AFRICAN visitors were given a warm welcome when they visited Hartlepool and east Durham.
A group of teachers from Mongu, Western Province, Zambia have spent a week visiting schools in east Durham, including Hutton Henry Primary School, St Joseph’s Primary School, in Blackhall and Wingate Infants School.
Also during the visit, which is part of an exchange programme, the teachers took a trip to Hartlepool and visited HMS Trincomalee at Hartlepool Marina and held a conference at Wingate Community Centre.
The group stayed with local teachers and went into schools with them each day to observe how British children work and learn.
The visit was part of the British Council Connecting Classrooms Sub-Sahara project, which Hesleden Primary, which has won the prestigious International School award three times, and other schools have been involved in for four years.
Teachers from Zambia and the North-East have visited each other’s schools annually and plan project work together.
Local teachers are set to return the favour by visiting Zambia next month to exchange children’s work, letters and photographs.
Hesleden Primary’s International co-ordinator Sarah Snowdon attributes much of the school’s international success to the Zambia project.
She said: “It’s very much a two-way project, each school learns from the other.
“For instance, our partner school Tungi Basic in Mongu has introduced a more rigorous assessment of pupil work after observing practise in our school, and has seen standards rise.
“Following our visits to Mongu, teachers in the UK were really impressed by how environmentally-aware Zambian schools are, and we’ve been inspired to make more of our outside spaces to encourage our children to grow and care for plants.”