Kenyan teachers visit Nidderdale schools

Maddy Brown (9) from Ripley welcomes  Margaret Mbaru and her fellow teachers from Kenya. (1309176AM1)
Maddy Brown (9) from Ripley welcomes Margaret Mbaru and her fellow teachers from Kenya. (1309176AM1)

School pupils in Nidderdale and Ripley are hosting teachers from Kenya, who will take the chance to teach the North Yorkshire students Swahili, and give them a taste of African culture.

Ripley Endowed Primary School is the latest to join a Nidderdale initiative which involves a teacher swap between the district and schools in the East African country.

The school joins Nidderdale School, St Cuthberts, Glasshouses and Fountains Earth Primary Schools in the list of those receiving a visit from Kenyan teachers.

This week, a welcome reception was hosted in Ripley Town Hall.

One of the visiting teachers, Margaret Mbaru, said: “I teach smaller children at Mida Primary School.

“We have just one teacher in the class of 58!

“It is very exciting to be here, I am looking forward to teaching during my 12 days.”

Julius Mwamure teaches at Kirepwe Primary School.

He is planning to teach the North Yorkshire youngsters basic Swahili.

He said: “I will be teaching them Swahili so if they come to Kenya they are in a position to speak the language.

“My school is on an island, it is very small, with just 86 pupils.

“Some of the schools here are small also, so there are some similarities.”

This summer, teachers including Ripley’s headteacher Cath Wilson travelled to Kenya as part of the scheme.

Cath said: “It is the first time our school has been involved.

“It is fantastic for the pupils to have positive role models visiting from Africa.”

Ripley school governor Trish Bishop said: “The whole community gets involved, because the teachers go on trips with the pupils to local businesses, as well as spending time in the classroom.

“This initiative really opens Kenya up for the children.”

Year 6 student Eleanor Hallworth is looking forward to learning about Kenya.

She said: “We are all so excited!

“It will be a great experience and it is a huge opportunity for us.

“I am looking forward to learning new things such as Swahili from the teachers.”

Pupil Alfie Baxter said: “It will be a bit different from normal school days.

“We have been learning a bit more about Kenya at school.”

Schools in Nidderdale first got involved in the British Council link schools project six years ago.