If you want a life changing experience – visit India! From the moment you step off the plane, you are immersed in another culture. The sounds, smells and sights are something to behold. The people are friendly and the colours and culture are amazing.
In 2016, Graeme Irwin, Darren Cox and Margaret Pond travelled to India with the aim of developing a sister school relationship with one of the Paramjyoti group of schools.
After meeting with Joshua and Esther Komanapalli, an instant connection was formed with the Red Bridge Campus in Amalapuram.
From the minute we arrived, we were welcomed with open arms and enjoyed a multitude of rich and diverse experiences. We visited some of the children’s homes, hospitals and other facilities run by Manna Ministries.
Joshua and Esther are dynamic people who have taken over the incredible work that their family started over 30 years ago. It is our joy and privilege to work alongside them.
St Philip’s Christian College Cessnock is committed to working closely and supporting the staff and students at the Red Bridge School.
Each year we send three different teams to India to assist them in bringing their school into the 21st century style of learning. The Red Bridge School relies heavily on a textbook approach to education and our aim is to demonstrate that a combination of explicit teaching and inquiry based learning engages students and provides them with opportunities to thrive for the whole of their life.
Teams from St Philip’s Christian College Cessnock visit the Red Bridge Campus for different purposes.
- March – The team works predominantly in the classroom alongside teachers. A combination of demonstration lessons, team teaching and lesson observations assist in implementing new ideas and ways of teaching. Our team also runs Professional Development sessions for teachers to further assist them in learning new teaching strategies.
- August – Our team presents at their Annual Teacher’s Conference. Our staff speak on a range of topics and offer professional development for the leaders at the school.
- September – A team of staff and students visit India to assist at the Red Bridge Campus, the Children’s Home in Black Bridge and be immersed in the Indian culture. This is a challenging but extremely rewarding experience. Our students return changed for the better after living and working amongst some of the world’s most needy children, making a positive difference in their lives.
The staff in India are so welcoming and appreciative of the relationship our schools share.
They have embraced the new ideas we have presented and put them into practice.
The students greatly appreciate the differences and radical changes that the staff have made and are now actively engaged in learning.
It is our desire to bring staff from India to our school in Australia so they can see first hand our approach to education.
We continue develop and build relationships with our sister school in India by running Skype sessions with staff and students, email and post resources and look for other meaningful service learning opportunities. We look forward to continuing and strengthening our relationships in the coming years.
Mrs Margaret Pond
Head of Junior School