At Thorpe House we are very focused on educating pupils in every sense of the word. As well as the more obvious aspects of education, we spend a lot of time teaching the boys about how to live their lives in a way that is respectful of others. At the most basic level this involves teaching them about manners and being kind to one another. However, we also teach them to think about those who are less fortunate than themselves and to value the material things that they personally own.
One of the most important ways we do this is through encouraging the boys to give and to raise money for charitable causes throughout the year.
Every year we adopt a number of main charities to support - each of the senior houses chooses their own chairity and the Junior School and Pre-Prep choose their own. The Senior and Junior Schools hold a Charities Week in October and the Pre-Prep in February and these always raise several thousand pounds for the charities. We try to vary the type of charities we adopt from year to year so that the boys become aware of the different types of worthy cause which they should be aiming to help. This year to date we are supporting Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, NSPCC, Mary's Meals, YMCA, Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance, Care Highway and Child of Sierra Leone
Most years we support Jeans for Genes by holding a Mufti Day, and we annually take part in The Royal British Legion Appeal through the Poppy Day appeal and the Breast Cancer Appeal by selling pink badges. We provide food for the homeless in Slough and London through our Harvest Festival collection. We often send Christmas boxes to disadvantaged children in Eastern Europe and the Middle East through supporting the Love in a Box appeal and try to raise a substantial sum for an annual nominated charity through the collection after our Carol Service and Christmas Concerts. This year we raised over £1000 for the YMCA homeless teenager appeal.
One of the strongest things we do is to respond to disasters that happen throughout the world. The boys are very keen to do whatever they can to help and in many cases all that is practical is to raise funds to send off which is, of course, better than doing nothing at all. During the disaster in Haiti our boys raised over £2,000 by arranging a number of different fund-raising activities. During the Tsunami of 2005 they raised over £3,000.
In a typical year the school will raise well over £15,000 to donate to charity, sometimes much more. We do not get complacent and always want to do better so our boys hopefully grow up learning that helping others in whatever way is possible is the right way to live their lives.