Redbridge schools welcome young visitors from Ghana and Kenya

Schools were visited by special guests from Ghana and Kenya last week as part of a friendship project.

Pupils and teachers from nine African schools and seven schools in Redbridge spent the week learning from each other, experiencing cultural differences and exploring London.

This is the second year in a three-year partnership between Redbridge and the two African nations. It is supported by the British Council.

The visitors attended a welcome ceremony at William Torbitt Primary, Eastern Avenue, Newbury Park, where pupils, teachers and parents were able to get an insight into African life.

Head teacher Patricia Hines said: “Each day the delegates have been in different schools working with children in class.

“Through the time spent together, the children have developed real friendships and they were sad to say goodbye.”

Other schools involved included King Solomon High School, Forest Road, Barkingside, where visitors entered a synagogue for a presentation from a group of Year Seven students.

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Delegates also went on trips to some of the capital’s landmarks, travelling on the Tube and receiving a personal welcome from Ilford North MP Lee Scott at the Houses of Parliament.

A football match was also organised for the visiting students at Little Heath School, Hainault Road, Little Heath.

Pupils from the borough’s schools were selected to be ambassadors, accompanying the guests on their trips around London and to various Redbridge schools.

Jameela Barrett, a Year Six ambassador at William Torbitt, described the visit as “mindblowing”.

She said: “I learned how to talk to people I don’t know and build a relationship with them.”

Families of William Torbitt pupils hosted the African guests, taking them into their homes for the duration of their stay.

Plans for teachers and students from Redbridge to visit Ghana next year are already under way.