The aim of our African partnerships are to share best global practice and to unite schools across the globe in equal partnership. This will lead to better understanding of global diversity and issues affecting different communities, preparing our children to develop deeper understanding of the world around them. Ultimately the aim is to develop empathy and a proactive approach to inequalities and injustice throughout the world, and engender harmony between global communities.

Last year was a very productive time with Connecting Through Classrooms with South African and Zimbabwean trips and visitors. At the end of last Summer our Zimbabwean teachers from Masvingo and Mutare visited the Whitby High school Woodlands and Wade Deacon.

In October 2014 three teachers visited Zimbabwe and shared ideas within Primary and Secondary sectors. It was a very humbling experience – realising that their curriculum is so close to our own here in the UK.

The Global Footsteps Choir have been working hard exchanging our culture of music with Zimbabwe and South African students and in return have embedded their cultural music within us. Global ‘Footsteppers’ have been busy making saleable gifts for open evenings and Christmas and Summer stalls. Last July our South African Teachers visited our partnership schools collaborating with teachers and students to really embed our partnership once more.

Global Footsteps are continuously fund raising for our 2016 trip to Cape Town. We are taking three teachers, two young professionals, and Sixth Form students who have shown immense interest in coordinating and helping to build the play area at Sokhanyo Primary School which, at present, is just a tired old climbing frame surrounded by rubbish bricks and sand.

The Whitby High School and our partnership schools been working endlessly with these schools in Cape Town and Zimbabwe and nothing gives us more satisfaction than to share this diversity of life.

Whilst out in South Africa our intentions are to paint street art on the backs of the classroom exterior walls to represent our Global connections, install a play gym with tyres and a sun shade shed and, with our fund raising from local companies and events held in school, we will have enough to enrich their vegetable gardens with fresh manure. This is a major project with 15 in total including targeted pupils from our South African schools collaborating with the build of the playground.

So all in all a busy time with our African partnerships, going from strength to strength.

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