt desert, the house of the Maharaja, and Mhandvi beach were particular highlights .
Mr Peters said: “The students and staff were in very good hands and eternally grateful for the amazing hospitality shown to us by the Headmaster, Agilan, his family, and the teachers and other staff in the school. The trip is built on the much valued relationship with our partner school and enabled us to see first-hand the impact of our fundraising enabling children to go to school in India.
“The relationship between the two school is embedded within the Redland Green school community through our PSHE curriculum and the annual fundraising events aimed at not just supporting students in accessing an education but understanding there’s so much to learn and share from each other.
“If you wish to help by sponsoring a child for £10 a month at Hope Foundation School, please email email@example.com. This donation fully supports a child to attend the school.”