Children's Work

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Zambian Partnership Visit 2017
 

Zambia Link Report 2016/17

I am pleased to report that Mr Sadler and I completed a very successful visit to Zambia and our partner school (Kalomo Basic) over the half term October holiday 2016.
We arrived by bus from Livingstone on Monday morning and were met by school staff (Gladys and Elizabeth) and they looked after us during our week.
The school was closed for Independence Day Celebrations on Monday and Mr Sadler and I were able to watch the celebrations as honoured guests at the local show ground area. There were some excellent dancing and marching routines as well as poems about independence from ‘The Whites’ and the struggle to gain independence from the UK. Later Mr Sadler has his first taste of Nshima!
The next day we were at school by 6.30am and were able to meet the new Headteacher (Mr Banda) and Deputy Headteacher as well as key staff.
We were able to talk with the Chair and Vice Chair of the PTA and discuss future projects and see the changes since my last visit. This includes extra toilets for staff and children and a self-build classroom project where bricks are made on the school site and used in the new classroom and a new staffroom and office block. By carrying out the work themselves the parents are developing the school at low cost.
Mr Sadler and I were able to spend time during the week in several classrooms and contributed to lessons too. Many ideas taken from UK visits are being used in the lessons especially discussion and feedback. Things are certainly moving forward at Kalomo! We were also able to see Science exam groups at work and home economics groups at work.
Mr Banda explained that they only had science equipment for 20 students to take the exam so the youngsters had to go home and wait for their turn to take the exam. The cookery exam students had to prepare a number of dishes cooking on two old electric cookers and several outside charcoal burners. The electricity supply is erratic in Zambia as there is not enough electricity for the whole country. Power shedding is the norm for several hours a day.
We attended a staff meeting where staff found out that St. John’s School had donated £1,000 for curriculum development and the staff were amazed by this generous gift.
We attended a whole school assembly and Mr Banda told the children about the gift too. The children were very happy at the news and Mr Sadler and I talked to the children in assembly before they went off to lessons at 7.30 am.
On another day, we were also able to visit the DEBS (District Education Board Secretary) and discuss future plans for Kalomo School. We also had a meeting with the District Commissioner and talked about plans for the school and how Kalomo Town was improving. On the way back we visited the brand new hospital for Kalomo which is almost complete. The hospital is built on UK lines but we found it had a 1970s look inside.
The Deputy Headteacher invited us to an evening supper with staff and we were able to spend a very happy evening talking and eating with our Zambian colleagues. We were also able to walk to Lady Muchanga’s house for lunch. Lady was previously the Headteacher at Kalomo and was the first Zambian teacher from Kalomo to visit the UK.
Mr Sadler and I gave the children several gifts to help with their studies especially pens, pencils and ruler and art and craft materials as well as sports equipment. It was good to see much less poverty in evidence at Kalomo School on this trip.
On our last night the staff organised a party for us at school with dancing and speeches and gifts given and received. It was a wonderful evening.
The next day we boarded to bus back to Livingstone and were fortunate to have some time to see amazing wildlife on a Zambezi canoe trip (including swimming while a crocodile watched!) and Victoria falls.
I certainly feel that our partnership is ‘back on track’ and that we have made new friends. We came back with 100 pen pal letters for our children and the St. John’s children have been writing back and adding gifts too.
Thank you to GB members for encouraging the link which has been praised during our SIAMS Inspection and previous OfSTED Inspection.
A collection from our Nativity Play at St. John’s Church will go to ‘Kalomo at Christmas’.

Robert Price and James Sadler.

 
 

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