Here at Eastington Primary, our community stretches far and wide, beyond our school gates and even beyond the village itself. We are lucky to have links with several schools and children have the opportunity to find out a little bit more about the lives of others through these links.
Charles Dickens Primary School
Children in Year 6 forge links with children in Charles Dickens Primary School, London. Children write to each other and sometimes undertake writing projects together and so become buddies. Each year children & staff from Charles Dicken come and work on a local farm where we meet them for some fun, outdoor learning together. Every two years the Year 6 children visit London to meet them. We’ve found out schools and children can be very different and yet similar. Amazingly we both have red school uniforms, however their school has 420 children! Read the children’s thoughts from one of our link visits:
Bea: My pen pal is Ana and she goes to Charles Dickens school in London. We went to Wick Court Farm to meet them. When we spent time we each other, I felt really happy because she was very kind to me. One the walk we picked flowers. I loved meeting my buddy and hearing about her life.
Cameron: My buddy’s name is Yonzy. He lives in London. To be paired up, we met at Wick Court Farm. It was so nerve-racking on the way there because all we knew was their name. When I met Yonzy I was astonished to hear that he was ten years old and only around a centimetre taller than me! One main difference is that he lives in the city and I live in a village but we both love video games.
James: I like my pen pal Elias. He lives in London and Charles Dickens is the school he goes to. When I first met him, I felt rather worried that he was going to be completely different from me, but as time passed, I grew into him. He is kind, but with quite a mischievous sense of humour, meaning he is quite funny to talk to! I really giggle at some of the tricks he plays! Most of all though, I really enjoyed having a game of football with him and all our friends. I would really want to see him again.
Daisy: My pen pal’s name is Sirra and she goes to Charles Dickens Primary school in London. We met at Wick Court Farm. When I met her, she told me a bit about herself. She is eleven years old and is in year 6. She is really kind and quite funny too. I was really excited to have a London buddy. They have a different experience to us because they live in such a big, bustling city.
Children in Key Stage 1 learn about life in Kenya as part of the Geography curriculum. In Y3 & Y4 children have the opportunity to make penpal friends with out link school in Langa-Langa, Kenya to find out more. We are fortunate to have strong links through staff with the school so we can sustain our letter writing. (We have tried using technology but we’ve faced problems every time!) We are hoping to have a teacher exchange soon too. Miss Pates will be working in Langa-Langa and we are hopeful one of their teachers will visit us too as part of a British Council exchange project.
Read the children’s thoughts about their pen pals:
Max: My pen pal’s name is Silvania. She lives in Kenya and goes to Langa Langa Primary. We write letters to each other. Her letters are covered in her amazing drawings. She doesn’t get paper too often and her school usually writes on pre-used paper but when she writes to me she uses lined paper as a special usage. She writes as neatly as possible so she doesn’t waste paper. Two years ago we raised money in a fun run to buy solar lamps for them, so the children could revise for their exams. To think we are 7,000 miles away and yet we are still friends.
Matilda: My pen pal’s name is Ashly, she lives in Kenya. Ashly goes to Langa Langa Primary in Gilgil. We sent Easter cards last year and Mr Dougan took them to Kenya for us. It is wonderful to have letters back from the other side of the world. We have raised money for them as they couldn’t do their homework without light. We bought them 64 solar lights. Even though there are about 7,000 miles between us, we still are great friends completely through letters! I can’t wait for the next one.
Imi: My pen pal lives in Kenya. She likes to draw animals in their habitat and she is very good at it. I am looking forward to chatting more with her in our letters. She is very excited and would like me to draw her an elephant. She also likes drawing and I have been hoping for her to send me more of her pictures. She is a very good artist. We have raised money for the Kenyan children to have lights at home to do their homework.
We are fortunate to have ties with other schools too. We have a visit each year from secondary students from Japan. The students lead a special assembly in English so we can find out more about their school and life. Every class learns more about an aspect of Japan and how to say hello – kon’nichiwa. The Year 6 work in pairs and give school tours to their new Japanese friends. The Y6 children enjoy fantastic workshops which the students have planned too: trying food; painting their name in Japanese; playing with Japanese traditional toys. The workshops give the Year 6 children the opportunity to find out more by asking lots of questions. All the staff and children enjoy a fun playtime together – it’s brilliant how everyone gets on with a smile. We have many friends at Eastington!