Flying to Africa to teach fun learning!

(l-r) Pupils from Parade Community Pre-School in Portsmouth Fattoumatta Gaye, Dulcie-Dai Brown, Musa Bojang, Ethan Pook and deputy manager of the school Jayne Whatling with gifts Jayne will be taking to a school in Gambia. Picture: Allan Hutchings (111207-328)
(l-r) Pupils from Parade Community Pre-School in Portsmouth Fattoumatta Gaye, Dulcie-Dai Brown, Musa Bojang, Ethan Pook and deputy manager of the school Jayne Whatling with gifts Jayne will be taking to a school in Gambia. Picture: Allan Hutchings (111207-328)
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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A pre-school deputy manager is flying out to a nursery in Africa armed with toys and games to show youngsters over there how learning can be fun.

Jayne Whatling, 41, of Parade Community Pre-School in Hilsea, Portsmouth is on a mission to help spice up the school lives of youngsters at the Yankuba Bojang Memorial Nursery in The Gambia.

She said: ‘I hope I can make a difference. I’ve seen pictures of the nursery and their style is very much chalk board and chalk teaching.

‘Here we teach how to learn through play which is much more fun and engaging for children.

‘What they are doing in their classrooms is how we taught in ours 30 years ago, and it would be great to show them how it’s done here.’

Mrs Whatling has already accumulated games, parachutes, skipping ropes and balls for outdoor play, as well as arts and crafts, role play outfits, curriculum books and school uniforms to give to the young boys and girls.

The gifts have all been possible thanks to the excellent fundraising efforts at the pre-school including a sponsored bouncy castle race last month, which raised £360.

Generous parents also donated £100 towards ten mosquito nets and an Easter Egg raffle event is expected to raise an extra £200.

Mrs Whatling, who will set out on April 8 and return a week later, said: ‘What makes this trip extra special is that we have a few Gambian children here at the pre-school whose parents know the nursery well.

‘The children understand what I’m doing and they’re just as excited as I am.’

Cathy Forbes, manager of the centre which currently has 74 three and four-year-olds on roll, said: ‘We’re all so proud of Jayne and hope she comes back with lots of photos and news.

‘I’m hoping this trip will help create an official link with the Gambian nursery so that our children can have pen pals and can learn more about another culture.’

To donate money towards buying toys and learning equipment for the Gambian nursery, call (023) 9265 1231 and leave a message with contact details if no reply.