Connecting Classrooms - Visit from our Kenyan partner school

 Over the past two years, Arthur Mellows Village College has been involved in the Connecting Classrooms Project with our partner schools in Kenya and Sudan. We have been slowly getting to know our partners, through teaching in lessons and events such as Skype and collapsed days. During a week in mid January we were lucky enough to have our first visit from Peter Githiomi, head teacher of Mianzini Secondary School in Kenya.  Hampton College and Middleton Primary School in Peterborough also received visitors at the same time. Mr Githiomi spent his week experiencing school life in Britain as well as taking part in some sightseeing trips across the region. Despite arriving during the cold and often wet weather, he was keen to immerse himself into our school.
 The purpose of the visit was of course to enable Mr Githiomi to learn more about the British school system, but importantly for our students to be able to learn about the similarities and differences of education in Kenya.  A number of Music and Geography lessons were taken by Mr Githiomi during the week which featured a distinctly international theme! He also observed a number of other lessons, many of which aren’t taught on the Kenyan curriculum. Student council representatives were able to meet Mr Githiomi and discuss a variety of topics during their meeting. Many have written letters to be taken back to pupils at Mianzini.  Other events during the week included:
  • An opening assembly with the Mayor of Peterborough as guest of honour
  • Connecting Classrooms club’s weekly meeting focussing on waste and recycling with Mr Githiomi discussing waste issues in Kenya
  • Sessions learning about I-behave, data tracking and pupil progress
  • Trips to London and Cambridge and Peterborough mosque
  • Bowling, 3D cinema and a bitterly cold Tuesday evening watching Peterborough United football club
 Overall, the week was a huge success, both for our visitor from Kenya and students and staff at Arthur Mellows. It was incredibly special to have been able to host someone from such a different country at our school, but someone who ultimately has the same aspirations for his students as staff at Arthur Mellows.  A great deal of collaborative learning took place during the week as well as firm friendships being made. 
Below are a selection of photographs and quotes from pupils about Mr Githiomi’s visit.
“I never thought I’d meet someone from somewhere so far away, it was really amazing”
“Mr Githiomi taught us lots about his school, I learnt that so many things are the same as in England”
“I learnt that you can stand on the equator in I really want to go”
“At Mianzini School, pupils have to wear a uniform just like us”
“I can’t believe that some of the pupils in Kenya have to walk up to 5 miles per day to get to school, often when it’s really hot”.
“I don’t like the sound of having so much corn to eat in Kenya, but I would like to try goat stew”
“Mr Githiomi showed me some Kenyan shillings”!
By Miss Banks and Mrs Gray (Community Cohesion).