Buckswood: serving our community
Every Buckswoodian knows that they have a duty to their community. At Buckswood that community starts on campus and spreads across the globe. Our students know that they have to care for themselves, each other and their environment, and as they come from all over the world, our charitable endeavours both here and abroad reflect our ethos of global citizenship and teach that the gift of giving brings many rewards.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Buckswood operates as one family unit. We all live and work on a beautiful campus where everyone is treated with respect, because everyone matters. We are responsible for looking after our beautiful campus and as a school we generate our own electricity, filter our own water and were the first private school in the UK to install Biomass boilers.
At the same time as looking after our campus we all understand that to work as a family where everyone can thrive we must look after each other too. From the moment a student puts on their blazer they know they are responsible for themselves and their friends and will have a role to play in making sure everyone has a good day. The reward system is in place to recognise where children are fully participating in the school community and encourage where a child is not making the most of the wonderful opportunity they have been given. Here are some examples of how we support them.
- Argonauts: Every boarder is ‘buddied up’ with an older student who can help show them the ropes and get to grips with all our quirky traditions, such as tying a bow tie, not giving up with the chop sticks on Chinese Tuesdays or finding their way around on town leave.
- The House System: every Buckswoodian is part of a House. Their House is their team, where everyone is a valued member with the care and respect you would expect from your teammates. Every week they will carry out various duties around the school, compete in competitions, and work hard in class to earn House points to collectively try and win the house trophy that is awarded in Friday assemblies.
- Leadership roles: peer mentoring is really important at Buckswood. As a child progresses through the school the spoon feeding decreases as they advance on their journey to adulthood. At various stage throughout their time here a student will find themselves given a community responsibility. This could be ‘head of table’ in the dining hall, a prefect, sports or house captain; all of which provide valuable opportunities to gain leadership skills as you coach your fellow students.
- Passport to success: every student carries a passport with them where they record important information throughout the day. Points are rewarded not only for hard work but community points are also rewarded for helping the community such as carrying a bag for a member of staff or holding a door. Commendations are awarded in Friday assemblies to high scoring students and at Buckswood we recognise the need to balance working for ourselves and working to care for those around us.
- Going for gold: If you visit Buckswood you will notice various pin badges worn by our students with pride. These badges are awarded for certain achievements such as going to Swaziland or being a student ambassador. Every student is given a red school badge and there is a silver and gold badge to be worked towards, gaining points for good deeds, hard work and being an altogether fabulous member of the Buckswood community who fully embraces the spirit of the Buckswood Difference.
Buckswood in the local community
“Charity begins at home, but should not end there.”
Thomas Fuller (1608-1661) British clergyman and author.
Charity and service to others is an important part of the Buckswood education. Developing a child’ empathy with the world around them provides room for personal growth and an ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes. As a child travels through the difficult teenage years, there are many benefits to be gained by getting involved with helping other people and thinking beyond the end of their noses.
Chelsea Football Club Foundation in the community
Through our association with Chelsea Football Club Foundation we invest upwards of £20k into the local community to promote a healthy mind healthy body to life with local organizations and schools. The Junior Football Academy in association with Chelsea Football Club Foundation sees a Chelsea coach spending half the week out in the local community providing support wherever the needs call for it. Here are some examples of the activities our Junior Football Academy have been involved with:
- Carol singing at the local Hospice
- Healthy living lecture tour of local primary schools
- Football skills workshop tour of local primary schools
- After school clubs at primary schools
Raising money, raising awareness
Much fun is had on campus (and off) raising money for good causes. In the past we have painted horses, harlem-shaked, dressed as super-heroes, shaved our heads and walked to work amongst many crazy things all in the name of charity. We were awarded the Diamond Award by AIDSUK for being the top fund raiser in the UK.
- Cake sale for Macmillan Cancer
- Valentine roses for the British Heart Foundation
- Christmas Market for Aids UK
- International Day for Swaziland Aids Charity
- Mufty days
- Sponsored events
- Race night for Injured Jockeys Fund
Out and about
As the only International school in the area, we know that learning alongside people from other countries is an amazing experience. Imagine having a Geography lesson with people from every continent of the world or speaking Chinese with someone from Russia! We love our multi-culturalism and want to share it and so we visit many local primary schools to talk about what it is like at Buckswood and demonstrate our talents such as
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Just like many aspects of the Buckswood Difference, our community spirit knows no boundaries. We are not afraid to travel the world and learn more and help.