We are fortunate to have developed a long-standing link with a school in the District of Bo, in Sierra Leone. The school is called BDEC New Gerihun Rd and we have been linked since 2011, through One World Link (OWL).
The link that has been running between the Warwick and Bo communities since 1981 is inspired by a desire for justice, equality, human understanding and mutual support. Over the years it has helped to strengthen both communities and their awareness of global and development issues.
There are currently fifteen primary schools in Bo who are linked with schools in this area; we are very fortunate that the co-ordinator for these primary links is one of our teachers, Mrs Liz Garrett. She has visited several times and is able to provide a wealth of knowledge and an ability to bring this link to life through her experiences. Over the years of our link, there have been reciprocal visits between members of our school and those from Bo; we have had fantastic experiences where the magic of technology has enabled us to share assembly time with children singing to each other, across the world, and opportunities for shared learning have continued throughout.
We look forward to providing you with regular updates from Bo and please ask your children what they know and remember from their learning about Bo
Visitors from Bo – June 2023
We were excited that a teacher from our link school was going to be spending 2 weeks in Warwickshire so we made sure she had a warm welcome and visited all our classes to observe teaching and learning. She also joined in a whole school assembly and taught us the Sierra Leone National Anthem! She and the other 4 teachers went on lots of interesting visits including London and Birmingham to learn about our country. It made our link feel very real and our pupils really enjoyed asking her questions.
Friends of Bo assembly
While our visitors from Bo in Sierra Leone were visiting, Mrs Garrett and the children in our Friends of Bo club led an assembly to update the whole school about the linked projects being completed. Ms Elizabeth Allie, who works in our link school – New Gerihun Road Upper – was also part of the assembly. She sang the National anthem of Sierra Leone and explained that people salute while singing it, then we sang some other songs together. It was a very special assembly!
Ash Wednesday in Bo
Our friends in Bo sharing what they do to mark Ash Wednesday – the start of the Lent festival.
They burn the palm crosses from last year to make a powder which they then use to mark crosses on their foreheads at a church service.
Sports Day in Bo
In February one of the other link schools in Bo had their annual Sports Day. The children and staff were in four teams and Pink House won! Just look at their trophies!
In November 2022 each class nominated class reps to attend the weekly meeting where they learn about life in Sierra Leone and feedback information to their classes. The project this year is about Friendship so Mrs Garrett has set up a WhatsApp group to communicate with our link school, BDEC New Gerihun Rd, Bo. We have started asking each other questions to find out what it is like going to school in Bo.
Year 4 have done lots of work about the importance of trees for our environment. We read about Wangari Maathai, from Kenya, East Africa – she was an environmentalist and activist and planted thousands of trees to improve the environment in Kenya. We read her book: Trees of Peace.
Year 4 learnt all about the problem of deforestation in their geography and decided to hold a Deforestation Day to raise awareness. They learnt about the forests in Sierra Leone and both schools planted trees.
Our link school in Bo has done the same and we have exchanged poems.
The “Day of the African Child” is an international event, celebrated every year on 16th June, to raise awareness of the continuing need to promote children’s rights and to improve education to African children. Since the Coronavirus prevents us from getting together to celebrate this day, teachers and other OWL members in Bo and the UK met up in a virtual meeting.
Mrs Garrett and 3 other teachers from Warwickshire schools were lucky enough to visit their “One World Link” partner schools in Bo, Sierra Leone, West Africa. This was made possible by a Connecting Classrooms project funded by the British Council.
One World Link schools created a joint project to raise awareness about the need for recycling called Talking Rubbish. This was based on Global Goal 13: Climate Action. We used the story book One Plastic Bag to teach about the problem of single use plastic and to explore ways of recycling. When we were in Bo we ran workshops about the science behind Climate Change and shared ideas of how to teach about this issue in both Sierra Leone and the UK. Children at All Saints and Emscote did work which was shared with our link schools in Bo.
Here are some photos from the visit
Please see The Education Supplement within OWL’s newsletter here (pages 6-10) for reports about our school’s involvement with this community friendship organisation: