Latest News - November 2017
Confederation work together for Nyabondo
For nearly a decade, Beacon Hill School has built strong links with Nyabondo school in Kenya, a connection made and sustained through the charity Amani UK. As detailed below, over the years, staff from both schools have made reciprocal visits to learn from each other's teaching practices and cultures, bringing back knowledge and experiences to their own schools.
Beacon Hill School community, including children, parents and staff, have also contributed generously over this time to fundraising events to support building projects at Nyabondo. These include a classroom for the youngest children who were previously taught under a tree - a problem in the rainy season! More recently, the Haslemere Confederation of schools, including Woolmer Hill, St Bartholomews, St John's (Churt), St Mary's (Chiddingfold), Grayswood, Shottermill Infants and Juniors have joined forces with Beacon Hill through an initiative instigated by the Conferation School Council to further support Nyabondo. Through their efforts, including collections taken after school performances and donations for mufti days, over £2,500 was raised which has already enabled a range of projects to commence.
In fact, their efforts raised enough money to enable the installation of electricity in all the classrooms and the staff room, glazing fitted in the windows of the Early Years class and the purchase of a cow (whose milk will be used to help feed the orphans) and cow shed. It is hoped that these projects will be completed early in the new year, with the electrical installation work already underway.
Armani UK forward a big “thank you” to the Haslemere confederation of schools from Nyabondo and staff from Beacon Hill School are hoping to report back on the benefits after their visit to Kenya next year.
The Nyabondo School, Kenya
The school has a wonderful link with the Nyabondo School in Kenya, Africa. Miss Greenfield, our Year 1 teacher, visited the school for the second time during the October half-term 2015 along with Mrs Rebecca Huntingford (her first visit to Kenya and the Nyabondo School). We were awarded another grant from the British Council for this trip. We also raise funds throughout the school year to help towards improving the school, and have now managed to help them to build a new classroom with a roof and drainage.
We have hosted our third visit by two members of the teaching staff from the Nyabondo school and this was an amazing experience for them and for our school. They spent a week in our school attending lessons and talking to the children enabling them to learn all about Nyabondo school in Kenya and the way in which the pupils were taught.
In October 2016 half term, Sue Walker and Rebecca Huntingford embarked on the next school visit to Kenya and Nyabondo Primary School.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by singing and dancing from all the pupils and teachers. Nyabondo has a new headteacher who expressed his gratitude for the link between the two schools and the work that is being done.
The children were very excited to see us and show us all the hard work they had been doing over the past year. The last few visits have focused on developing the children’s reading skills through phonics training. We have provided a range of teaching and learning resources, including much needed story books. Whilst looking around the school, we saw many children benefitting from these resources and were even invited to observe a reading lesson, where the focus was decoding through phonics.
Thanks to the incredible fundraising from the children and families at Beacon Hill, this year we were able to take sports equipment out with us. We took footballs, skipping ropes, tennis balls, French skipping and pumps. The joy that these items brought to the children and teachers was amazing. We played games of football on the school field amongst the cows, who appeared very unfazed by 100 or so children charging around them! We also took musical instruments to the school that had been kindly donated. We taught music lessons to all the classes, singing traditional Kenyan songs and teaching them how to play various percussion instruments. The children had natural rhythm and confidence and at the end of our trip they performed to us, using the instruments that we had given them.
At the end of the trip the school closed for their long holiday (November – January) and all the children returned home to help on the farms. Thanks to your generosity and support, we look forward to continuing to build on our relationship with the children, parents and teachers of Nyabondo Primary School.