Botswana Exchange 2017

Yesterday saw the conclusion of our 2017 British Council Connecting Classrooms exchange with Lotsane Senior Secondary School in Botswana.

Our guests, Head Teacher Mr Khangelani Tshebo, Guidance Teacher Mrs Lorato Semadi and Art Teacher Mr Justice Kgosana, along with ten students departed yesterday morning.

They were our guests for almost two weeks during which time they experienced so much. As well as important time in school attending classes, visiting departments and being actively involved in our community, the group also had wonderful visits. Highlights included the snow up on Cairngorm, the beach at Nairn (they are from a landlocked country), attending a Civic Reception at the Inverness Town House, Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle etc. They also took part in our bi-annual Fashion Show which once again helped us raise funds to support the exchange.

Thank you to everyone in school and in our community for supporting this important visit. Special thanks to the parents, staff and others in our community who hosted our visitors and made them feel welcome.

Plans are now well underway for our fifth visit to Botswana and Lotsane Senior Secondary School in June 2018.


Walk on the Wild Side Fashion Show


We had another successful Fashion Show for our Connecting Classrooms Botswana Fundraising last Thursday. Thank you to everyone who came along and supported us on the evening. We raised nearly £1400 on the evening through an excellent raffle supported by local businesses. We are grateful, as always, for the support of local retailers, and to Inverness College UHI who did all the hair and make up. Some photos from the evening below, together with a video clip of the staff performance.

Well done everyone.


Botswana Exchange 2017

At our S4/S5/S6 Assembly this morning we welcomed students and staff from our Connecting Classrooms Exchange School in Botswana. 10 Students and 3 staff arrived in Scotland on 18 March and will be attending classes and visiting parts of the Highlands up until their departure on 30 March. This year we welcomed the new Head teacher of Lotsane Senior Secondary School, Mr Khangelani Tshebo, Mrs Lorato Semadi from their Guidance Department who coordinates their exchange programme, and Mr Justice Kgosana from the Art Department.

This hugely successful exchange programme is now in its eighth year, having began in 2010. It is the most successful exchange programme for any school in Botswana. Plans are already underway for our visit to Botswana in 2018, which will be our fifth, following previous visits in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.

While the staff and students are here they will be attending normal classes at Charleston Academy. We also have a few other events planned. On Tuesday (today) they visited Cairngorm and Highland Wildlife Park. Tomorrow, Wednesday they are special guests at Inverness Town House where the Provost will host a special lunch for our visitors. On Thursday one of the highlights of the visit will be our “Walk on the Wild Side” Fashion Show.

We are ever grateful for the hard work behind the scenes of our Global Exchange Committee headed by Mrs Mairi Sutherland and of course to the families and staff who host our visitors and provide a warm welcome for their stay in Scotland.

Walk on the Wild Side Fashion Show

Our cultural and educational exchange with Lotsane Senior Secondary School continues. 10 students arrive on 18 March and will be with us on school until 30 March. During that time staff and students will be attending classes in Charleston Academy. A number of other events are also planned for our visitors when they are here:

  • Tuesday 21: Welcome Assembly (S4, S5 and S6)
  • Tuesday 21: Trip to Cairngorms and Highland Wildlife Park
  • Wednesday 22: Civic Reception at the Town House hosted by the Provost
  • Thursday 23: Walk on the Wild Side Fashion Show
  • Monday 27: Trip to Culloden Battlefield and Fort George
  • Tuesday 28: Visit to Urquhart Castle courtesy of Jacobite Cruises

One of the major highlights is our “Into the Wild Fashion Show” which will involve a staff star turn as usual – watch this space. At this we also have a fantastic raffle to raise funds for the exchange programme. Prizes this year include:

  • 2 x weekend tickets for Belladrum
  • Three Course Lunch for 2 at Rocpool Reserve
  • Four Ball at Strathpeffer Golf Club
  • Afternoon Tea for 2 at Loch Ness Country House Hotel
  • £20 Voucher for Old North Inn
  • Meal Voucher for the Ness Deli
  • Bottle of Glenwyvis Gin, Wines and Prossecco
  • Marks & Spencer Vouchers

Be sure to get your tickets for the Fashion Show and Raffle early – this is always a sell out event.


Botswana 2016 and…2018!

At House Assemblies this week students have seen the excellent video below with highlights of our Global Exchange trip to Botswana this summer. We are also soon going to announce details of our next trip there…in 2018. Watch this space.

We’ve also confirmed arrangements for our Sponsored Walk which will take place on Tuesday 20 September. Students will soon receive sponsor forms and we appeal once again for help from our community to ensure the huge range of extra curricular activities and much more at Charleston Academy can continue. See the 2014 video HERE and the 2015 Video HERE.


Well done to Lewis Hilditch, with his Go-Pro, for producing the video below.



Lewis Hilditch (6K2)
Lewis Hilditch (6K2)








Botswana 2016 Begins

Preparations for our fourth Connecting Classrooms Global Exchange trip to Botswana are now underway. Over thirty students and five staff will be heading to Botswana at the end of June to visit our partner school, Lotsane Senior Secondary School, in Palapye in Central Botswana.

While there, students and staff will spend three days working in school as part of our cultural exchange. We will also be visiting the local Maternity Hospital with donations of knitting and other goods that are much needed and we will be taking over. We will visit, work and support an AIDS orphanage in Palapye and later will also visit a primary school in Kasane in the north of Botswana. Our itinerary is now final.

Today students and staff received their own “allowance” of knitting and other donations that we are bringing over. Students must share these and pack them into their own limited luggage allowance to take. Students also received their House T shirts that will be their school dress code in Lotsane Senior Secondary. Everyone is now really excited to be in the final stages of preparation after two years of planning.

Botswana Fundraising in Tesco

Preparations for our fourth Connecting Classrooms Exchange trip to Botswana are almost final. Our first visit took place in 2010, and we’ve taken groups of over 30 pupils back to Botswana every two years since.

Our visits to Botswana are supported by the British Council Connecting Classrooms Programme. We camp in designated camp sites, go wild camping in the Kalahari, head out on numerous fascinating safaris, and visit Zimbabwe and the Victoria Falls. Our Cultural Exchange also involves work with our partner school, Lotsane Senior Secondary School. In 2010 we provided an electric wheelchair for a student whose scoliosis operation was unsuccessful. In 2012 we assisted with improving sanitary conditions in the girls dorms. In 2014 we worked to support the local maternity hospital, an AIDS orphanage, and a Primary School in Kasane. This year we will continue to support these.

Pupils pay for most of the visit themselves. Our fundraising supports the communities we help in Botswana and assists in funding reciprocal visits for students and staff from Palapye who visit Charleston every two years.

Our fundraising today has raised over £800 with more still to be counted. Students and staff aimed to cycle 500 miles today – the distance from the Botswana border into Palapye. Thank you to everyone who helped us out today. Your support is really appreciated. Read more about our Connecting Classrooms HERE.


On Safari – Botswana Fundraising

Well done everyone. Final Total is £1218.78! Full list of Raffle Prize Winners HERE.

Our 2016 Exchange with Palapye Senior Secondary School in Botswana takes place in late June and early July this year. Pupils going on the trip fund themselves. However we also fundraise to be able to support various projects in Botswana when we are there, and to be able to support the reciprocal visits of students and staff from Botswana when they visit Scotland.

Today we’ve had a dress down day for Botswana. The theme this year is “On Safari”. Along with this we have had a bake sale and raffle too.

Later in April we will also be fundraising at Tesco-Extra Inverness in order to support our work with the local hospital in Palapye, the orphanage there, and a primary school in Kasane near the Victoria Falls. It’s been a huge team effort with many staff and pupils involved in this Global Exchange project, past, present and future, helping out.

Thank you to everyone participating and contributing.

Into the Wild: Fashion Show 2015

We finished last term with another hugely successful sell-out fashion show. A huge commitment from many staff and students over the past few months saw the hall full for this fantastic fundraising event for our Connecting Classrooms Global Exchange. It was a great way to end the term, a fantastic send-off for our visitors from Lotsane and a great fundraiser for our Connecting Classrooms exchange programme.

The video contains highlights from our show which used commercially available music. We hold the appropriate entertainment license for this. However, in recognising this licence Google and YouTube may place adverts on the stream that are completely out with our control. Click [X] to close.



All our Videos are available on this website or on our YouTube Channel.

Farewell Lotsane Students and Staff

Our guests from Lotsane Senior Secondary school are on their way back to Botswana after a fantastic two weeks. Following a hugely successful Fashion Show on Wednesday evening, our friends departed for Aberdeen Airport early this morning. We wish them a safe journey back and we have our 2016 visit to Botswana to look forward to. A video of highlights from the Fashion Show is now available.


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