Olympic role for Rossett pupils

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Teenagers from Harrogate’s Rossett School will be playing a part in the Olympics opening ceremony in London this week thanks to links forged during a four-day trip to North Africa earlier this year.

The students from Year 8 and Year 9 visited a school in Morocco as part of the wider Connecting Classrooms initiative led by the British Council.

The visit included memorable trips to famous landmarks and attractions including The Dar Si Said Museum, Jamaa El Fnaa Square and the famous souks in Marrakech.

Pupils also enjoyed a trip to the Argon Cooperative and the local Tannery, in Taroudant to learn how Argon oil and leather are produced.

As well as having to acclimatise to the Saharan heat, the Rossett party were fascinated by the differences in culture, spending time at the Hassan Ben Tabet School primary school in one of the country’s poorer areas on the outskirts of Taroudant.

“Many African traditions and society are very different to what we’re used to but the visit also helped to remind us how lucky we are to have access to the basics such as pens, pencils and books,” said Rossett’s Katherine Hair.

“Some of the schools may not have some of the things we take for granted, but everyone was really friendly and made us feel at home and we hope we can offer the same hospitality if Moroccan pupils make the trip to the UK.

“We will certainly be working to strengthen the links between us and our host schools in Taroudant and we’ll be doing what we can in Yorkshire to raise money to help the primary school they introduced us to with some of the basics they were missing.”

However, the special relationship will also be reflected in this week’s trip to the Olympic stadium when the students will form an honour guard for the Moroccan athletes after Rossett was chosen to be part of the event for incorporating Olympic values into the school’s life and curriculum.