On Saturday 29 July, Windermere School parent Helen Westmoreland-Nicholson took part in the Lakeland Ultra Marathon. Helen was taking part to raise £1...
Tiger Kloof – Holding Hands with Thussanang
The Tiger Kloof project has been a special part of Windermere School for many years now, pupils aspire to be part of this initiative and the support of the community is constant and extremely generous.
The project for over 10 years has been about providing food through soup kitchens, building facilities and spending time with the township children. This has been very effective but it was always felt there was more we as a School could do. In the Summer of 2016 a small and select group travelling to Vryburg to road test an idea to put in place an Education Programme for the pupils at Thussanang, a disabled centre in Huhudi. We have worked at Thussanang throughout our relationship with Tiger Kloof but it has always been a rather chaotic facility which really child minds the pupils rather than educating them.
The team worked to introduce some experiential learning with a view to giving the pupils skills they could use to create a more fulfilling life for themselves. The initiative was a huge success and the volunteer workers at Thussanang gained much from working alongside our team. Tiger Kloof were generous in giving the time of one of their teachers to become a mentor for the Thussanang team visiting on a weekly basis to advise and guide them in their new teaching style. However we left in August 2016 not really knowing whether our plans would come to fruition with no one from Windermere being on the ground to guide the project.
We need not have worried because the team at Thussanang grabbed this opportunity with both hands and were determined to make it work. When we returned in February with a group of Windermere pupils who had been selected for the skills they could bring to the new project Thussanang were ready and enthusiastic to learn new and different skills. The resources we had left to facilitate the experiential learning had been well used and well cared for and the pupils of Thussanang had learnt much in the time we had been away. Gone was the chaotic atmosphere and the lack of direction and now the centre was a place for developing and gaining the skills to move forwards in life.
After much deliberation about how best to fund this project and take it forwards we will now look at training for the teachers from a specialist trainer who has worked with pupils who have specific learning needs. We will also look to fund a number of capital projects to improve the facilities at the centre so that pupils and staff can be part of a 21st century learning experience. The Windermere School Community, supported by a family charity pfcf, have been prolific in their fund raising since the launch of this project in October 2016. A number of events have been organised which have added money to our Holding Hands with Thussanang fund. These have included a launch talk, various bake sales, a coffee morning at Kendal Town Hall, stalls at the Christmas fair, charity cards, competitions such as decorate a bauble, a wonderful dinner and auction at Kendal College, a parachute jump completed by Mr Bond and a Danceathon organised by Miss Byrom. Parents and students have also got involved with fundraising project, including a parent who raised over £1000 for the Tiger Kloof project. We have also been privileged to have secured funding from other organisations and would like to thank South Kendal Rotary and The Michelle Jurd Memorial Trust for their generosity and belief in our project.
As we go to press Holding Hands with Thussanang project has already raised nearly £20,000!
We know we will go from strength to strength and look forward to reporting back all we have achieved and the next steps in the 2017/18 Annual Review.
Three of our four daughters have been boarders at the Senior School following our unexpected move to Hong Kong in 2012. One moved back to board at Windermere following two years in Hong Kong and our youngest can't wait to follow in her footsteps and return as an overseas boarder into Year 9. We cannot fault the standard of education and care which the girls have enjoyed throughout their Windermere journeys. In particular, we love the location - and the way in which the Lake District becomes part of the curriculum - and the international flavour of the Senior School.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring National Park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.
When you live there, Windermere School becomes more than just an academic institution. Apart from academics, the School puts great emphasis on personal development. To me, this has meant that my three years in the national park were some of the most positive, enjoyable and prosperous years of my life that have put me in a convenient position in terms of university and my future adult life.
I have sent my children to Windermere at 11 years old and is easy to say how they have feel. I have had to call them as they never have time to call home. Lots of friends, lots of fun, interesting education. I would recommend this school to everybody, it is a perfect choice to ensure your children will learn a new language open their mind and increase their international relations.
Our daughter is having a marvellous time at Windermere School. She has always been well supported socially and educationally. The staff provide a wide variety of fun and interesting activities within the classroom, encouraging learning and development in a relaxed and fun environment taking them from Forest School in Pre-Prep to Adventure lessons in juniors, the outdoor space and sailing school is also a real advantage as nowhere can offer what Windermere school has! We love what the school has brought to our daughter... happiness! We can't ask for much more, as she works well and comes home with a smile.
We see our daughter growing in confidence every week - both socially and academically. After a difficult time in her previous School, she is flourishing in the caring environment where she can be herself again. The tutor system at Windermere is very special and has played a huge part in her settling in, being encouraged to make the most of exciting opportunities on offer and feeling a valued part of the school community very quickly.