As part of its holistic ethos, Roedean is committed to making a difference and playing a meaningful role in the local community and beyond. The students have a wide variety of opportunities, whether it is through charity work, volunteering, or partnerships.
The Roedean community raises a great deal of money for a variety of charities, and each year we have a school-wide focus on one global and one local charity, which are chosen by the students themselves.
The School also supports 10 girls from different countries around the world through the organisation PlanUK, which has a focus on girls’ education around the world. Given Roedean’s founding ethos, this is particularly appropriate, and each students’ contribution is only £3 per year to support all 10.
Many of the students also have a personal interest in a specific charity, and they raise money in a variety of ways, both in and out of school.
In the Sixth Form, a number of Roedean students also commit to charitable work with EdClub, an organisation with 26 computers in a slum outside the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Via a Skype link, our students teach schoolchildren for one hour each week. The children learn Maths and improve their command of English, and, as a result of EdClub’s work, some of the Kenyan children have secured jobs working for wealthy local families, as opposed to being forced into prostitution, which is unfortunately often the only option for them. It is amazing that such a small commitment at Roedean can make such a huge difference in Kenya.
For a number of years, Roedean has worked very closely with a number of local primary schools.
Currently, Roedean students in Years 9 and 10 go to St Mark’s Primary on a weekly basis to as part of the Reading Buddies scheme, where they listen to the younger primary children read, and our Sports Leaders programme, which involves our girls leading PE and Sports sessions. Ten Listening Buddies from all years at Roedean have also built very strong relationships with children at St Mark’s.
In addition, a small number of girls in Year 10 work closely with children with special educational needs at Downs View School, and they are also raising funds to buy additional equipment for the school.
Community Action Programme
All girls in Year 12 take part in the Community Action Programme (CAP), which is a high-quality community service and partnerships' programme. They have dedicated time for this on Wednesday afternoons, and it is extremely popular with the girls, who wish to contribute to the society in which they live.
This year, 75 girls have been undertaking volunteering programmes and community projects, and many have already indicated that they will be continuing with the projects next year when they are in Year 13.
Seven girls volunteered in local charity shops, twenty-five girls joined local primary schools to help with tasks varying from reading schemes to messy clubs, and some girls volunteered at nursing homes.
Other girls work on community projects, such as organising a Flash Conference to bring together people from the area to talk about the future, another group has been organising a series of activity days for under-privileged children, and a third worked with a local football club to organise their Christmas Fair, raising £500 for a disabled sports club.
The work the girls do is wonderful, and the feedback from many placements has been excellent; the girls’ contributions really do make a difference.
‘The school has developed strong links with the local community through schemes such as the Community Action Programme and the involvement of sixth formers in collaborative work with their peers in a local community school.’
ISI Inspection 2016
In the academic year 2017-2018, Roedean hosted the Roedean Academy to provide academic challenge and enrichment for girls in Years 10 and 11 from Roedean, Blatchington Mill School and Longhill High School. The students engaged in extension workshops, as well as taking masterclasses in areas beyond their GCSE specifications, such as coding, Russian, and Classics.
The project was a huge success and everyone involved enjoyed the challenge - as a result, the Roedean Academy will be repeated this academic year, and we hope that students from a wider group of local schools will be involved.
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Roedean and St Mark’s Primary have joined in a soft federation, so that the two schools can work together, and both with draw huge benefits from this partnership.
For many years, Roedean has worked with primary schools in the local community, but, rather than making a small difference to a number of schools, we decided to focus our efforts on one school in order to make a big impact.
In additional to the existing community volunteering projects, Roedean and St Mark’s will be working together on literacy, numeracy, EAL, reading projects, music and drama. We have no doubt that this partnership will be hugely rewarding for all those involved in both schools.
Roedean South Africa
Everyone at Roedean is delighted that we are forging a new and exciting partnership with our sister school in South Africa. The two schools were founded by sisters less than two decades apart, and the ethos of providing a quality education which is shared by both is very strong.
As part of a cultural tour to the UK, a party of students from Johannesburg visited Brighton in April 2018 - they were only with us for one day, but students from both schools made a great connections and they immediately began identifying the similarities and differences between the two schools.
This visit was a catalyst and both schools are very keen to establish an active and mutually beneficial partnership. As well as joint projects which will be on-going, we hope that in the near future there will be exchanges for both students and teachers, GAP year opportunities, and a variety of tours.
In November, about 20 students and staff from Roedean will travel to South Africa to represent the school as ambassadors, to plan the future projects and exchanges.
This is a wonderful and exciting opportunity, and we look forward to an enduring and hugely positive partnership.