Our Focus Week programme seeks to open up students’ eyes to the wider world around them so that they can better understand their place and their direction in life. This term we have already seen focus on Holocaust Memorial Day, Blue Monday and Stephen Hawking.

This week sees us focus on Red Hand Day for Child Soldiers which is an international awareness day to address the recruitment and exploitation of children in armed conflict. It is a day that we recognise thousands of children around the world are being used in armed groups as combatants, porters, messengers, and for other roles. Many are recruited by force, abducted while at school, or kidnapped from their homes.

Red Hand Day started on 12th February 2002 and has campaigned to stop the use of child soldiers are existing. Hundreds and thousands of handprints have been collected in more than 50 countries and handed over to politicians and to responsible parties, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. There is progress, but there are still 250,000 child soldiers in the world.

Students are encouraged to reflect on this day by completing the activities here and by thinking about how their life compares to those of their peers in some of the world’s more dangerous locations.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “It is easy to focus on the challenges of our own life but it is important to put one’s head above the parapet and check out the wider world. There are injustices that we need to be aware of and to oppose and if everyone takes that approach then the world will inevitably be a much better place.”