Charity plays an increasing role in school life at MCS. Each year, the school votes to select a local charity to support alongside our partnership school in Uganda, and every year group is involved in fundraising.
The school’s charity committee organises regular events to raise money and to boost engagement across the school. Numerous staff and students take the initiative to do their own fundraising: from sponsored marathons, macarenas, and unicycle rides, to staff concerts, pupil-led talent shows, and House quizzes. Charity at MCS is varied and exciting.
Over the year, we welcome representatives from our charities to speak in Chapel, which helps to promote the charities’ vital work. In addition to the money donated for the school’s charities, each Christmas every Houseroom collects a box of the items urgently needed by Homeless Oxfordshire over the winter months – a much-needed reminder for us all of the basic items that so many people go without.
Through sustained support for our elected charities and the promotion of voluntary work, we hope to instill in our pupils an awareness of the importance of supporting the wider community and to develop in them a desire to be involved in socially conscious action, both in life at school and in their lives beyond.
Magdalen College School has a long history of supporting the work of charities close to its heart, and is delighted to have launched a partnership with Mustardseed Junior School in Sentema, Uganda.
Mustardseed Junior School was conceived by two friends: Kenneth Buwule, a Ugandan school teacher, book editor and postgraduate scholar of peace and conflict resolution, and John Caird, a British writer and theatre director (and MCS alumnus) whose work has been performed all around the world. Kenneth and John share a deep sense of care for the health of the world in ecological and educational terms.
The name of the school is taken from the parable of the Mustardseed. If you plant even the smallest of seeds in fertile ground, it can grow into a mighty tree that will provide a home for the birds of the air to make their nests and raise their young. Mustardseed’s mission is to provide an inspirational and practical education for young children, encouraging them to flourish and prosper in Uganda and the wider world.
Fostering a creative relationship between one of the oldest schools in England and one of the newest in Uganda will offer both student communities wonderful opportunities to learn about each other’s cultures.
Mustardseed will be designed, built and maintained as an eco-sustainable school in a richly bio-diverse environment. Phase one of the building process includes kindergarten and primary classrooms, an administration building with library, IT facilities and sickbay, a playground, a football pitch, an outdoor amphitheatre and a school farm. The architect is Felix Holland of StudioFH in Kampala, whose innovative, ecological and economical designs have helped transform communities all round East Africa.