news > Brighton Teachers
in The Gambia
Westdene teachers reaffirm Global Schools
Partnership with Albion Lower Basic School
Westdene Primary School
in Brighton has had a long association with schools in The Gambia.
Tom Kimber, one of their teachers, took a year out last year to work
as a VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) volunteer in Albion Lower
Basic School in Banjul. (You can see a video clip made by Tom at
Albion LBS for his pupils at Westdene by
clicking this link.) This year he
is organising a week-long trip to Albion LBS during the imminent
February half-term break, which will allow the two schools to
further strengthen their relationship.
Nine teachers and four teaching assistants
from Westdene, and one teacher from Carlton Hill School, will spend
most of the week working together, sharing teaching experiences and
developing ideas about how best the schools can work together in the
While long-lasting projects such as a pen-pal scheme have proved
hugely successful, it is hoped that this first ever sizeable gathering of
teachers from both schools will lead to significant learning
opportunities for both Westdene and Albion pupils.
Tom said: “During my time in The Gambia last year, I met some amazing
people and made some great friends. I knew I would like to keep in
touch with those friends and possibly visit if I could; I didn’t
think my colleagues in the UK would be so interested in getting
involved and coming along too.
I’m really pleased that so many were interested in coming with me
and I think the visit will be a great opportunity for both Westdene
Primary and Albion Lower Basic.”
Albion LBS caters for children from grades 1-6.
Like many of the schools in The Gambia, its classrooms do not have
electricity or running water and often the 50 pupils in each class
have to crowd around insufficient and broken furniture. The walls
are generally bare and where many British classes now have an
interactive whiteboard, the Albion has tattered old blackboards. It
does, however, have electricity in a few small rooms, one of which
has been turned into an IT suite using donated computers.
As well as ideas and plans, the group will also take with them a
selection of tangible educational tools, including laminators,
display material, storage boxes and learning resources.
While the majority of their time will be
spent at Albion LBS in Banjul, the group also plans to venture out
of the city to visit schools in the more rural areas of The Gambia.