Visiting Romanian students witness outstanding education at Tupton Hall School
Art students from Targu Mures in Romania visited Tupton Hall School as part of their trip to England. The three post-16 students, Dana, Diana and Helga, were winners of an art competition held in their home town. The competition had been organised by Aurel Sabin Rusu, a senior Romanian citizen who was instrumental in facilitating the adoption of a number of Romanian orphans in the late 1990s by British parents. In addition to celebrating the place of art in young people’s learning the competition aims to compare education in England with that in a former communist country.
For the students with no idea of English culture or the English school, it was a wonderful experience. They had the opportunity to tour Tupton Hall School, speak with English students their own age and talk to members of Tupton’s staff.
Of their visit, Dana, who has aspirations to become a graphic designer remarked: “Tupton Hall School is fantastic! I would come here without thinking twice. The teachers and students are kind friendly and made me feel at home. I was impressed by the way the school supports its students. In Romania we have no Student Services nor do we have the support from teachers and other staff if we have difficulties in our studies. We only have one small room of computers and we have no uniform.”
Helga, the youngest of the three students, aged 17, speaks four languages and comes from a family that has a Hungarian heritage. She wants to become an architect when she leaves university. She commented that: “The work I saw was varied, outstanding and of a very high standard. I am impressed by the standard of work on display in the classrooms and around the school. The younger children we saw in an art lesson were allowed to express themselves as individuals. They were all being helped to achieve and not told that their work was wrong requiring them to start over again.”
Diana, who also wishes to become an architect, commented that: “…the students were all treated as adults and are allowed to be independent…”
It is hoped that this visit will become the first of many and may serve as the foundation for an educational exchange partnership for the future.
Those involved in organising the visit wish to thank Mr Knowles, Head of Expressive Arts Miss Dana and the staff for their hospitality, making the visitors welcome and for sharing the school’s outstanding art work. The visitors were very appreciative of the very special experience that they had and the mementos that they were given to take back to Romania.
By D W Spencer
Former Headteacher of Heritage High School, Clowne.