June 24th 2015 – Our Zambia adventure begins…


Wednesday June the 24th 2015.

As part of the connecting classrooms project, which is Part-funded each year by the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme, we set off for Zambia.  

Our adventure began n Manchester (UK), where we boarded our first plane to Amsterdam. We then boarded our second plane, which took us to Nairobi (Kenya). After a very long flight and a six hour wait in Nairobi, we boarded our final plane to Ndola (Zambia), which stopped in Lubumbashi for forty five minutes, before continuing to our final destination.


This was our second planes flight path.


Thursday 25th June 2015

When we had reached our final destination, we were obviously very tired.

We quickly collected our luggage and we were all greeted with such warmth!!

We then boarded our mini-bus to Kalulushi.


We spent about two hours on the mini-bus, before finally arriving at Affs Guest House. This was going to be our new home for the next nine nights. We went and had a quick tour around our new surroundings and we then went to set up our rooms.


The drive way.


Gate security


One of three pods we would sit in at night to talk about our day.


The water feature, minus water!


Our rooms were next door to each other.


Mrs Marriott’s bed for the next nine nights.

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Mrs Marriott’s room and bathroom.

At first we thought we would be able to have a lovely hot bath, but this was not going to be the case. The water situation was quite challenging at times. We would get running water some days, but this was nearly always cold!!! Twice whilst we were there we managed to use someone’s shower, which was such a treat!

We then had tea, which had to be cooked outside due to a power cut. We had regular power cuts, so this became the norm! How these ladies managed to cook for so many people, with no electricity was amazing. They just got on with it and served us some amazing food.


Friday 26th June 2015

After recharging our batteries, we were ready to go again. We set off on a tour of all our partnership schools.





Anston Greenlands is partnered with Twayuka School in Kalulushi

These are photos of our partner school.


One of the classrooms


Children sweeping their school grounds.


The brushes were hand made. We have been given one, as a gift from our partner school for you to look at.

We had a look around our partner schools office. We found that they had created posters, using our school uniform colours.

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We met the head boy.


Every school gave us a fantastic warm welcome. It was obvious that the children had been working hard to perform a celebration dance for us.

We felt so honoured to be there!!!!!!!!

Saturday 27th June

We went on a safari. This was an amazing experience, especially when we got so close to the giraffe.

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Mrs Jones held a snake!!!

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I on the other hand took the photos!!!!!

Sunday 28th June 2015

We had the option to go to church. We chose to go to the Pentecostal church, with Shelley and her family. Shelley was one of the people who took great care of us whilst we were in Zambia.

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That evening we learnt some Bemba, in preparation for starting our teaching. Bemba is their language, but the older children could understand and speak some English too. We often had teacher’s in our classes to help translate when needed.


Monday 29th June – Friday 3rd June 2015

Our Head teacher collected us every morning at 7.15am and drove us to our school. We were made to feel so welcome and very important. The children were so keen to work with us, so our timetable was juggled about a bit to ensure all the children were taught by us.

Before school started someone would climb the flag pole and put the school’s flag up. Then someone would bang on the flag pole and the children would count to ten and shout that school was starting in Bemba. This would then alert children walking slowly to hurry up.


Some children had a very long way to walk to get to school, and we would often pass them on their way. The roads were not like ours, unless it was a main road.

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We would often see adults and children carrying things along the road, such as food, water and items to sell. We also saw little shacks, which families had set up to sell things they had made. Some children didn’t go to school, as they had responsibility for their siblings whilst mum and dad went out to work.

The first day we observed how the teacher in our partner school taught lessons, such as Maths and Literacy.

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Their lesson plans looked like this…


Then from that point on we began to teach. We taught the youngest children, which were in Grade 1, right up to the oldest in the school, which were Grade 7. The classes were very big!!! They had split grades to try and make the classes smaller, but this still meant class sizes were big. Here is a picture of how many children are in each grade….


We taught lessons with both Grade 7a and b together, so this was quite challenging.

Our first lesson was Literacy for Grade 7 pupils. We planned and delivered a phonics lesson for two hours. The children loved learning about digraphs and the Jolly Phonics actions that went with these. We were asked to deliver this lesson to two other grades too, as the teacher observing our lesson had enjoyed it so much and thought it would be very beneficial to others. We are planning to send them a copy of the Letters and Sounds phonic programme and resources to support this, as they are very keen to develop reading and writing.

We taught lots of other lessons throughout our time in school, such as Maths, Handwriting and PE. We were constantly making a list of resources we could give to our partner school to help them develop their children’s learning further.

Here are some photos of us in action…

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PE lessons – We encouraged the children to work in teams and large groups. We did parachute activities, relays and other team games. We played large circle games too and sang English action songs.


The children would often lose their shoes whilst participating in our racing games, as they often didn’t have laces.

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Handwriting lessons – We modelled how to form letters correctly and then we moved on to joining up our letters. We encouraged the children to do air writing, and writing on their partners back. We then got the children to write on their paper.


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In one of our Literacy lessons we read letters out from children in our school and then we got the children in Grade 7 to write a reply.

We encouraged the children to talk to each other, by using the strategy ‘talk partners’. Initially the children found this difficult and were very quiet, but they soon got the hang of it and became very responsive and keen to share their ideas with us. We made our lessons very kinaesthetic, which meant that the children were actively doing something while learning.

On Wednesday our school received five old laptops and one hundred keepods, which will be funded by donations from the UK. The Keepod project aimed to deliver Keepods, computers and then internet connectivity to 700 children in 8 different schools. By using Keepod Along with education and communication apps, the children will be able to create a collaboration platform between the UK and Zambia, giving an opportunity to develop friendships across this great distance, create mutual study projects and bridge cultural gaps. Here are some photos of this being done. It was such an amazing moment and one we were there to witness. If you would like to support this project visit the web page to read more about this.


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Our partner school really looked after us and fed us such a variety of food. Zambia’s native cuisine is based on nshima, a cooked porridge made from ground maize. (In Zimbabwe this is sadza, in South Africa mealie-pap.) This is usually made thin, perhaps with sugar, for breakfast, then eaten thicker – the consistency of mashed potatoes – for lunch and dinner. For these main meals it will normally be accompanied by some tasty relish, perhaps made of meat and tomatoes, or dried fish.  We ate this regularly!!!!


Thursday 2nd July 2015

We went to school in the morning and then returned to Affs Guest House for our farewell event.

We wore dresses that had been made to measure by one of our teachers from our partner school. We went for two different styles.


We had lots food, good music and speeches about the partnerships.


We even had a cake to celebrate our partnership.


Friday 3rd July 2015

We went into school very early to say our goodbyes. It was clear to see that a lot of preparation had gone into our final farewell event. The children danced, sang and acted out scenarios for us about life in Zambia. They brought us to tears and it was a very sad time for us, and for them.

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We then went to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), which draws in an impressive number of professional exhibitors, looking to showcase an extensive array of products and services to the show attendees. Some of the main items of exhibit at the show are apparel items, textiles, food and beverage products, office equipments and agricultural equipments. Trendy interior decoration themes, furniture items, hospitality and tourism services, hardware products, software solutions, leather goods and footwear items. This gave us the opportunity to purchase some gifts for home and school to remember our trip and develop our children’s knowledge of Zambia too.

Saturday 4th July 2015

It was time to say our goodbyes and head for the Ndola (Zambia) airport. We left Affs at 9am and checked in at 12.15pm.

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Then three flights later we were back to where our journey had begun!!!

We are now back in England and can’t wait to share our experience with the children in school. What an amazing experience!!!!!

We are now looking forward to receiving two teachers from our partner school in the new school year.

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