West Africa trip for group of teachers from the Louth area

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Teachers from Louth area schools visited Lagos Island, Nigeria, where they continued a connection between schools and children in the UK, Nigeria and Uganda.

The trip was part of the successful ongoing Mvoakraba’ partnership started in 2010.

Participants were British Council Project leader Chris Williams, Lesley Thornes, Cluster Co-ordinator and Headteacher at East Wold Primary School, Richard Coles, Head of Geography at Cordeaux Academy, Kate Scott, teacher at Scamblesby Primary School and Alex Sturman, teacher at North Cockerington Primary School. A team of Ugandan teachers also visited Lagos Island at the same time to build upon relationships.

The teachers thoroughly enjoyed their visit to West Africa. They agreed it was a thoroughly positive experience and that they were privileged to have had the opportunity to observe, teach and connect with the children and teachers in primary and secondary schools.

The project name Mvoakraba - created from the names of trees in each country, mvule, oak and araba - was certainly apt as some of the project partners have been growing together over three years. Trees were planted at each of the partner schools to symbolise this.

The Lincolnshire teachers gave their partner schools children’s work, books and gifts typical of their own schools and locality.

They are looking forward to showing their own pupils the work, letters and pictures completed by the schools on Lagos Island.

Kate Scott said: “Not only do the children in Lagos clean their own playgrounds before school, but the brushes are made locally - from the leaves of a palm tree. Our photographs will bring this alive for children in England, who will come to realise that there are many differences but also similarities between partner schools not found in any textbook. Personal contact between partner schools, aided by the British Council, makes a real difference to understanding of each others’ lives.”

Alex Sturman said: “This has changed perspectives for me, the rest of the team, colleagues and the children in our schools and the partner countries. Through the laughter and shared learning in classrooms, we understand much better how much common ground there is between people from our very different cultures.”