Henleaze Junior School is proud to be linked with Kasongoire Primary School in Uganda.
Our connection began in 2013, when we first sent letters and playground games out to the children and received letters in return. We did our first exchange visit in 2015, and since then we have made four further visits to Kasongoire, the latest in February 2020.
We hope to continue the link for many years to come. The children are excited by the prospect of making friends in another country and learning about a very different way of life. Teachers have a lot to learn from each other too, and we have also connected our parents and governors.
During the Easter holidays in 2023, Mrs Mumford, Mrs Sormani and Miss Prowse visited Kasongoire with Mr Barber. This was our first opportunity to visit since the covid pandemic. We witnessed the impact that almost two years of school closure has had on the children and the school. Many children have not returned to school at all, since they have got used to earning money working on their family farms or in the sugar cane plantation. Children who have returned are two years behind age related expectations. Some classes are now even more overcrowded as some of the private schools have closed down.
We found the children to be as delightful as ever. They made us very welcome, and we very much enjoyed sharing with them the books that our community so kindly donated. They were delighted also with the footballs and stationery items which we took out for them, but mostly they were grateful that they are supported by their friends in Bristol.
We'll be updating the gallery and adding some video highlights in the summer term.
Gallery - Uganda 2023
Developing teachers' skills
Our teachers have learnt a lot about teaching techniques by observing and workling alongside their Ugandan colleagues. During our latest trip, in 2023, Mr Barber had the opportunity to visit several other schools, courtesy of our friends at Redearth Education Centre. Redearth have been supporting teachers in the Masindi district for ten years, and we are very much hoping to work in partnership with them in the future.
Mr Barber was invited to visit the Redearth model Nursery School, to attend training sessions for teachers learning how to manage extraordinarily large classes, and to visit some schools which have embraced the training they have received and where there is excellent teaching and learning practice. You can see some examples in the video below.
Redearth have provided every primary school in the Masindi district with a solar-powwered radio and a set of recorded training modules that schools can use to develop their staff's skills. Kasongoire Primary School will be using these resources and will be introducing some of the strategies that are already being used in some other schools to improve the quality of learning in their classrooms.
HJS Uganda Fund
Help us develop our global learning programme