Most of you will already know that as a teacher from Clanfield Junior School, my main job on this visit to Uganda is to continue the friendship between our school and our twinned school at Bukorwe. Even though I will be leaving Clanfield this summer and handing over to Miss Podger to lead up the Twinning Project activities, we all still very much value our friendship with our Ugandan counterparts and would like it to become stronger.
Communication between our schools has not been easy, mainly because of problems at Bukorwe to do with not getting enough power (electricity) for the smart phone and tablet that we gave them in 2014, and even though we raised money in 2015/16 and helped to put a solar panel on the roof of the school, this still doesn’t seem to have solved the problem. Also Clanfield School has changed its curriculum and the topics studied in Years 3 and 5 are no longer in the plan. Instead sometime in the coming school year Miss Staggs plans for the school to celebrate an ‘Africa Week’ where Uganda as a country in Africa can be studied by all children across the year groups. So, in order to help with this idea, I am to bring back news and photos of the school. In addition to this, the Clanfield School Council and I thought it would be a good idea if we sent to Bukorwe some ideas and resources for them to celebrate a ‘UK Week’. With that idea in mind, the children in year 5 at Clanfield came up with some suggestions for items (that can be transported in a suitcase) that will help Ugandan children to understand what life is like here at school in the UK for us. Here are their ideas:
Things that we play with, such as fidget spinners, football cards and board games, frisbee, bouncy balls, skipping ropes and marbles.
Things to help them learn about our country and language, such as an English dictionary and thesaurus, a map of the U.K., some Union Jack bunting and flags with something to explain how our flag came to be, and a pack of photographs showing what life is like in the UK.
Some typical English food, and bearing in mind this had to be transported over 4,000 miles in a suitcase, I chose to take tea bags and biscuits and not fish and chips or scones with jam and cream! (I did, however, pack some pictures of these.)
They also suggested that I take some of our school uniform.
Lily H from Year 5 (now 6) and her mum kindly donated a big bag of pens and highlighters, and Mrs Cornwell (TA fro year 4/ now 5) enjoyed a shopping trip to Asda where she filled a bag with lots of pens, pencils, chalks, rubbers and other fantastic items that she thought the Bukorwe children might like. Thank you so much!
Year 3 children wrote to their friends at Bukorwe to tell them about the problems we face in our environment, such as the problems of litter and renewable energy. The winners of the litter poster competition kindly donated their entries for the Bukorwe children to see.
Some of these things were purchased with the money raised at the Charity Stalls event, run by the School Council, and all of them were packed into the suitcase which eventually made it to Bukorwe on Monday 24th July, when you all were enjoying your last day at Clanfield of the 2016-17 year.