BES has been working in partnership with Umonga secondary school in Tanzania since 2012. The partnership is an educational one that looks to support developments in teaching and learning at Umonga and give students at BES a broader view of the world and their place in it. There have been four teacher exchanges with four BES teachers visiting Umonga and four teachers from Umonga visiting us here in the UK. Partnership work includes pen pal letters and Tanzania being part of our curriculum but also involves visits by students of BES to volunteer in Tanzania. The first very successful volunteer visit in February 2015 saw 26 students and 3 staff spend five days in the school teaching English and working with staff to develop the teaching and learning they provide.
The next trip is February 2017 and if you’re interested please contact Mr Loveday asap.
Umonga secondary school
Started in 2007 as part of the Governments drive to improve the number of students who go through secondary education. It is now the size of BES. Rose Msafiri (headteacher) is always looking to improve the school and the education they provide for the students and our link with them is part of her long term plan for improvement.
Taste of Tanzania (ToT)
A group of sixth form students started a social enterprise business in 2013 with the support of Carrie Bate of the little coffee bag company. Carrie willingly shared her business skills and her coffee bag technology so the students could start a business selling Tanzanian coffee to raise money to provide extra English and Maths lessons for Tanzanian students. Students in Tanzania are taught and examined in English which is their second or third language which makes it difficult for them. The extra English and Maths lessons improve their chance of being successful in their exams which improves their life chances. The leadership of ToT is now in its third generation with year 12 students applying and being interviewed for roles in the company by the out going team. Each new team looks for opportunities to develop the company further and have a website (http://www.tasteoftanzania.co.uk/) where you can learn more about them and order the coffee.
A number of parents provide a £10 per month sponsorship to help students from Umonga continue their studies into A level. We are always looking for more people to help us sponsor students. If you would like to make this regular commitment over two years or would like to find out more about the project please contact Mr Loveday through email@example.com with the subject title being Tanzania links.
Assistant Head teacher Mrs Rose Patey visited Zhangjiakou to firm up the arrangements for the co-operation, or partnership, with the senior leaders of the school. The initial contact was made with school in China by Dr Geoff Price and Mrs Patey then took up a dialogue with a governor and teacher from the school.
Zhangjiakou is a city of 4.3 million which is situated North West of Beijing out towards Mongolia. A gate in the Great Wall at Zhangjaikou can be seen in the north of the city.
The Middle school is a Language college of about 2000 students. Classes are very different to the UK and teachers from the Endowed School who visited over Easter taught groups of 50 – 65 students in a class. The day starts at 6.30 am for senior students and finishes at 9.30pm – they do have a long break in the middle of the day!
The aim of the partnership will be to develop an understanding of each other’s culture, for teachers to exchange and share good practice and for students to email each other, with a longer term goal of exchange visits. This is an exciting venture as this will give the students, staff, parents and wider school community of Bridgnorth the opportunity to learn about the Chinese culture.
Most recently staff and students from our partner school in Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, China visited school during June 2013. Four teachers and seven students spent time participating in lessons, observing lessons, teaching and enjoying cultural activities and visits.
Bridgnorth students from the 2012 exchange played a key role in showing the visitors around the town, looking at local buildings, churches and places of interest. Chinese students value their education and always want to improve their spoken and written English. Both groups of students enjoyed a range of activities ranging from Rounders and afternoon tea to Chinese cooking and Tia Chi.
The return exchange by Bridgnorth students visiting China will take place at Easter 2014.
In February 2012 I was given the opportunity to visit Gambia. It had begun with a casual conversation with a friend before Christmas, and 7 vaccinations and a diet of malaria tablets later I was on my way.
I travelled into the central river region with three primary headteachers and their respective staff. It took the best part of a day to get to Janjangburgh where we were based for part of the week.
I was able to visit a nearby small village called Bani and spend a day in the Lower Basic School there. I was also able to visit the Upper Basic School in Janjangburgh where the pupils move to.
Schooling is free to all at Lower Basic level, but then only girls can progress from there. The boys must pay.
At BES we are busy raising money to sponsor boys each year to continue their education. It costs just £60 to pay for a full year and that includes tuition, uniform, lunch money and exam fees. We are already making a difference to the lives of these boys and improving their prospects for the future. We correspond with them and get copies of their school reports.
If you would like to know more about our links with Gambia or you would like to help towards sponsoring a boy, please contact the school. Donations can be gift aided if appropriate.
Thank you for your support
Sponsored students: Sarjo Camara, Mohammed Dahaba and Momodou Njie