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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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Ghana, April 2017

On Wednesday 5 April 2017 twenty-five pupils in Year 10 and four members of staff, including Headteacher, Chiquita Henson, will travel to Woe in Ghana to volunteer in two local schools, Rhema Abutia and Dedzidi Community School. Members of the team will be volunteering for two weeks as ‘teachers’, teaching assistants, community builders and sports leaders.

‘I am looking forward to working with the children and going on the adventure weekend.’ Neve

‘I am looking forward to volunteering at the school and learning new skills in teaching and working with new people in an environment I am not used to.’ Simon

‘One thing I want to achieve is to teach three, and hopefully more, important and fun facts to the children in Ghana. The one thing I feel very apprehensive about is how everyone else and I will entertain ourselves on the four plane journeys we will be going on.’ Amy

Miss Bluett, Geography teacher, is very excited about being a member of our volunteer team and she will use her visit as an opportunity to develop our Year 9 scheme of learning which currently focuses on Ghana. She will certainly see both physical and human Geography in action: the team will be staying in a coastal area on a spit between the Atlantic Ocean and a lagoon.

I am really looking forward to immersing myself in the local cultures and ways of life in Ghana and seeing how these interact with the natural environment. I relish the prospect of teaching our volunteers as well as the local children about the processes we encounter during the trip but also being able to use our experiences in Geography lessons on our return. In this way, the trip will benefit a number of pupils across the school in addition to our volunteers.

Miss Bluett, Geography teacher


Ghana 2017 team

The team have been actively preparing for this experience over the last 12 months. Chiquita Henson, Headteacher, originally set our volunteers three targets:

  • to raise the money to pay for the bus to and from the airport;
  • to raise at least 50% of their own costs;
  • to raise 10% of the total cost of the trip for the whole team. 

As individuals, members of our Ghana team have been very creative and enterprising:

‘In preparation for our trip I raised 60% of the cost by doing a sponsored bungee jump. I am looking forward to getting to see what life is like there and experiencing their culture.’ Lili

‘I have raised 100% of the trip cost by completing a 1000 mile run and cycle over six months.’ Sam

‘I have raised most of the cost by hiring out our car parking space. I am looking forward to being able to appreciate where we go to school and the opportunities we get.’ Kate

‘I am looking forward to experiencing Ghana’s culture first hand. I raised all of the money for my trip through working in a kitchen every week and donations.’ Gus



I have been impressed by the commitment that members of the team have shown.

As a result of collective and personal endeavour the pupils have not only met, but exceeded these targets. By working together with the support of their parents and staff, they have raised over £9,000 through cake sales, a promises auction and quiz night, a band and curry evening and donations and this has helped subsidise our costs. It has also made this trip accessible to those who might not otherwise have been able to take part.

I am looking forward to travelling and working alongside this resilient and resourceful group of young people. 


Chiquita Henson, Headteacher

Furthermore, the team have received support from Alex Cars, D&J Sports and GH Knight the Stationer. Following an approach by one team member, the Powells’ Education Foundation have made a very generous donation in support of the whole team’s trip. St James’s Place have donated £500 to the African Adventures Foundation - this money has been ring-fenced and our volunteer team will be able to determine how and where this will be spent once they are in Woe and have assessed their projects’ needs with the community.

Headteacher, Chiquita Henson, is leading our inclusive volunteer team and, like other members of the group, she is excited by the itinerary African Adventures have put together.

On arrival at Accra, the team will travel to the projects. After our welcome and orientation on Thursday 6 April and a full day’s volunteering on Friday 7 April, the team will embark on a weekend adventure to the Cape Coast where they will have the opportunity to visit the ‘Gate of No Return’, dine with crocodiles and complete a tree top canopy walk. Our activities in the following week will focus on volunteering in our projects and we have been invited to participate in the local Easter celebrations over the Bank Holiday weekend!

african adventures

Ghana flag

Our ‘teachers’ and teaching assistants have been busy preparing activities for the children in our project schools and our community builders have practised using tools and expect to contribute to the construction of new classrooms and a canteen.

‘I am looking forward to learning construction skills and being able to use them in a positive way.’ Ollie

ghana hostel
Our hostel

‘I am looking forward to building a school and growing in physical strength and mental determination.’ Louis 

ghana school
One of our project schools

In their ‘spare time’ our volunteers will have the additional opportunity to contribute to the local community as sports’ leaders. Members of the team are looking forward to organising activities and are going prepared with equipment which will enable them to introduce rugby, five-a-side football and playground games. They will undoubtedly be challenged to a match by the local team! In return our hosts will teach us about their culture and our team will learn to play the drums and dance to African rhythms.

‘Whilst in Ghana I wish to teach the local children rugby successfully in order to broaden their perspectives.’ Elliot

 ‘I am looking forward to teaching my favourite sport, rugby, to the local children and playing the game with them, I hope to learn new skills.’ Tom

On their return members of our Ghana team will be sharing their experiences by leading assemblies as a part of our RP, Citizenship and PSHEe Faculty in Focus programme.

I am really looking forward to experiencing everything that Ghana has to offer. I love discovering new cultures, meeting new people and making new friends. This should be an amazing experience and I can’t wait!

Mr Broussine, RP, Citizenship and PSHEe teacher