In an increasingly global context to the students’ education, the RGS has forged meaningful links with schools and organisations nationally and internationally. These initiatives, especially the partnership with the schools in Cambodia and Nepal, have served to increase the students’ understanding and experience of the world as well as providing scope for educational visits and projects.
International expeditions and trips also form a core part of each boy’s educational experience and help to raise each individual’s awareness of the contribution which they can make outside the walls of the RGS. This altruistic outlook is, and has been throughout its history, at the very heart of the School’s ethos. The trips are challenging and ambitious and are often one of the highlights of students’ memories of their school days: the camaraderie, the personal challenge and the enrichment mean the value of such experiences is an intrinsic part of each student’s development. Whether it is participating in adventurous expeditions in the Bavarian Alps or the Arctic Circle, performing concerts in cathedrals in Italy, playing rugby fixtures in South Africa or visiting Tunisia on a Classics trip, students have the chance to visit all corners of the globe, ensuring that the classroom is only the catalyst for their education.
The School’s links with Cambodia began with the construction of the RGS link school at Tiem Kram, Ratanakiri province in partnership with the charity, United World Schools, in Spring 2010.
This was entirely funded by the school community with their pantomime, Buttons Undone. Soon afterwards an expedition of 18 boys and two members of staff travelled out to teach in the school as part of a month-long expedition to the country. The expedition was a great success and was followed by a larger expedition of 24 boys and four members of staff in Summer 2013 and again in Summer 2015. Further fundraising has enabled the construction of a well and the addition of solar panels to the school. Another expedition is currently being organised for 2017, this time involving 36 boys and 6 members of staff.
The Cambodia partnership aims to benefit the poorest Cambodian children with educational summer camps run by RGS boys and to support the charity United World Schools in their work in Cambodia. Equally important is the personal development of RGS boys who develop their confidence and communication skills in fundraising for the expedition and then delivering lessons in a challenging environment. The local children speak no English, and many do not even speak the national Khmer language, so that the boys need to find other methods of communication to teach their lessons in logic, music, art and sport. Elsewhere in the month-long expedition, the boys learn about the troubled history of Cambodia and trek through the jungle, a real challenge in monsoon season. All boys who have travelled out to Cambodia have returned with greater self-belief, maturity and awareness, while leaving a lasting legacy in one of the poorest areas of Cambodia.
United World Schools have been selected by the RGS community as the school's international charity for 2015-16. It is hoped that the extra fundraising this will cause can be used to fund the building of a desperately needed additional classroom in Trem Kram.
In 2010, the RGS began its international partnership with two schools in Besisahar, Nepal.
The connection with the two schools, BhuPu Sainik Secondary School and Janabikas Government Secondary School, was formed through a connection with Old Guildfordian Alex Ewart. Alex worked in Besisahar during his gap year in 2004, before tragically losing his life in a white-water-rafting accident. The Alex Ewart Fund has since raised over £150,000 for the two schools helping them more than double in size, and changing the lives of many children in Besisahar. The aim of this mutual partnership is to offer both the Nepali and the RGS students an insight into another culture and become more globally aware. It gives the students an opportunity to complete joint projects on topics such as arranged marriages and water sustainability. Over the last three years, nine different RGS staff and two Nepali staff have visited the other school to establish further the partnership schools and explore how best to develop cross-cultural links and understanding between the schools.
The RGS and the Nepali schools have been awarded the British Council International School Award (ISA). This accreditation celebrates the international focus of the partnership and the efforts made to offer the students a more varied and global view of the world. Some of the activities which enabled the RGS to achieve this award were: joint planning with our partner schools; joint projects for the Second, Third and Fifth Forms; the introduction of House Kabaddi hosted both at the RGS and in Nepal; the establishment of the Nepal Society; PSHME global citizenship lessons and the successful continuation of Nepal Day. In addition, the partnership enables RGS boys to teach in the schools during their Gap Year and the School had its first three Old Guildfordians complete this three-month placement in 2012.
The Royal Grammar School, Guildford in Qatar is a new school to Doha, although it is part of a family of schools which has been delivering exceptional education for hundreds of years. We have a long and distinguished history of providing academic excellence in the UK, dating back to 1509, through the Royal Grammar School, Guildford and the equally prestigious Lanesborough Preparatory School, also located in Guildford.
At the invitation of the Minister for Education and the Al Qamra Group, our sponsors, we are delighted to be bringing the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, to Qatar, as part of Qatar’s Outstanding Schools programme. We are extremely proud of the education we deliver and are honored to be given the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Education in Qatar to support Qatar’s National Vision for Education 2030.
The outstanding academic performance of our schools is justifiably well known; however, what sets us apart from other high achieving schools in the UK, is the warm and purposeful atmosphere within which all of our students can develop as successful, creative learners. Our philosophy is to provide a happy and supportive learning environment, from which our pupils leave the RGS family as respectful, confident and accomplished individuals, well prepared to take on the challenges in the next chapter of their education.
The Royal Grammar School, Guildford in Qatar offers the extended British curriculum, developed by the RGS, along with the same opportunities, high standards and values for which our name has become synonymous. The school opened in September 2016 for children between three and six years of age. Please visit the website for further information.