Governors' Blog

Our school link with Mityana:Ruth Vale


On Monday, I had the privilege of enjoying an assembly led by The Rev Dodie Marsden, the Diocesan coordinator for our Mityana link. What a fantastic experience it was! She greeted the children in the Mityana style, explaining that children there were super polite and that she’d like them to emulate them. Amos, the teddy bear was then introduced, dressed in Whitchurch C of E uniform. He had been to Mityana and had brought back news of his adventures.
Through a series of pictures of Amos projected on to the wall, we followed his adventures to Mityana. We saw children and staff from Whitchurch hugging Amos and giving him messages to take with him. We saw him with his luggage at the airport, at passport control, strapped into his seat on the plane, and best of all, in the pilot’s cockpit with the Captain and First Officer. I’m not sure how that was arranged but the children were delighted!
Once at Mityana, Amos went to school on a scooter and met children there; he planted a mango tree, visited homes, made beanbags with the children, and greeted cattle in the fields. The children were transfixed and I’m sure won’t forget their ‘virtual’ visit to Mityana.
The assembly finished with the singing of Ugandan words to well known songs that were phonetically projected on to the wall. It was fantastic watching the older children enjoying, ‘Head and shoulders, knees and toes,’ with even the most sophisticated joining in the actions and trying the words. Younger children sang, ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star,’ in Ugandan.
Our Mityana link is an important one for all schools. (There are a number of schools in Mityana, and Testbourne and other local schools here participate in the link.) Our children are indirectly sampling another culture, a different geography, and another way of living. They’re discovering the joy of sharing their own privileged school life with others who have relatively little but are incredibly grateful for what they have. It is amazing to see how valued education is in Mityana. Their teachers and children visit us, and Whitchurch children and teachers regularly go out to spend time in Mityana.
Whitchurch children meet daily for an assembly that usually involves collective worship. Sometimes the assemblies are class led, with each year taking a turn. On other occasions Mrs Stevens or a member of staff leads the assembly. Each Friday, the children are rewarded for their hard work and achievements in a special whole school assembly. Outside visitors, including local clergy, sometimes lead a worship. Dodie Marsden is a regular participant and is always welcomed with enormous enthusiasm by the children and staff, and on this occasion by a governor.

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