Every year in March, Buckswood School hold an International Day as a means of celebrating the cultural diversity of a 420-strong student body from 50 different nations. Students set up stalls representing their respective countries in the sports hall, playing music, dressing in national costumes and selling traditional food – including Japanese sushi, Kazak cheese, German bratwurst and Latvian cake – to raise money for charity. This year £2,000 was raised and went to the Good Shepherd Hospital in Swaziland, which the school visits every year and which helps 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.
Headteacher Mark Redsell 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 the area in this respect; we have 200 local children who come in every day to study with 220 others from all around the world. They learn so much from each other and develop a truly global outlook and attitude towards the future. They see no borders or barriers, only opportunities to branch out into the world.”
The event was opened by Hastings mayor, Bruce Dowling, and deputy mayor, Judy Rogers.