Escuela Proyecto La Esperanza, Guatemala

In 2013 the Spanish department first made contact with a local charity: Education for the Children, who founded and funds The School of Hope, to help our students better understand the issues of poverty and inequality in South America. Our aim was:

  • To raise awareness and understanding of challenges facing young students in Guatemala,
  • To promote an awareness of the international dimension in education,
  • To understand issues related to social inequality and cultural differences,
  • To encourage students to work cooperatively plan and deliver fundraising events
  • To bring the Spanish curriculum to life and use the language for real communication using authentic resources generated by the Guatemalan students.

The whole school is involved in the annual Esperanza Fundraiser festival which is also open to parents and students of our feeder primary schools and to the local community. This is a cross curricular event involving modern foreign languages, Drama, Music and Technology. It is a whole school fundraising event led by Year 9 students and takes place on a Friday afternoon at the end of the summer term where all students attend the festival which includes music performances, stalls, literacy festival and a balloon race. During the summer term there are assemblies for all year groups to raise awareness of the School of Hope and the aims of Esperanza. Students also find out about the children we sponsor and why they need us to raise money. Over the years this has developed into a community event with students from feeder schools, parents and local residents attending from 1530 – 1800, and schools within our trust have become involved. It is also part of the Year 6 Primary curriculum in 5 of our feeder schools to aid transition. It is so successful that it has been rolled out to other schools in Nottingham by the Charity using our work as a successful and inspirational example and last year the Guatemalan Ambassador visited.

We have sponsored 7 children for the past 3 years and maintain regular contact with them via student letters and Skype which is part of our language lessons The students we sponsor write letters to inform us of their progress and life. These are used in assemblies to inform students the impacts of their fundraising and in Year 7 lessons to improve their language skills. We are working on making this link more collaborative with some comparative classwork, for instance using the British Council resource 'The view from my window'.

Gap year students from Rushcliffe have volunteered at the school and maintain contact with ourselves via email sharing their stories, experiences and photographs which are shared with our students across the whole school.