A Kenyan head teacher is getting first-hand experience of life in a Wolverhampton classroom as part of a unique exchange programme.

Bilston CE Primary School is currently hosting a week-long visit from George Matete, from the Masaba DEB School in Kimililli, Kenya.

During this week, Mr Matete is working with children in class, visiting a local secondary school and meeting teachers from across the city as well as visiting the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Christine Mills.

The visit, which involves a group of Kenyan teachers visiting schools in Staffordshire and Shropshire as well as Wolverhampton, has been organised by Rosemary Woodward, schools' advisor for the Lichfield Diocese.

Bilston originally linked with the Masaba in 2011 and since then, pupils have exchanged letters with their Kenyan counterparts as well as taking part in regular workshops to learn more about school life in Africa.

This visit was arranged to help develop Bilston's link with Masaba and funding secured with a British Council Connecting Classrooms grant.

In order to secure the grant, the school set out a series of projects that it will undertake with Masaba that will benefit children, parents and staff in both countries.

One of these projects will be to present the school's Family Learning group to Mr Matete. This involves offering parents the opportunity to improve their own literacy and numeracy skills while also working alongside their children to support their education and it is hoped this will be introduced at Masaba.

Bilston CE Primary will also be promoting Fair Trade to its own pupils, having achieved the status back in 2010. With many products originating from African countries, the school decided it would be interesting for its pupils to discover the opinions of children from Kenya.

And Bilston will also be promoting its International Primary Curriculum (IPC) that it launched in 2011, placing internationalism at the centre of the school curriculum. The IPC encompasses subjects such as history, geography, art, technology and music and encourages children to become global citizens.

Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning, said: "We are delighted to welcome Mr Matete to Wolverhampton.

"This week will be mutually beneficial for both the Masaba School in Kenya and Bilston Primary, enabling teachers and pupils to learn more about education and culture in each other's countries.

"This is an exciting scheme and we look forward to the future opportunities that it will bring."

  • released: Thursday 24 April, 2013