Hard-working teenagers given a taste of school life in Uganda
TWO girls from Henbury School have returned from a trip to Africa with many stories to tell.
Ellie Andrews, 15, who lives in Henbury, and Georgina Huxtable, 14, from Southmead, were among a party of 27 Bristol students and teachers who visited schools in Masindi in Uganda last month.
Ellie, who had never been abroad before, and Georgina were selected by their school after writing letters outlining why they would like to take part in the seven-day visit. Each raised £1,000 towards the cost by working for a year on bag packing, raffles and other activities.
The girls spent several days attending lessons at Masindi Secondary School and also visited a rural primary school and an orphan pupil's home.
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Ellie said: "The trip was amazing. Everything was good really. The school we went to was bigger than I expected. It had 5,500 students. The only thing I wasn't too keen on was some of the Ugandan food."
Georgina added: "The trip was hard at times – but it was definitely worth it."
The teenagers were accompanied by Henbury School geography teacher Jenna Anderson, who taught a couple of lessons at the school in Masindi.
"It was interesting to plan and deliver a lesson with the different resources – basically no resources. There was just one copy of a text book for the class," she said.
Bristol has been linked with Masindi for 11 years, with 250 teachers from primary and secondary schools in the city making trips and then hosting exchange visits from Ugandan staff and occasionally students.
Henbury was the first secondary school to send students to Africa five years ago. Two students each from Orchard School Bristol and St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School took part in the 2013 trip.
Ms Anderson said: "It was interesting to compare life in the two countries. It is such a massive contrast.
"I was really struck by the impact the partnership is having on both sides. Ugandan teachers who had been to Bristol had adopted some of our interactive teaching styles rather than simply using traditional rote learning.
"We have such a lot to learn from them as well. One of the things that will stick with me and with the girls is the work ethic.
"Students over there are so keen to learn that some even break in to the school when it is closed."