Hartlepool pupils get lesson in zulu

South African teacher Netti Shabane with pupils at Wellfield Community School, Wingate.
South African teacher Netti Shabane with pupils at Wellfield Community School, Wingate.
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Pupils at a Wingate school got a taste of South African culture as they were taught Zulu by two special visitors.

Wellfield Community School, based on North Road, has a partnership with Schitsdrift Combined School, in Winterton, Kwazulu Natal.

Wellfield was visited by Netti Shabane, a teacher of maths and science at the South African school, and Ntokozo Manyathi, regional superintendent for rural schools in Kwazulu Natal.

They spent a week with staff and students learning about education in England, as well as sharing their language and culture with them.

During their time at Wellfield, Miss Shabane and Mrs Manyathi observed and took part in lessons across the curriculum. They also taught Year 7 pupils some of the Zulu language, as well as a singing and dancing lesson led by Miss Shabane.

They also spent time at Bishop Barrington, Wingate Junior and Wingate Infant Schools, and their visit followed on from two weeks which were spent at Schitsdrift School by 10 Wellfield students and three staff in July. Fran Swinburn, deputy headteacher at Wellfield, said: “It was really exciting for the pupils to have visitors from South Africa.

The pupils were thrilled to participate enthusiastically in a Zulu lesson

Fran Swinburn

“They came to see how education works in this country, and it gave our pupils a great experience as well.

“The staff had an absolutely wonderful time, and said they had learned lots to take back to South Africa in terms of teaching and learning. Our students also learned a massive amount, so it was beneficial for everyone. The pupils were thrilled to participate enthusiastically in a Zulu lesson.”

Last September, the South African school’s headteacher, Zodwa Welcome, visited Wellfield and other local schools.

The reciprocal visits have been partially financially supported by funding from the British Council through the Connecting Classrooms grant, and although the funding is no longer available, Wellfield is planning its next visit to South Africa for July 2016.