We are very proud of our link with The Gambia which has been on-going since 2008. Over the years, staff from both Sandringham and Farafenni Senior Secondary schools have visited the partner schools , meeting students, staff and the wider community whilst working on curricular links. Much of this has been funded through the British Council.
Last year was particularly exciting as students from both schools travelled for the first time. In February three staff and seven students from Sandringham travelled to The Gambia and, on their return, shared what they had seen and learned through assemblies to the whole school. In June we were delighted to welcome the Gambian group of three staff (including the principal, Mr Jallow) and two students, Muhtar Barry and Ramatoulie L. Njie, to spend the week experiencing school and life in the UK.
The British Council no longer funds these links to the same extent, but we are very keen to keep contact going. We made two pledges when in The Gambia: one, to continue sponsoring four male students each year (girls are paid for by the government), and secondly, to raise £10,000 for a school hall. The school in Farafenni does not currently have a covered space for assemblies, exams or performances. This means that during the wet season assemblies cannot be held, and when exams are being taken, other students cannot attend school as the classrooms have to be used.
When the Gambian visitors were with us, we had a non-uniform day to start the fundraising, as well as a raffle and cake sales. With an added donation of £500 from Deloittes, the amount raised stands at £1828.58.
In February 2014, Ms Hebb, Ms Kovacevik, Ms Lyons and the Chair of Governors, Ms Keen, visited the Gambia to continue our British Council link and also to see how the hall was progressing. Two Gambian teachers had already visited Sandringham in November 2013.
As long as the UK visas are issued soon, we should be welcoming two Gambian teachers again in November 2014. We will be continuing our curriculum link based on Maths this year. We are also planning a return visit to the Gambia in February 2015 to see the completed hall. This will be a mixed group of teachers and students. We now only need to raise the last £1400 over the next few months to reach our target of £10,000 for the hall so if you have any ideas for fundraising and want to get involved, please see Ms Lyons or any of the SLT.
If you would like to sponsor a student, contact Ms Lyons for a letter. (School fees cost £14 a year).