As some of you know Barry Comprehensive School is involved in a connecting classroom project with a school in Kenya; both schools are committed to improving literacy and global citizenship. At the end of the last academic year Barry Comprehensive School was fortunate enough to be visited by the headmaster, Mr Thomas Okello.
Mr Okello was welcomed to the school in a welcome assembly with year 7. He was entertained with songs from the schools choir, a video diary of last year’s visit to Kenya and speeches by both senior staff and students, before being presented with a gift to help record his visit. He was overwhelmed with the welcome and was looking forward to spending time at our school.
Over the course of the week he was introduced to many departments within the school and was even given the opportunity to take part in some of the lessons. Mr Okello took part in an art lesson, visited the schools garden and helped update resources in geography. He also bought a large number of pen pal letters and gifts for our students who had been busy writing to students in Lwanda Primary.
During his visit Mr Okello taught workshops in Drama, showing a variety of performances from young people in Kenya. Students were given the opportunity to discuss the issues dealt with in the plays and learn more about Kenya’s culture. These lessons were a huge success with classes and students were even given the opportunity to learn some dance moves!
The catering department also benefitted from a visit to their classroom when Mr Okello demonstrated how to prepare a local staple of the Kenyan diet. Teachers and pupils observed and tasted two delicious dishes and were interested to learn more.
The visit also co-incised with Barry Comprehensive Schools Sports day, which gave us the chance to show our Kenyan visitor a taste of what Wales has to offer the world of sport. He was amazed by the efforts made by all competitors and thoroughly enjoyed the day’s events.
At the end of the week, Mrs Ellis returned with Mr Okello to Kenya, for a reciprocal visit. She returned to the school with a number of gifts from the staff and students in Barry and a plan to introduce Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Students benefitted from improvisation and art workshops on the play, were presented with winning scripts (written by our very own year 7 and 8) and after the success of last year’s rugby session Mrs Ellis even attempted to introduce the sport cricket.
The visits were a huge success and helped to cement the relationship between the two schools which we plan to sustain. This year’s joint projects include more Drama, an Art project, Newsletters and a garden club link!