Mrs Bartlett joined all the other head teachers from Equals Trust on an amazing visit to their link schools in Tanzania near the end of half term. Flintham Primary School’s link school is Nianjema Primary School, Bagamayo. This trip was sponsored by the British Council.
On the first day, the teachers were given a fantastic welcome; visiting three of the schools and being greeted with so many smiles and shown some amazing traditional dances, drumming and singing. The heads of all the schools then had a meeting to discuss our joint project and to plan activities.
The next day the head teachers went to their link school and began to work with the children. The children at Nianjema were so very welcoming and a joy to work with. During her time at the school, Mrs Bartlett worked with a class of children on the global project to produce an animation of a Tanzanian story for the Stories of a Lifetime website. To begin with the children listened to a story of Robin Hood, with their English teacher translating, and were shown our Robin Hood animation and a video of our children singing in Swahili. Their faces lit up and they were then keen to make their own. The Tanzanian story the children chose is called ‘The Hyena and the Rabbit’.
With the help of Mrs Raynes Switbert (Assistant head teacher of Nianjema Primary School), Mrs Bartlett and the class spent the day organising the story into scenes and working with one of the English teachers to write the script. Mrs Bartlett was so impressed with the children’s ability to read and understand their dialogue in English and pronounce so many of the words correctly and expressively. The children loved practising, recording and watching their scenes.
For the rest of the exchange Mrs Bartlett spent most of her time at Nianjema in each class finding out about how the children are taught. Nianjema Primary School is so very different to FPS; it is in a very poor area and there are approximately 2,400 children in the school. Only the oldest children are at school all day. The rest of the school either do a morning or afternoon because there is not enough space for all the children at once. Even so, there can be up to 70 children in a class. We are very privileged in England to have so many wonderful resources.
The staff, especially Raynes and the Headteacher Renatus Krishna made Mrs Bartlett so welcome. The children were all so polite. On the last day, Mrs Bartlett taught several classes to sing a couple of English songs including ‘Head and Shoulders….’ and ‘Okey Cokey’ which the children soon picked up and joined in. The visit ended with a wonderful drumming, dance and gymnastic display. The children showing such pride in their national heritage.
We look forward to forging deeper links with Nianjema and giving the Tanzanian head teachers a very warm welcome on their return visit to the Equals Trust Schools in June to see how schools in England educate their primary aged children.
Please visit our private gallery to view a selection of pictures and videos of the trip and the Nianjema children’s animation, which has also been uploaded to the Stories of a Lifetime website alongside our video. There are also the videos of FPS children singing in Congolese and Swahili and examples of their fantastic Tinga Tinga paintings for you to enjoy.