Sawa Sawa Academy
The relationship between BSCS and Sawa Sawa Academy (SSA)
When and how did it start?
Our link started in January 2013 after Mr Hill visited the school in Kenya and they asked about the idea of linking with our school. He was keen to set up a link with a school as he knew the value this could have for both our school and community and the Kenyan community.
What are the objectives?
The objectives are to develop a mutually beneficial and sustainable link. We want to support both schools and communities by offering them opportunities to experience how the education systems in Kenya and the United Kingdom work, learning from each other and sharing examples of best practice.
What has been achieved so far?
Initially the link grew slowly with students setting up pen-pal links, small fundraising efforts and some opportunities to develop learning in the classroom. In July 2014 we took a group of 7 Post 16 students out to Kenya and they taught lessons, renovated classrooms and interacted with the students and teachers. They also got to explore the local area, snorkelling, going on safari and enjoying the beach! Through a grant obtained through the British Council’s Connecting Classroom’s Scheme, we have managed to organise Zablon’s visit. This has taken a great deal of planning, getting him a passport, visa, necessary vaccinations etc.
Since then the link has gone from strength to strength. We have developed links with Kenya across our curriculum, including the Sawa Sawa run where students are collaboratively running to Sawa Sawa from BSCS. We have also started sponsoring a student, Elsie, who, without our support wouldn’t be able to attend school. Finally, we have a tutor group who are in regular correspondence with students in Kenya, exchanging pictures and letters.
Mr Zablon Maina, Headteacher at the Sawa Sawa Academy in Kenya spent a week with us here at BSCS in November 2015. He spent time in all departments and also days at Meadowbrook and Abbeywood. Mr Maina had a fantastic stay and also visited Old Trafford, a lifelong dream of his, St Mary's Old Boys Rugby Club for a training session and a sightseeing tour of London.
Mr Maina returned to Kenya following his visit to us here and presented the students and staff with all the many gifts we had given him during his visit. St Mary's Rugby Club had also donated some well needed rugby balls and provided Mr Maina with a team tie and shirt.
In January 2016 we decided we would like to sponsor a student from the Academy who, without our support would not be able to afford to attend the school. The student who has been chosen by the Academy is Elsie Tunda. We will be paying her school fees, buy her school uniform and pay for school equipment. So far, we have been raising funds for this through a non school uniform day. A Thank You video from Elsie.
In February 2016 our students sent letters to the Academy students entitled "What we can see out of our window" to give them an insight into our lives here at BSCS. We should be receiving replies any time soon.
The Great Sawa Sawa Run started on Monday 11 April and during the next ten weeks we are aiming to run 6500 miles (26,172) laps of our athletics track! Every student in Years 7 - 10 will be asked to complete a minimum of 4 laps at the start of each PE lesson. It is going to be a sponsored challenge where we will also aim to raise money to help buy new sports equipment for Sawa Sawa.