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HEAD ON… Indian Summer

October 14th, 2016

caroline-pascoe-head-on-indian-summerHelping pupils achieve the best academic marks they can is a top priority for us – but there is so much more to a Monmouth School for Girls pupil than good grades.

Alongside co-curricular lessons in music, drama, sport or CCF, we teach our girls the importance of humility and encourage them to embrace adventure.

In the summer holidays, a plucky group of 40 pupils from Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools broadened their horizons and embarked upon a month long expedition to India.

Accompanied by six members of staff including myself, the teenagers leapt at the opportunity to explore a new land and help make a big difference to less fortunate children.

Our life-changing trip began with a two-week stay at Upper Valley School in the village of Burua, where our caring pupils pulled up their sleeves and set to work revamping the rundown building.

We painted, plastered and sanded to give the school a total makeover, and money we collected through fundraising challenges before we left paid for local builders to finish building a third floor for classrooms.

The reward for our pupils’ hard work was a once-in-a-lifetime trek in the stunning Indian Himalayas which included a visit to a Buddhist monastery.

After an eight-hour Jeep ride along some hair-raising roads, we made it to our first camp at 4,600 metres.

The trek was by no means easy, but it certainly brought with it laughter, teamwork and bonding in some of the world’s most inhospitable conditions with snow and glaciers being a common sight.

Overcoming physical and mental challenges during those unforgettable four weeks was hugely character-building and humbling for our pupils, who returned with an exciting new outlook on life.

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