A DELEGATION of teachers from Hastings’ twin town in Sierra Leone were in 1066 Country last week - teaching in local schools and picking up tips to take back to Africa.
The party arrived in London and enjoyed two days in the capital before coming to Hastings, where they were met by staff from a host of schools who have taken part in a successful pairing scheme under the two towns’ twinning.
Teachers from Blacklands, Christ Church, Filsham Valley, Little Ridge and St Mary Star-of-the-Sea schools have been in regular contact with similar schools in Africa.
And the headteachers from each of those Sierra Leone schools spent part of this week in their sister schools talking to pupils about the differences between the UK and Africa.
But it was not just Hastings students having their eyes opened - the visitors learned a thing or two as well.
Francis Mason, who helped organise the trip and heads up the friendship link in Africa, said the staff had learned a lot during the week-long visit.
“We have gained valuable insights into techniques of classroom management,” he told the Observer. “We have noticed a greater emphasis on guiding children rather than simply telling them what to do and have seen how this approach is of benefit to the whole school community.
“We need to learn to give children responsibility and to take leadership roles.”
It was not all work though. The group also enjoyed a picnic at nearby Battle Abbey, an evening with Mad Jack’s Morris dancers and a crazy golf tournament.
Mr Mason added: “This has been a wonderful experience. We are enjoying our time in the UK immensely.”