Portsmouth children come together to support South African school

Schitzdrift Rural School in South Africa.
Schitzdrift Rural School in South Africa.
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CHILDREN from two city schools are working together to create learning resources for a school in South Africa

Year 5 pupils from Portsmouth High School and St Swithun’s Catholic School are preparing a self teach workbook on earth sciences.

Portsmouth High School Sixth Form students with pupils from Schitzdrift Rural School in South Africa.

Portsmouth High School Sixth Form students with pupils from Schitzdrift Rural School in South Africa.

Evie Newman, aged 10, said: ‘It’s really exciting to prepare this workbook and to know it’s going to be sent to another country thousands of miles away.’

Emily Newman, also 10, added: ‘It’s exciting to be sending the books such a long way. Hopefully it will help the children with their learning.’

Once complete, the work books will be sent to Schitzdrift Rural School in South Africa. The relationship between the schools developed after a chance meeting between Portsmouth High School headmistress, Jane Prescott, and Lynette Heron who supports Schitsdrift School.

Assistant head teacher and project coordinator, Graeme Field, said: ‘Mrs Prescott was visiting South Africa when her car broke down and Lynette stopped to offer help. Since that meeting there has been a strong relationship between the two schools with staff and children having travelled to Schitzdrift.’

Faced with challenging circumstances of large classes and few resources, Mr Field and the children hope the workbooks can provide a helping hand.

Sasha Amato, 10, said: ‘The school is very different to my school as they don’t have modern facilities. The fact the workbook is self-lead is good because there might not be enough teachers.’

Eliana Gelder, also 10, added: ‘The fact it is made by similar age children is good as we know what makes tasks fun.’

The book will cover a range of topics including star gazing, weather and family stories about how people are linked to the land. All tasks within the book will be directed by hand-drawn images of each of the children.

Mr Field added: ‘We are making sure the topics fit with the South African curriculum and we are hoping over the time that this same group of children can produce a series of workbooks.’

Sasha added: ‘I’m really looking forward to doing the chapter on space.’

Another key aim of the initiative is to promote a collaborative approach to learning with children from the state and independent sectors working together.