The Red Maids’ School Expedition, 2013

Art lessons at UWS Jong School, lead by the Red Maids' group.

Art lessons at UWS Jong School, lead by the Red Maids’ group.

In July, 16 Sixth Form pupils from Red Maids’ School, Bristol, undertook a 3 week expedition to Cambodia in conjunction with UWS. Red Maids’ School raised the money to build a school in Jong village in Ratanakiri, Cambodia, and this was the first expedition by the pupils to visit Jong, alongside other UWS Cambodia schools.

The pupils split into 2 teams and visited 6 schools. At each school the team undertook 3 days of teaching, covering lessons in Art, Logic, Music and Sport. Despite all their meticulous lesson planning, the first lesson the volunteers themselves had to learn was – things don’t go as planned in a jungle with a language barrier! The skills of adaptability, teamwork and leadership were put to the test and the Red Maids’ students rose to the challenge.

As a result of the trip, the students are undertaking IB Extended Essays and their Extended Project Qualifications on topics such as “The impact of education in a post-conflict nation”.

The volunteers conducted first hand research by interviewing village chiefs and UWS Cambodia staff, reflecting upon their lessons and the unavoidable view of the rapidly deforested landscape.

As the chief at the Red Maids’ partner school at Jong said: “There will be lots of changes and education is the only way to be prepared for it”.

Jon Cooper“I always knew that UWS would provide for our pupils an excellent and superbly organised experience, but in fact they provided so much more. I simply cannot imagine a school trip with more genuine educational value and personal character building”
– Jon Cooper, Red Maids’ teacher and Expedition leader


“Pupils in all years had raised money for Jong school and we all felt part of the project but actually going there and teaching made it all real. Jong school really is now part of Red Maids’ and we will give even more energy to the project now we’ve seen the impact first hand!”
– Milly, Red Maids’ volunteer

Read more about the trip on the Red Maids’ School web site.