Africa and Taiwan come to Eldon Grove

Lions of Zulu land on their visit to  Eldon Grove Primary School
Lions of Zulu land on their visit to Eldon Grove Primary School

A SCHOOL was a hive of cultural activity when some energetic guests visited pupils.

Eldon Grove Primary School, in Hartlepool, played host to the Lions of Zululand, an arts, cultural and heritage performance group.

Stephen Smailes with the Lions of Zululand. Below and left, the dancers in action

Stephen Smailes with the Lions of Zululand. Below and left, the dancers in action

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As well as having a taste of African culture through the performance, the school also welcomed four teachers from Taiwan, who also watched the Lions.

Across two days, around 500 children were impressed by vibrant dances, songs and drumming from the South African visitors.

Children also took part in workshops with the Lions, who wore traditional dress.

The youngsters learned about the Lions’ art, culture and heritage.

The children were even challenged to a game of football by the Lions, which the South Africans won 3-0.

Assistant headteacher Audrey Brahimi said: “Both events are part of our drive to ensure our pupils develop as international citizens and to help them live and compete in a global society.

“Every pupil in the school benefitted and absolutely loved it. It raised their awareness of Zululand and South Africa.

“Every child from the nursery up to Year 6 experienced the event, and the comments from the children ranged from ‘awesome’ and ‘amazing’ to ‘fantastic’.

“One child even said ‘that’s been the best day of my life so far’.

“We were just bowled over by the Lions’ energy, athleticism and enthusiasm.”

The Taiwanese visitors were at the school as part of the British Council-funded Connecting Classrooms scheme, where schools from different countries work together on a range of projects.

They were given a tour of the school and were invited to attend the Lions’ workshops.

Mrs Brahimi said: “They were fully integrated into everything. They had lunch with us all, along with the South Africans.

“The first stage was to introduce each other and they are keen to get the project started.”