Development Direct has facilitated links with a number of schools in predominantly Kenya and Tanzania. Some of these links, such as Ponteland Community Middle School’s link with Wanga Primary School in Kenya, have been sustained over a number of years. Sustainable links are essential for the success of any school linking project and we encourage a whole school approach to ensure longevity.
We continue to receive requests from schools in Kenya and Tanzania to find suitable partners. Please contact us if you would like to take up the opportunity of linking schools through Development Direct.
Belsay and Mbita Primary
A reciprocal visit early in the partnership between Mbita Primary and Belsay Primary was key in the development of ongoing and beneficial communication and relationships between staff in the two schools. The varied shared project work was seen as important for both schools and after a short hiatus, due to changes in staffing, the two schools are committed to developing links further through shared project work and hopefully further exchange visits.
Both schools believe that through this link their pupils and staff benefit enormously through the sharing of expertise in both directions and in the broadening of understandings about global themes, particularly.
Ponteland and Wanga
Ponteland and Wanga Primary in Kenya have been linked for more than 10 years. They represent a sustainable and lasting link which has continued despite changes in staff in both schools. It demonstrates the importance of a whole school approach to linking. Visits have taken place between the schools and a wealth of project work has been exchanged. This has allowed pupils and staff to learn more about each other’s lives and share a range of teaching practices. Pupils have exchanged letters where they have been able to ask questions of each other. Projects have included acrostics to describe their localities and pie charts to compare lifestyles. Health issues have been included in a variety of ways, from making puppets to tell stories to watching extracts from the Kenyan soap ‘Makutano Junction’. The latest sharing of ideas has been the use of drama in schools.
Stamfordham and Sunshine
Three UK schools and three Kenyan schools joined together to make a cluster of linked schools. This was a wonderful opportunity for us all to work together to share ideas and project work. The link has been active for 3 years now. One of our projects was all about Flat Stanley and engaged pupils in both schools. It provided a wonderful opportunity for pupils to find out about lives in different countries. Reciprocal visits made the link even more meaningful and sustainable.
Darras Hall and Shalom
The link between these two very different schools started almost three years ago when a member of the Darras Hall community visited Kenya. This link has continued to grow and the reciprocal visits in 2015 made a lasting impression. Topic work has been exchanged and the theme of Our Environment allowed all pupils to look closely at where they live and the kinds of flora and fauna that they can see in their locality.
Mowbray and Oblawanda
Mowbray, North Yorkshire and Oblawanda, Western Kenya are both schools for pupils with special needs but set in very different contexts. The link between the schools has remained strong and several visits have taken place. The Keyhole School Garden Project has been a major project for both schools. Key skills have been taught in both schools and it was very rewarding to see that the single Keyhole Garden started at Oblawanda developed into a much bigger project, creating several such gardens so that crops could be planted at different times to produce vegetables on a regular basis. Development Direct has recently funded materials for the pupils at Oblawanda to learn some basic trades such as sewing and woodwork. Making bead bracelets and necklaces has been introduced and provides a modest income. Such skills should hopefully open doors to employment when the pupils leave the school.
Regent Farm and Mercy
The friendship between these two schools has been thriving for over 12 months now – and is set to grow even stronger. One is based in a remote rural location on the shores of Lake Victoria and the other in an urban area in North East England – but this contrast makes for an exciting and mutually beneficial relationship.
The important exchange of pupils’ work, letters and photos continues. Through this, staff and pupils are learning about each other’s everyday life and culture. They really enjoy this and it’s clear that it is opening up their worlds in a way that won’t be forgotten! Also both schools now have great display boards that showcase the partnership and keep it fresh in everyone’s minds.
Regent Farm First School is also very committed to supporting Mercy’s development in any way they can. In the summer term the School Council came up with the idea of sponsored sports events to raise funds for much-needed classroom furniture at Mercy. Good chairs and tables do make a real difference to how well children learn. Thanks to the support of parents, teachers and all pupils, the original target was exceeded and over £600 was raised! In schools in developed countries we take good desks and chairs for granted, but at Mercy some of the pupils now have comfortable chairs and a flat desk surface for the first time.
Throckley and Brainstone
In the first year of establishing their partnership, Throckley Primary and Brainstone Academy have exchanged background information, photos and books of pupils’ letter and drawings from one class in each school. Leaders and staff in both schools are enthusiastic about the link and the plan is now to extend the activity to the whole school with all classes participating. Everyone is positive that this new friendship will bring significant educational benefits into both schools.
Outside a classroom