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Summer holidays too long? Some trips last a lifetime

Non-teachers claim, with more than a hint of jealousy, that our summer holiday is too long – but look at all the great voluntary work that teachers and pupils will be doing

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“Who wants to spend the summer in one of South America’s poorest villages, sleeping in uncomfortable bunks in barrack-type huts, and spending burning-hot days helping to build a new school and children’s centre? Oh, and you have to leave your mobile phone at home!”

It’s the sort of offer I would expect our senior pupils to politely decline. Yet many were interested and more than a few have succeeded in jetting off, with new friends from other schools, for a summer of voluntary work projects in Ecuador, Peru and other destinations in the developing world.

One of my own pupils, just 16 years ...

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