International Inspiration

The journey to Ghana began about two years ago when we were invited by the Youth Sports Trust to submit an application form and apply to be a part of this exciting and rewarding programme.  We submitted our bid and application and we were successfully selected along with nine other Lincolnshire schools.  We were partnered with St. Louis High School, a girls boarding school in Kumasi (the second largest city in Ghana and in the Ashanti Region).  The school is a fee paying school, as are most schools in Ghana, and they have about 1,800 girls on role.
The International Inspiration programme forms part of the London 2012 legacy; Lord Sebastian Coe addressed the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and stated that if London were given the honour of hosting the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 he would ensure that young people all around the world would have more opportunity to become involved in sport and to use sport as a vehicle to enrich their lives.
The programme has been driven by 3 leading UK and International organisations – UNICEF, UK Sport and the British Council.  The aims of the programme are to;
◦Make a difference to young people
◦Build effective partnerships between Countries & schools
◦Implement a 2 year development plan for both schools.
Our expected outcomes for our students from this programme are the following;
◦To increase cultural awareness & understanding of cultural diversity
◦To broaden the horizons & ‘open eyes’ to the wider world
◦To improve leadership skills, increase teamwork & self-confidence
◦And finally, to increase involvement in the life of school.

travel - ghana

 

The programme included a visit to a school in Ghana in November & a return visit to England by our Ghanaian colleagues just this last week.  After visiting each others’ schools we have written a two year development plan that focuses on what we experienced in Ghana and what they learnt whist they were here.  The plan focuses on developing student leadership and increasing student responsibility to improve the confidence and self-esteem of the students at SHS and St Louis High School.  We also hope to share cultural experiences and broaden the horizons of students at the two schools, increasing student’s understanding, tolerance and respect for others.
The Ghanaians were very impressed with the leadership opportunities that we give students both in PE and other lessons.  They were not used to seeing group work and student interaction in lessons as most of their teaching is very text book led and didactic. They were very complimentary about our students, teachers and the school in general saying it had a lovely atmosphere.  We were blown away by the resilience and resourcefulness of the students at St Louis and the responsibility they give to their students in the school in general; their prefects practically run the School!!  All students had a real appetite to learn and a real desire to be at St Louis High School.
The trip of course is going to have many educational and personal benefits for the students at both schools but this was also a truly amazing experience on a personal level as well. We will never forget the fantastic hospitality, the excitement and enthusiasm of the students at the local primary school we visited and taught at, and of course the cultural experience.