Brize Norton Primary School
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GROWING TOGETHER - A partnership between Brize Norton Primary School, UK and Kibanga Primary School, Uganda


Last year all of the children at Brize Norton had a very exciting time investigating the disappearance of a famous work of art 'The Room at Arles' by Van Gogh as part of a whole school theme. We shared our work with our Ugandan partner school. The children at Kibanga Primary School also worked on the same image. They considered what each of the items in the room represented and then tried to recreate the room themselves before applying the art skills to pastel and chalk pictures of their own homes. The children told us that they had to learn many new skills to do this work and in return we have learnt so much about the homes and lives of children at Kibanga Primary School.


For the last three weeks of term David Tusuubira, the headteacher of Kibanga Primary School in Uganda, visited us. It was an amazing three weeks, in which time we learnt so much from each other. David enjoyed a day out in London with Year 5 and 6, got truly involved in sports day and enjoyed the teaching he did at our school. Our younger children enjoyed learning about how many everyday items are made from natural products such as palm and banana fibre while our older children put their skills to the test in weaving mats - this was much harder than it looked! This visit marks the end of the fourth year of our partnership with Kibanga Primary School. We loved sharing all of the work that the Ugandan students had produced for our joint art project and are looking forward to another exciting project next year. See more photos here.


In July the headteacher from Kibanga Primary School, Uganda, came to visit the school for 18 days. We were all so excited to welcome David to our school community. During his visit David joined the whole school for sports day, took part in a whole school arts project, visited London with Class 4 and taught in each class. We learnt so much from having David with us and were all very sad to see him go. See more photos here.


On the 20th April we started our planting project with Kibanga Primary School. It was so exciting! We started the day with a whole school assembly. Mr Smith asked us to guess lots of mystery seeds, some English and some from Uganda. We looked at some of the differences and similarities in the climate and weather in both countries and made predictions about what would grow best where. What was really amazing was that we telephoned Kibanga Primary School. It was great, the children played their drums to us over the phone, the headteacher talked to us and the children explained what they were doing in Lugandan and in English. We even got to ask them some questions we had.

On 20th April, following assemblies in both schools, all of the children were involved in planting the seeds. Both countries have planted the same varieties of Radish, Onion, Carrots, Courgette, Squash, Cabbage, Maize, Groundnuts and Beans. We will be photographing the seed growth every fortnight and then sending our information to each other. We will then look at why some things grow better in one country compared with another.

See more photographs here. Read our assembly Powerpoint here. Read information about Uganda here. Compare a Uganda city and a UK city here.






Miss Gerrard and I visited our partner school, Kibanga Primary School from 15th to 22nd February 2009 to develop our partnership and agree on a curriculum project that we could work on together.


Kibanga Primary School is situated on the Ssese Islands of Lake Victoria, a 3 hour ferry journey from the mainland port in Entebbe. It is a school with 550 children in seven classes. In July, David the headteacher visited Brize Norton and shared our enthusiasm for developing a school partnership.

The island community is disadvantaged in many ways, with much employment provided by the fishing industry. The island communities have been affected by HIV with many children orphaned or living with extended family. At the same time they are advantaged by their sense of community spirit shown by everyone we met and the determination to make the most of what they have, and do the best they can for themselves, family and friends.




Through visiting our partner school we aimed to:

  • Gain a deeper appreciation of what it is like to be an adult or child in Uganda and in particular to live on the Ssese Islands.

  • Identify similarities and differences between the lives of men, women and children in both countries to better inform our work in school.

  • Meet with teachers in our partner school to secure a successful partnership with agreed goals.

  • Plan a curriculum project that could involve all children in both schools.


As we approached the school by car at 6.30pm on the first evening, we were met by the sound of singing and cheering as the entire community had lined the streets to greet us. On our first full day we had the opportunity to meet all the staff and children at the school.

Ugandan children can start school at the age of 6, although many do not start until much later. The classes are organised in primary schools from P1 – 7, with the main difference being that children do not transfer to secondary school until they have passed their national exams. For some this could be at the age of 16!

On our second day we had the opportunity to teach in 4 classes using resources that we had prepared before we left England. It was fascinating how the children learn. With class sizes of 60 plus and few practical resources, most learning is done through ‘chalk and talk’. Most questions simply have a yes or no answer! During our time in the school we tried to develop elements of partner talk, something which the children and teachers were not familiar with as a teaching strategy. Most learning from the age of 7 is taught in English, although the children are also taught in their regional language, Lugandan.

Over the course of the week we had the opportunity to visit 6 schools, meet the local vicar and the Education Officer to share our proposed partnership.

See more photos here


This week we have been sharing our experiences with all the children in assemblies. I know that many parents have been told all about it by their children.




Kibanga Primary School in Kalangala, Uganda.

In May 2008 we formed a partnership with Kibanga Primary School after the headteacher visited Brize Norton. Kalangala is one of the Sese Islands on Lake Victoria.