Two Sunderland teachers travelled across the globe to visit an earthquake-hit partner school.
The pair from Grangetown Primary School made their way to Traibidya Shikchhya Sadan School in Kathmandu, Nepal, to continue the partnership between the schools which began five years ago.
Deputy headteacher, Lesley Cole, and foundation stage teacher, Catherine Tose, were due to visit the school in 2015, but the visit was cancelled following the devastating earthquake in April which caused tremendous damage to the country and the school.
During the visit Lesley and Catherine worked closely with the staff in Kathmandu, leading training sessions covering the teaching of reading, phonics, Early Years Foundation Stage, learning outdoors, practical maths and curriculum planning.
They were also invited to take part in a conference celebrating the International School Award which was presented by The British Council.
The visit was a great success with a strengthening of the friendship between the schools as well as new links being made with other schools and nurseries in the country.
There is still a high level of devastationLesley Cole
Catherine said: “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to be able to visit the ountry to see the changes being made following the earthquake but also to support the staff in adopting similar approaches to curriculum development in their school.”
Lesley added: “It gave us an insight into the difficulties the school staff and the children face following the earthquake. There is still a high level of devastation with many buildings remaining damaged and a number of families still living in temporary accommodation a year on from the disaster.
“We are very lucky to have so many resources widely available to us, including the luxury of electricity on a daily basis. Some days, areas of the city go without power for up to sixteen hours.
“During our visit the school also had to overcome the issue of having no running water for two days. These are basics which we take for granted in our country.
“We will be using these experiences to teach our children about life in other countries and just how different school life is for children in Nepal.”
Future plans include creating a Peace Garden in both schools as well as setting up Skype sessions in order to give the staff in Nepal an opportunity to observe lessons in Grangetown.
And, the Wearside children will also continue to take part in the pen pal project in which they will write letters and articles to share with their friends in Kathmandu.