University of Derby helps fund school Kenya trip

22 June 2022

Local teachers from Alvaston Infant and Nursery School were given the opportunity to visit Africa to learn about different educational approaches, thanks to sponsorship from the University of Derby.

The University paid for one of three of the school’s teachers to visit Chaddy Mission School, based in the rural slums of Nakuru, Kenya, with the aim of developing their understanding of global approaches to teaching and learning, sharing their own strategies to promote learning with Kenyan staff, and educating pupils in Derby about what life is like for others living in Africa.

Molly Allen, Headteacher at Alvaston Infant and Nursery School, said:

“Our school demographic consists mainly of white British children, and we believe it is important for everyone to become educated about differing countries, cultures and ethnicities. We taught our children all about Kenya and they helped us plan the trip every step of the way.

“Our intention is to develop a sister-school partnership with a school in Kenya so that we can continue to make a difference for years and years to come.”

Alvaston Infant and Nursery School teachers with kids from Africa
Alvaston Infant and Nursery school teachers Lisa Doherty, James Heesom and Molly Allen (from left to right) at the Chaddy Mission School in Kenya

The University has had partnership links with the Alvaston Infant and Nursey School for the past seven years, and several of its graduates have gone onto teaching roles at the school, including James Heesom who was involved in the Kenya trip.

He said:

“When we arrived at the school, we realised how different everything there was to how we teach at our school. The children had very little, and the teachers had very different teaching styles to the ones that we use.

“We started by holding training sessions for the teachers in Maths and English. Initially, it took a while for them to warm to these strategies, however, once they began to see the positive impact this had on the children’s engagement, motivation and learning, they were soon invested, and they loved joining in with our lessons.

“It was so rewarding to see the children find love for their learning and to see how the teachers wanted to support them with these strategies. We have now provided the school with a range of resources for teaching maths, reading and writing which they’ll be able to use for years to come.

“It has been incredible seeing the impact of this work on both the children in Kenya and our pupils back home in Derby who were following our journey every step of the way through live zooms and recorded videos.

“We were overwhelmed when the University agreed to pay for one of us to attend the trip and its sponsorship has enabled us to ensure maximum impact within the schools, both in Kenya and in Derby. We’d like to thank the University of Derby for its generosity and ongoing support of our school.”

Dr Sarah Charles, Head of the Institute of Education at the University of Derby, said:

“As a longstanding and valued partner of our Primary ITE provision, I am delighted that we were able to sponsor this important visit to Kenya.

“I believe that this visit has had reciprocal benefits for all the stakeholders involved. For both the Kenyan and British teachers, it facilitated a deeper understanding of global perspectives of education. For the children, it proved an invaluable opportunity to develop cultural awareness, helping young learners to see that difference is natural and should be celebrated – a belief which underpins our own ITE provision.”

The teachers also produced and published YouTube videos showcasing their experience in Kenya.

Alvaston Infant and Nursery School teachers with kids from Africa
Alvaston Infant and Nursery School teachers with kids from Africa

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