Several UK teachers and a group of sixth formers recently visited their partner schools in Ethiopia. Joy Hardy from Queniborough Primary School and Mike Hill from Wreake Valley Community College spent five days in their partner schools in Bahir Dar, whilst Jonathon Wilcox led a group of 15 students from Halliford School to visit Edeget Feleg School in Gondar.

The visits were a great success and gave both teachers and students a real insight into the lives of their Ethiopian friends. Teachers and students were particularly struck by the warmth and friendliness of their Ethiopian hosts and how much Ethiopian schools achieve despite meager resources.

Several exciting activities took place during the visits: the Halliford group witnessed a show by a local troupe of acrobats, Circus Azezo and challenged their parters to an inter-school football match; Mike Hill conducted an experiment at an impromptu science lesson; and Joy Hardy worked with children in her partner school on an art exchange activity about weather in Ethiopia and the UK.

All three school links were strengthened by the visits which allowed teachers to plan collaboratively for future joint work.

Wreake Valley and the Ghion School have identified a shared interest in the environment and are planning to exchange information and articles between their respective Science Journal and Environmental Clubs, as well as producing some art work in response to work brought back from the visit to Ghion. These projects will form part of Wreake Valley’s application for the International Schools Award.

Queniborough School have a range of exciting projects planned with Yekatit 23 Elementary School, including an exchange of history and traditional tales and are planning a joint project focusing on the Olympics for 2011/12.

Both the Wreake Valley and the Queniborough visit were funded by the British Council. For more information on funding available and how to apply, contact us at [email protected]