Support for Fiji to realise the potential within

Students from Sydney’s Rowland Hassall School are embarking on an international program to help students in need. Sophie Winton reports.

Image: A helping hand: Rowland Hassall School is collaborating with a school in Fiji.

Rowland Hassall School students are excited to be partnering with students from Fiji’s St Teresa of Lisieux Primary School, which was destroyed by a cyclone in 2016.

This new partnership is expected to broaden students' perspectives, develop intercultural understanding, contribute to a whole-school program of internationalisation and build teacher capacity.

Rowland Hassall School principal Greg Fuchs said the partnership was one of the most exciting things he had been involved in since taking on the role as school leader.

“Our schools’ motto is ‘Realise the potential within’. The new program is designed around this motto and will benefit both sets of students by fostering civic responsibility, enhancing community engagement, promoting volunteerism, and teaching the joy of helping others in need,” said Mr Fuchs.

“We strive to support our students to realise their own potential and achieve their best.

“Our goal is to help disadvantaged children at St Teresa of Lisieux Primary School, Sigatoga, Fiji, by closing the gap, improving their attendance and behaviour, and increasing the participation in their education.

“These are such worthy targets to pursue, but underpinning all this must be high-quality teaching.

“With the extra resources, a pen pal program and determination to succeed, we hope to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people oversea.”

Each student involved in the program will be paired with a pen pal from the Fijian school, with extra resources obtained through fundraising activities led by the Rowland Hassal SRC also to be provided by the school.

Rowland Hassall School caters for students with an intellectual disability and other secondary disabilities by providing quality education for all students enabling them to become independent responsible citizens.

A positive culture of mutual respect is created by students and staff at Rowland Hassall School, which is underpinned using a psychological approach to teaching and learning.

The aim for students is to develop life skills that will allow them to be safe, respectful and independent individuals within society.

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