FOR most teachers half term is a chance for a well-earned break - but one group is spending a week teaching in Hastings’ African twin town.
Melinda Spearman, of Filsham Valley, Lynn White and Katie Tomei, of Blacklands, Dawn Paines, of Christ Church, Mandy Hinxman, of Little Ridge and Sue Furness, of St Mary Star-of-the-Sea, flew out to Hastings, Sierra Leone on Friday, February 18, for their seven-day adventure.
Each teacher is taking lessons in their partner schools as part of the work done by the Hastings Sierra Leone Friendship Link (HSLFL) to promote social, cultural and economic relationships between the two towns.
The trip is being funded by the British Council which has been impressed with the work the schools have already done collaborating on projects. These range from comparing gender roles in the two societies to studying the trees which grow in the respective schools’ grounds.
In May, teachers from the African schools will be coming here to 1066 Country to share their experiences with local youngsters.
Roger Mitchell, the schools liaison officer for the HSLFL who also flew out for the trip said: “Fostering understanding and friendship between children living in different cultures around the world is great fun and a vital part of today’s education. This programme will make a big impact in our two communities.”
Meanwhile a quiz night held last Friday raised nearly £2,000 for the link’s work in Sierra Leone.
About 30 teams went head-to-head at the Civil Service Sports Club in Harrow Lane and the auction, led by former MP Michael Foster, was a huge success, with signed Gareth Barry and Michael Yardy shirts going for a combined total of nearly £300.
Overall the link raised £1,840 from the event, towards the resource centre built in Hastings, Sierra Leone. The organisers thanked both sports stars’ families and Kiley’s Karpets for their support.