Leeds teachers visit partner school in South Africa

Teacher Michael Walker, of Gledhow Primary School, working with pupils at Summerfield Primary in Chatsworth, Durban, South Africa
Teacher Michael Walker, of Gledhow Primary School, working with pupils at Summerfield Primary in Chatsworth, Durban, South Africa
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A pair of jet-setting teachers have just returned from a visit to their north Leeds primary’s partner school 6,000 miles away in South Africa.

Gledhow Primary School’s year six teacher Michael Walker and learning mentor Elvina Jeffrey spent 10 days at Summerfield Primary in Chatsworth, Durban - their partner school of 14 years.

Elvina Jeffrey and Michael Walker of Gledhow Primary School, with the Nelson Mandela books, at Summerfield Primary in Chatsworth, Durban

Elvina Jeffrey and Michael Walker of Gledhow Primary School, with the Nelson Mandela books, at Summerfield Primary in Chatsworth, Durban

The partnership was originally set up by the British Council but when funding was later scrapped, both schools have continued the relationship - linking pupils, hosting staff exchanges and sharing good practice.

During the recent visit, Michael and Elvina helped train staff on behaviour policy, held lessons on music, art and responding to letters from Gledhow pupils, and delivered a workshop to principals from 20 schools in the area.

The visit also launched the schools’ joint project - a book on Nelson Mandela, packed with art work, essays, pictures and stories from pupils at both schools.

Last week, Gledhow celebrated their international neighbours with ‘partnership week’ - with lessons on wildlife, human rights, Zulu music and African art.

Elvina Jeffrey and Michael Walker, of Gledhow Primary School, playing at the welcome assemply at Summerfield Primary in Chatsworth, Durban.

Elvina Jeffrey and Michael Walker, of Gledhow Primary School, playing at the welcome assemply at Summerfield Primary in Chatsworth, Durban.

Mr Walker said: “We had an amazing time - our first visit to South Africa - and were overwhelmed by the generosity of staff and children. Once back in England, we delivered assemblies and feedback to children and staff at Gledhow.”

He added they are now planning the next project with Summerfield.

“At a time when many international partnerships are coming to a close due to lack of funding and enthusiasm, we are really excited by what the next chapter has in store for pupils and staff at both Gledhow and Summerfield,” he said.

Michael Tennant.

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