Every year in March, Buckswood School holds an ‘International Day’ which is a colourful celebration of the school’s cultural diversity and with over 420 students from 50 different nations, the afternoon is filled with sights, sounds, flavours and costumes from around the world.
Throughout the rest of the year, the student body is one where everyone is equal and is part of the Buckswood family, one recent Ofsted inspector said “Boarders say they do not experience or witness any form of racism. The Governments of different nations may not get on, but at Buckswood they do.”
The Buckswood sports hall was overtaken by the students who held stalls to represent their country, decorating it with their national colours and flags, playing music, dressing in their national costumes and selling traditional food from their country to raise money for charity. This year’s charity was the Good Sheperd Hospital in Swaziland, which the school visit every year to see the good work carried out there to help families devastated by AIDS.
The charity was chosen so that the students would get the opportunity to see first-hand the difference their efforts would make when they visit Swaziland in the summer. This year’s event was a success as the students raised £2000.
Mark Redsell, Headteacher, said: “International Day is always an enlightening event in every sense. For the rest of the year, we are one school and are blind to race, colour and background, but on International Day the school is a blaze of colour in celebration of our diversity. I think Buckswood is unique in this respect in the area, we have 200 local children who come in every day to study with 220 others from all round the world. They learn so much from each other and develop a truly global outlook and attitude towards the future. They see no boarders, or barriers, only opportunities to branch out into the world”.
International Day is also the only day of the academic year that the dining hall does not serve lunch, students get to ‘taste their way around the world’ with delights such as Japanese sushi, Kazak cheese, German bratwurst and Latvian cake. The event was opened by Hastings Mayor, Bruce Dowling and Deputy Mayor, Judy Rogers who enjoyed finding out more about Buckswood and meeting students.