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Our Students Become Teachers In India

It was a cold but thankfully dry February morning. The time was six am on Sunday 16 February, when a team of Stanborough School students, staff and two parents, eight in number, met at the school to begin a life changing trip to warm tropical India. The mission was to teach for two weeks, at the BESSO Nursery and Primary school, which has 62 orphan pupils and was started by a young couple Mr and Mrs Ganesh.

Christopher and Eva

The five Year 10 pupils together with their teachers had been planning and preparing for this trip since the previous September. The preparation included raising funds by participating in a 24 hour sponsored badminton, carol singing in the local supermarket, surviving vaccinations, shopping for the orphans, lesson preparation and the packing. With all the preparations completed the team were ferried to London Heathrow airport to board a flight to Bangalore. With all the check in formalities completed they proceeded to the Gate for boarding. When the call for boarding went out one of the team members discovered that she did not have her passport or boarding pass.  There was a frenzy of frantic searching but without success.  So we gathered together for there was only One who would be able to sort this little dilemma out at such short notice. We prayed that He would intervene and let us find the documents to enable us to board the flight.

We retraced the steps that she remembered she had taken and one of them led to a dust bin. She had already looked there twice without any success but nevertheless we went through the motion of emptying the dustbin with passengers moving all around us. Having got to the bottom there was no passport or boarding pass. Next to it was a second dustbin for recycled plastic but she was sure that she had not put it in there. We started emptying the second one and within seconds there was the passport waiting to be rescued at the bottom. We picked up the passport and next to it was the boarding pass. They were both thrown away inadvertently. To say that there was elation and relief would be an understatement. There were hugs and tears of joy and gratitude to the One who delivered as He had promised so many times before. As soon as we were seated on the plane we huddled together and thanked Him for confirming at the start of our adventure that we had nothing to fear about the trip because He was going to be with us and bless us with His presence. And that is how it proceeded day after day.

Our first day at BESSO Nursery and Primary School

The Stanborough pupils each chose the year group they wished to teach, Nathan Year 1, Eve Year 2, Paul Year 3, Christopher Year 4 and Aswin Year 5. They had taken resources from England, prepared the lessons in the evenings and like seasoned teachers delivered a whole day’s lessons to the orphans. Each day began at 9 am with worship with the children. The timetable for the day was nine periods of 40 minutes each with breaks for lunch and play. This went on for two weeks. Each day the visiting teachers became  more innovative and creative than the day before. What was so encouraging to watch was the bond they formed with the orphan children. On the first day they made name tags which speeded up the bonding and within two days they were scooping up the children in their arms and playing with them during any break in teaching. As the days past the visiting teachers became more and more involved in the teaching and in the welfare of the orphans.  Even when on a sightseeing trip they seemed to be consumed with buying specific gifts for each child in their class. These Year 10 pupils turned out to become devoted teachers to their cohorts even if it was just for a short time.
On one day towards the end, we planned a picnic to the zoo. Needless to say, because this is an infrequent occurrence, the children were very excited – all dressed up in their socks and shoes and well pressed uniforms. One of the volunteers from England generously financed the whole event. Everyone had a wonderful day out. On the final day the school organised the Annual Sports Day in which the visitors from Stanborough School served as judges, time keepers and track officials which was a new but fun experience for them. After the prizes were awarded, we had a party for all the children and staff.  We had pre-ordered the food from a local restaurant. It was one of their favourite menus –masala dosai, idli sambar, coconut chutney, payasum and ladoo for dessert. The Stanborough team served the food. What impressed the visitors was when the children received their food on stainless steel plates, they went to their place on the floor, sat down and waited for everyone to be served before singing grace and only then did they tuck in. And to their hearts content too.

Aswin and Paul playing with the children

It was interesting and at the same time moving to learn how this trip had affected the Stanborough students and staff. Paul commented that he “gained a better appreciation of basic things like clean water, food, a roof over my head” and a “general appreciation of how much God has blessed me.” Eva said that “this trip to the beautiful country of India has been the most life changing experience I have ever had. I gained a pure joy which only God can give through the cheerful eyes of the young orphans. I also learnt to appreciate small blessings and unseen ones, for life and breathe and everything and everyone I take for granted”.
Christopher said “I have gained an appreciation for teachers, a new view point on life and I have made some great new friends. I have gained a better appetite and I am now less picky with what I eat.” Aswin said “I have recognised how lucky I am. As friends we’ve all grown closer and learned a little more about each other. I learnt a lot about myself. I gained an appreciation for teachers.” Nathan learned how to deal with spicy food, how to be organised and how to be a teacher. He also said he gained weight.
The adults too shared their experiences. Vanesa said, “I fell in love with their bright eyes and their smiles and with how open their hearts are. This trip taught me a lot. But mostly how simple the Gospel really is. How powerful love is”. “Zeny” I thank Jesus for all the blessings I have in life. I truly learned to be happy and content with what I have”. Mira said, “she gained a lot of things but probably the most was realising how blessed I am. I am really thankful that I have Jesus is my life and this trip really opened my eyes, that if I want to be a follower of Jesus I should change some things.”

By God’s grace we all arrived safely back. Some of the students did not want to return home but having joined their families back in cold wet England, they had already learnt to cherish and value their own more than ever.

We’ll miss you!

[Kish Poddar]

Watford Observer:
Garston pupils parents and staff return from India orphanage school trip

BUC News:
Stanborough School pupils turn teacher in indian orphanage

World Book Day 2014

Stanborough Secondary School celebrated the World Book Day a week late because students and staff were on a spiritual journey through Bible heroes led by pastors Jacques Venter and Sam Nevis the week before. But the excitement ran high as 6 student teams and 3 staff teams filled the Assembly Hall, all with the intention to have a great time and, ultimately, to win.

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Visiting students from Beijing joined in the fun. Questions ranged from Bible to Biology and at times our teachers had to think really hard. Let’s test if you’d know the answers to a couple of questions:

  1. When David went to face Goliath, his armory consisted of his sling and how many stones?
  2. Name the American president who sold his collection of Books to the Congress for $25 000 and this collection became the beginning of the Library of Congress?
  3. Which composer became deaf at about the age of 30?
  4. What is 40 divided by 1/2, plus 15?
  5. Into which sea does the River Jordan in Israel flow?

Red house parents will be pleased to know that ….Red House took the top place!

WBD 2014

Congratulations to the red girls who earned 42 points, overtaking the closest team by 2 points! Blue girls are on the 2nd place with 40 points. Red boys and Green boys settled for the third place with 38 points each.

The battle between the staff was just as intense. Blue staff took the 1st place with 50 points, while Red followed with 49 points. Well done!

A big thank you to all parents and students for raising £103.10 for new Books and DVDs for the Library through the non-uniform day!

While all winning teams got either chocolates, notebooks or books, all students received their World Book Day coupons-do not forget to exchange them for free books by March 30! Another prize for the whole of Stanborough Family is 40 Bible cartoons worth over $1000 produced by Richard Rich, former director of Walt Disney Productions. The collection is now being catalogued and stories are waiting to be discovered over the Easter break!

Thanks to all for your support and have a fun year leaning and preparing for the next year’s Whole School World Book Day Quiz!

 

Text by: Liubov Milis-Hopa

Pictures by: Daniel H.
Answers:

  1. 5 stones (1 Samuel 17:40)
  2. Thomas Jefferson
  3. Beethoven
  4. 95. Dividing by 1/2 is the same as multiplying by 2. So, 40 · 2 + 15 = 95.
  5. The Dead Sea

International Friends Visit Stanborough

Our Language & Cultural Tours programme gives secondary students from all over the world an opportunity to experience British culture first-hand and to make international friends while developing their English Language skills.

Recently, we welcomed students from China, Brazil and Italy. These are some memories of their visit.

Chinese students, Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School (4-16 Nov 13)

Brazilian students, Life Intercambios (15-27 Jan 14)

Chinese students, Tai Po Sam Yuk Secondary School (26 Jan – 08 Feb 14)

Italian students, San Guiseppe Calasanzio (3-9 Feb 14)

Stanborough’s Divine Service At St Albans Church

St Albans SDA church enjoyed hosting an enthusiastic group of students and staff on Sabbath February 22. Along with Nico Weyers we asked the hard questions: “Is evolution a fact or a belief?” “If evolution is scientific,  is there evidence which can be examined and does not need to be accepted by faith?” “Does it matter what we believe and what we are taught at school?”

Students and staff sang, played the piano, guitar and flute, did a mini-art lesson, presented video productions and read from the Word. Looking at the Stanborough team, one of St Albans’ members, who is an alumni of Stanborough School, lamented not digging up his school tie. The photo below explains why 🙂

New Book Arrivals At The Library

New DVDs

Films For Christmas

11 new inspirational movies and cartoons to savour:

HT II-DVDs

New Titles At Stanborough Library For Christmas

Classroom Competition 2013

In a continuing drive to excellence, our school organised a classroom competition. A team of judges from non-teaching staff assessed each classroom in aspects such as:  creativity of displays, how God is revealed through the subject, the displaying of students’ work and neatness of room amongst others.

There was a flurry of activity as the competition date drew near.  The team of judges were in for a delightful surprise as they witnessed the wonderful use of colour, visual stimulation, creative and artistic flair along with each staff member’s passion for their subject.   There were several classrooms which deserved to win.  This made the judges’ decision quite difficult!  Congratulations to Mrs Venter whose Maths classroom won 1st place.  Joint  2nd place was awarded to Mrs Poddar (Business and Communications Systems classroom) and to Mrs Milis-Hopa (Library).  The 3rd place was won by the Physical Education room re-arranged and re-organised by Mr Jason Poddar.   The judges awarded a 4th prize to Mrs Mabhena for the Spanish classroom which was bright, colourful, welcoming and truly reflective of Spanish culture and language

The competition achieved its desired goal – to drive up standards.  As you walk into each classroom, there is an air of accomplishment and pride. God is glorified through the beauty of the displays and the inspiring presentation of students’ work and achievement.   Well done one and all!

Already, we can’t wait for classroom competition 2014!!!

L. Byng (pictures & video Gilberto – year 10)

 

A BIG THANK YOU! ADRA Shoebox Appeal 2013

Thank you for supporting the ADRA Shoe-Box Appeal 2013. Together we raised £200 towards the shipping costs and packed 95 boxes. ADRA will deliver them to underprivileged children in Sierra Leone in February 2014.

 


Well done to Year 7 and Year 8 for jointly winning, ‘The Most Successful Form’ award by each packing 20 boxes.

 

Congratulations to Year 10X for winning, “The Most Committed Form” award. Every student in this form packed at least one box. Together, including their Form Tutor, they packed 14 boxes. We are proud of you!

 

Tabason deserves a special mention for packing 10 boxes all on her own. Gabrielle followed closely by packing 7 boxes and also must receive a special mention. Their commitment and dedication is inspirational!

 

Again, thank you all for supporting this project; every box will make a difference to a child in Sierra Leone.