The Project

This is a project to provide a unique experience to pupils of Quarrydale Academy, that will be life changing,

give them experience of a different culture and help develop skills such as teamwork, communication, and independence that will then benefit them in the future.


The purpose

To provide a unique experience to pupils of Quarrydale Academy, that will be life changing, give them experience of a different culture and help develop skills such as teamwork, communication, and independence that will then benefit them both immediately when applying to university courses and jobs but also in the future.

The Vision

As stated the vision is to provide a unique experience to pupils of Quarrydale Academy, that will be life changing, eye opening and give them experience of a different culture. The long term vision is to increase the number of pupils going each year and expand the experience to involve the whole of the 6th form. To this end in the first two years the trip was only offered to year 13 pupils with 4 chosen to go in the first year and 6 in the second year. Now in the third year 8 pupils are going and they have been selected from both year 12 and year 13. 

The future of the trip is to continue increasing the numbers we take each time until arriving at a manageable number, when this happens a decision will have to be made. The decision will depend on the numbers going on the trip and the numbers applying, if the numbers going on the trip allows a sufficient number of pupils in the 6th form to have an opportunity to participate then we will continue to run just one trip a year. However if there is the demand then the possibility of doing two trips will have to be explored. Part of the vision has always been to give other staff members the opportunity to take part in such a trip with a view to inspiring them to take part or even lead future trips and events to any area in the UK or abroad, and so each year a different member of staff has come on the trip. Also it builds up a team that could continue this project if I ever move on from Quarrydale.


As with all projects it costs money. The pupils who chose to go on the trip have to agree that they will find the whole cost of the trip, which in the past years has varied between £1000 - £1200 often depending on the cost of the flights which is the biggest single item. However the catchment area of Quarrydale school suffers from the legacy of the erosion of the mining and textiles industries, with two former mines and attendant housing stock in the catchment area of the school.The District of Ashfield, in which the school is situated, is also among the 50 most deprived Super Output Areas (SOAs) in the UK and in the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). The wards from which pupils are drawn are amongst the most deprived wards in the county.

Due to this we do attempt to help the pupils fundraise as much of the cost as possible and the pupils themselves take part and organise many fundraising events on their own and as part of the team, but any extra assistance is always welcome be that a financial donation or a gift in kind that could be added to a raffle. This extra assistance, especially with regard to the desire to increase the numbers of pupils who can take part in the experience, is invaluable and appreciated as present funding sources (which are brilliant and very supportive) can only cover so much of the cost and with more pupils going this is spread out more. Therefore we would be grateful for any assistance you could give.

Contact details

Mark West Tel: 01623 554178 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The background

I was born and raised in India till I was 12 years of age giving me a passion for the country. Also while I was at school some of my most memorable occasions were the trips that staff organised and gave up their time to take us on, so when I came into teaching I wanted to provide pupils with such opportunities as I believe they enhance and develop young people giving them a broader education. During my first years in teaching I help organise and run a number of trips within the UK and found them rewarding for both pupils and staff. Then in 2004 I met Emmanuel and Deevena who were in this country trying to raise interest in the orphanage they ran in India (details of this project and its history and vision are included in a separate report). In 2010 I had the opportunity to visit the orphanage and school myself and this is where the idea of ‘Quarrydale goes to India’ began, because when on this visit wherever I went I kept thinking how wonderful it would be for the pupils from Quarrydale to experience such a culture and place. Therefore when I came back I started planning the first trip which went out in 2012.


The trip has had an impact on the pupils and staff who have been. In the 1st year the trip definitely helped two of the pupils secure places on their respective courses after 6th form. Lauren, who secured a place on the Barclays graduate training scheme, was specifically told in her feedback from the interview that the trip to India gave her a distinct advantage over the other applicants because she had something different and interesting to talk about and discuss at the interview. Ellie-Jay, who was offered a place on Primary Education Bed course was also given similar feedback with the addition that the extra experience gained by being involved in teaching in the Indian school also enhanced her application and helped secure her place. All the pupils and staff who have gone on the trip over the past two years have all come back and said they thought it was excellent and would go again. Below are just a selection of their quotes, taken from reports the pupils have to write when they come back from the trip.

Seeing how genuinely happy and grateful they all were about everything when they had virtually nothing, never again will I moan if I haven’t got my favourite chocolate bar in the kitchen cupboard.

I can’t think of any words to describe how I felt when I said my final goodbyes, it was a good job that I had packed plenty of tissues.

I know it sounds cheesy but the trip has changed my life, how I view things and what I want to do in the future. It was a completely different world to ours and they must be some of the nicest people I will ever get to meet.

If somebody gave me the opportunity to get on a plane tomorrow to go and see them all again I would jump at the chance!

This experience does not only benefit the people that go, it affects the whole school, as by conducting assemblies about the trip after returning, it will raise awareness of other cultures around the world and hopefully inspire many others to go travelling and get involved in this type of experience.

Not only has this trip made me a more confident person, who now wants to travel to as many places as possible to do this type of thing, it has helped me grow as an individual. I feel that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the experiences and life lessons you get from it are irreplaceable

All these trips including the beach were very different to our lifestyle and were an experience that will never be forgotten.

From going on this trip I have learnt so many new skills 

The trip from start to finish was amazing and discussing as a group we would definitely revisit, it was a life changing experience which made you take a step back and realise as a person how lucky you are.

It has been such a life changing experience for all involved

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