Changing Communities: Building in Liss part 6

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Uganda celebration event at Liss Junior School

Uganda Celebration Event

Many thanks to all the pupils and parents who attended our Uganda Celebration. We were joined by Mr. Davies and Mrs. Masika, the headteachers of Hambledon Primary School and Rihamu Junior School respectively. We were also visited by Olga Rey from the British Council who was incredibly impressed by the work displayed from the four schools. She described the partnership as ‘prolific’.

Work on display at the event included examples of the learning from all three of the units that Yr 3 and Yr 6 have been working on in conjunction with Kafuro. Additionally, there were samples of work from the  wider Yr 6 curriculum where their topic this term has been Uganda. These included African—style bags and travel guides to Uganda written by the children.

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More from Mr Thembo’s trip to the UK

After two very busy but enjoyable weeks, Mr Stephen Thembo—the headteacher of Kafuro Primary School—has returned to Uganda.

Mr Thembo taught in all four year groups at the Junior School and also in Year 2 at the infant school. He had specific jobs to carry out with Year 3 and Year 6 as this was a condition of British Council funding which allowed for the reciprocal visit. Families will remember that Miss Duncan visited Uganda last summer and  began teaching the topics at Kafuro.

Mr Thembo with Year 4 & Larch

Mr Thembo gave presentations to the children about Queen  Elizabeth  National Park in Uganda. The children were given the opportunity to question him about the similarities and  differences between Queen Elizabeth Country Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Mr Thembo also accompanied children from Larch class to their weekly horse riding session.

Sanitation work with Year 6

Mr Thembo brought the results of the Kafuro water survey which we were able to compare to that of Liss children in Year 6. The last time we carried out a water survey like this was five years ago when Liss pupils (on average) used 17 times more water in a day than their peers in Kafuro. Our survey this time showed that Liss children used three times as much water as Kafuro pupils. However, the criteria that we used were not exactly the same as five years ago, so it is difficult to make too much of a comparison. What was noticeable from the results was that the amount of water used for laundry was a major difference between the two sets of pupils. Kafuro pupils used more water for drinking, which is not surprising given the fact that they come from a warmer climate. They also used more water for handwashing dishes, but this is slightly misleading as many Liss pupils have dishwashers at home.

Liss pupils realized that there are still many ways in which they can save  water, while Ugandan pupils in both Kafuro and Rihamu have taken it upon themselves to carry out weekly clean ups of their local environment and  to promote good sanitation.

Changing Communities work with Year 3

In Year 3, children have been learning about Changing Communities in  Kafuro. In return, Kafuro have been working on the changing community in Liss. During lessons here at Liss Junior School, Ash and Oak class began by creating maps of their own community with elements they would add to      improve it, then used maps and evidence of land use to infer the types of jobs people of Kafuro may have, and debated what the land within Queen Elizabeth National Park should be used for, posing as rangers or farmers. The work produced during these lessons were of a high standard and pupils worked with clear focus and enthusiasm. 

With the help of Mr Thembo during his visit, they completed their work by drawing maps of the community in Kafuro to compared it to their own. Whilst creating these maps in groups, they were asked to imagine what they could add to this to improve the area which they did thoughtfully and carefully. The children now have a clear understanding of their twinned school, an appreciation of their own environment and are eager to learn more as their time at Liss Junior School progresses.

World Book Day

Mr Thembo visited Year 2 and Year 5 on World Book Day. Like many other countries, Uganda has a tradition of oral storytelling and Mr Thembo shared some common folk tales from his country, one of which was the three blind men and the elephant.

 If you would like to read more Ugandan folk tales they can be found at this address:

Wants & Needs work with Year 6

Liss pupils in Rowan & Maple classes compiled the results of their wants and needs cards work. The same exercise also took place at Kafuro.

Liss (10 groups)                                                             

Want or Need Incidence
Medical care 10
Clean water 10
Nutritious food 10
Decent shelter 6
Clean air 6
Protection from abuse and neglect 3
Education 3
Protection from Discrimination 1
Freedom to practise beliefs 1

Kafuro (4 groups)

Want or Need Incidence
Land 2
Clean water 3
Nutritious food 5
Decent shelter 3
Clothing 3
Money 1

Analysing the results

Although there was commonality between the two schools, there were also a number of differences for the children in each country.

In Uganda, particularly where there are rural communities, having land to grow crops on is highly important. When your family’s livelihood is dependent upon harvesting and selling those crops, then everything else pales into insignificance. Likewise, for many parents education isn’t seen as so important as they can earn a living off the land. Children are often pulled out of school at planting and harvest time to help their parents in the fields.

If you live in rural Uganda, you are used to clean air so why would you need it?

A particular difference was the value British children place on medical care, perhaps a result of having the NHS free at the point of entry. For Ugandans, hospitals are few and far between – the nearest to Kafuro is 35 miles away. You have to pay to see a doctor and a hospital stay is even more expensive. For many Ugandans, therefore, medical care is not an option.

Children in both countries recognised the need for food, clean water and basic shelter.

Leisure Time

For the Ugandan headteachers, not all of their time was spent in school. They visited Queen Elizabeth   Country Park, Winchester, the University of Chichester, Bournemouth and London. Mr Thembo also had a cream tea at the top of the Spinnaker Tower on his final day in the UK.

Next Steps

Mr Stanley will now be submitting a final report to the British Council. Once this has been approved, we will be free to make another bid for funding reciprocal visits between Liss and Kafuro which would hopefully take place in the spring and summer of 2021. We want to continue to grow and strengthen our partnership for many years to come.

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My initial impressions of the UK

The trip was first impressing when I was on the plane. It was my first flight ever. It took long hours on the plane. It was interesting to view many things below the clouds.among which was the Sahara Desert, the Mediterranean Sea and many other features across. Another big impression was picked from the airport which is very beautiful where Mr Adam and Heather had come to receive me and my colleague. I had some hot coffee at home after driving through a cold environment. Dinner was served and then after I rested in my bedroom.

The following morning, we had a gentle tour around Queen Elizabeth Country Park guided by Ashlea and Jan. The weather was generally cool. Everything here looks unique and generally good. Their environment especially buildings are smart. Classrooms are well arranged and manageable numbers of learners not exceeding 25 children.

People are very welcoming,and hospitable. They look good because everybody is committed to their work. Life can change in Africa if we adopt to the working style like in UK. So far, everything that I look at now looks a wonder, the exposure is looking very different ranging from the type of soil, trees, grass, and the general vegetation. Some trees have shaded off their leaves due to winter and they all look in a uniform structure.

I took some hours out to look at horse riding. Farm animals like sheep and horses look good in their fields and feel nothing about the cold weather.

I still have many more days round which I believe will expose me to many more beautiful things that I will share with you soon

Mr Thembo & Madam Shakilah in the car after being picked up from Heathrow
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Mr Thembo

We are privileged to have Mr Thembo visiting us at the moment and Year 3 were lucky enough to have him teach a lesson on Wednesday, finishing our unit on Changing communities. Mr Thembo showed the work done by children at Kafuro Primary with Miss Duncan and compared these maps with those drawn by us in our lessons. We then thought about the similarities and differences between the two places and created our own maps of Kafuro with amenities we would add to improve the community.

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