- twinned with -
Clanfield Junior School is one of the member schools of the Queen Elizabeth Parks Twinning Project. Queen Elizabeth Country Park, just outside Petersfield, Hampshire, and Queen Elizabeth National Park have been twinned for the last 8 years. The primary objective of the twinning is to develop education, conservation and sustainability in both communities, at first between the rangers of both parks, and also between the schools in the areas local to both parks.
The first teacher exchange visit, funded by the British Council, took place in August 2012. Mrs Buckle visited Uganda with two other teachers from Hart Plain Junior School and Liss Junior School, and a volunteer ranger from Queen Elizabeth Country Park. This visit successfully established a working relationship with our twinned school at Bukorwe with the provision of a laptop, donated by Southern Electric, for the staff at Bukorwe Primary School, and a number of solar charging devices, purchased with monies raised by the children at CJS. Later that year the deputy headteacher from Bukorwe, Mr Vicent Ndajigimaana, came to Clanfield for the reciprocal visit.
“It is fabulous for our children to see photographs of their own class teacher visiting schools in Uganda. They have been truly engaged and motivated by the whole project. With the return visit of the Ugandan teachers the place they have seen in the pictures becomes a reality. Through these exchange visits we have a remarkable opportunity to model multicultural friendships.” – Caroline Hubbard, Clanfield Junior School Exchange Teacher
The second teacher exchange visit, again funded by the British Council, took place in August 2014. The laptop was replaced with a touch-screen tablet and a smartphone, both of which are easier to use, and easier to re-charge. These items were purchased with monies raised by the children (at school discos and other fundraising events). This time Mrs Buckle was joined by Miss Hubbard, who travelled together with two teachers from Liss Junior School and five rangers (including Mr Steve Peach - Head Ranger at QE Country Park).
Although communication between the UK and rural Uganda is sometimes difficult, with these devices we have been able to maintain the relationship between our two schools.
We have now adapted our curriculum to include two topics that allow the children to study Uganda, and more specifically the village at Bukorwe and the Queen Elizabeth National Park nearby. Year 3 children carry out a geographical comparison study of Clanfield and Bukorwe, and the children in Year 5 focus more closely on the environments of the two parks. This includes studies about the landscape and the animals, including conservation and sustainability and the work of the rangers. As part of this topic the children at Clanfield have been able to visit our own QE Country Park, achieving a better understanding of our own environment and countryside.
“Rarely does topic work at school get this exciting! Rarely do the children have an opportunity to meet in the flesh, face to face, with a friend from a different continent and a place so different from their own, only to discover so many surprising similarities. These exchange visits really bring everything to life, making our relationship with our twinned school real and purposeful. We hope that we are making links and building a firm foundation of global awareness that will serve our children well for the rest of their lives.” – Rebecca Buckle, Clanfield Junior School Exchange Teacher
We are currently planning to send money to Bukorwe Primary so that they can put solar panels on the roof of the school. We hope that this will improve their access to the internet using the devices that we have provided, and therefore their ability to communicate regularly with us.