This summer six Year 11 students from St Saviour’s and St Olave’s School, Ms Bere and Rev Imogen spent a week at the Taizé Community in France. Taizé is a Christian Community where young people from all over the world can go to join in with community life, meet new friends, to connect with God and find a sense of peace and direction in life.
The students met people from Germany, Austria, Ireland, Sweden, Zimbabwe, Peru and many other countries, and although the diversity of everyone’s origins were clear at the start of the week, by the end of their stay all children enjoyed a real sense of connection through conversations, having fun and worshipping together.
“Taizé was an amazing journey to have been able to experience both physically and emotionally,” one Year 11 student said. “A lot of friendships were strengthened and created through group activities and adventures. Also, through the easy access to nature within surroundings. I believe whether Christian or not, Taizé is a journey that most people should experience to find themselves, and have a deepened understanding of the world around us. As in life it is essential to know how and why certain things occur – to discover truth.”
Other summer outings this year included a trip to The Freud Museum in Hampstead for Year 12 pupils, and a separate opportunity for two groups to attend the National Psychology Competition which was held at Royal Holloway University in Egham, Surrey. In the weeks preceding the competition, both groups had to produce an A1 poster and a 3-minute video centred around this year’s question of ‘How can psychology be used to promote equality and greater acceptance of diversity’.
But Year 11 students were not the only ones to enjoy European travel this year. Year 10 students visited Barcelona, where they met and talked with locals and visited sites of cultural significance.
“My experience in Barcelona was beyond mind-blowing. I had such an amazing time with my classmates and teachers that time flew so fast… My favourite part about the trip was interviewing people in Barcelona and communicating with them in Spanish,” said Year 10 pupil Anjumara.