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13th September 2017

Staff Visitors from St Peter Claver

Following our successful staff visit to St Peter Claver High School in Tanzania last Easter, we were delighted to host an exchange visit in July from Fr. Ayaga (Headteacher), Mr. Peter Masine (Teacher of Physics) and Mr. David Mukasa (Teacher of Geography) thus cementing the Marafiki Partnership between the two schools.

Our guests enjoyed a packed itinerary based around the school days and stayed with three members of our staff in their own homes. Their experiences ranged from visiting the two great cathedrals in Liverpool (three if you count Anfield!), meeting the Mayor of Preston, inter-form table tennis and The Lake District.

We were graced with glorious weather on our day trip to the Lake District, where the majestic scenery over Windermere was truly magnificent. Five Year 9 pupils accompanied the visitors to Liverpool for a cultural day, with the highlight being when Fr. Ayaga and Mr. Masine experienced a fairground ride. This was a taster for the following week, when our guests accompanied the whole school on the annual rewards trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

During the school day, the teachers were based in their respective departments where they observed lessons, delivered presentations to pupils in class, attended departmental meetings and shared ideas. The focus was very much on our partnership, and the staff who spent time with our guests also received great insight into delivering lessons in alternative ways.

It was a humbling and refreshing experience to meet fellow teachers who work in very difficult circumstances.  Our guests were amazed at the variety and quality of the resources that we provide for our pupils, which we at OLCHS take for granted every day.

The curriculum in Tanzania is much more challenging to work with, as their textbooks contain errors and national exams are not always rigorously marked. We were able to donate some Science and Geography resources for our guests to take back to Tanzania with them, which will greatly benefit the pupils and staff at St Peter Claver.

In addition to spending time in departments, Fr. Ayaga led a very thought provoking, whole school staff development session, about the history and culture of St Peter Claver High School. It was interesting to note that despite the differences in curriculum, teachers in Tanzania experience many of the same challenges that we do, such as pupils testing the uniform policy, missed homework and lesson planning.

We would like to thank Fr Ayaga, Mr Masine and Mr Mukasa for taking the long and arduous journey from Dodoma, Tanzania to visit us at OLCHS and for sharing with us their skills and experiences. Marafiki is stronger now because of their efforts and we hope it will now continue to grow as we enter the fourth year of our partnership. We look forward to meeting again soon, and as they say in Tanzania “Hii si kwa heri, ni baadaye” – “this is not goodbye, it’s see you later”.