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BBC World Class - Twin for 2012

Schools Spotlight on Team Masai

In the Spotlight this week are the Kenyan schools previously attended by long distance runners Linet and Moses Masai and their UK partner schools

In Pictures: Olympic journey from Kenya to Bedford

Kapsogom Primary in Kenya is twinning with Sutton Church of England Lower School in Bedfordshire

Bishop Okiring Secondary School is twinning with Bedford Academy, Bedford

Debbie Martin, Sarah Stevens, Naboth Okadie, Martin Bitei waiting for a tube train to visit Arsenal's Emirates Stadium
Kenyans on Tour!

The Kenyan schools met their new Bedford partners for the first time at Olympic Dreams Live in London. After an action-packed weekend, head teachers Naboth Okadie and Martin Bitei managed to squeeze in a whistle-stop trip to Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, before being whisked off to Bedfordshire to begin their twinning journeys.

Kapsogom Primary and Sutton C of E Lower

Sarah Stevens, Sutton C of E Lower

Well the visit in January from Mr Martin Bitei of Kapsogom Primary School in Kenya was fantastic. I think it was a great contrast for Martin and really brought the Olympic Dreams work alive for our younger children.

On entering Sutton village Martin asked if this was; 'the school compound'. I explained that in England we just have schools with neighbours who may, or may not be linked with the school. He thought it very strange that the teachers did not live at the school, in addition to thinking it very odd that we walked dogs and had no leaves on the trees!

Martin Bitei joins a primary school lesson
Martin joins a primary school lesson

After a lovely time with the children in the school Martin was amazed to see so many cars arriving at the end of the day to collect the children. At Kapsogom the children arrive each day on foot coming from many kilometres around, they also go home at lunch so make the journey twice a day, dodging elephants on the way!

Plans for the future

Questions From Sutton Pupils
What kind of sports do you have?
How deep is the mud near your school?
What sort of house do you have?
What is your favourite object at school?
What colour are you?

We have planned a series of activities linked to the curriculum for the next six months as we know that communication may be a little tricky as there is no electricity at Martin's school. I tried calling today and managed to get through but as it is a mobile connection it is not too clear.

We have decided to begin by the children creating booklets asking questions of their friends in the partner school.

Bishop Okiring Secondary and Bedford Academy

Twinning for 2012 has been an amazing experience so far. It has really helped our students to broaden their horizons and think more on a global level rather than just locally
Michael Cox

At Bedford Academy, headteacher Naboth Okadie and 17 year old student Eglah spent a jam-packed two days. They joined in drumming, science and cookery classes, where they rustled up a good old British favourite, toad-in-the-hole. Naboth even donned a pair of boxing gloves and took on 17 year old Ermal, Bedford Academy's rising Boxing star!

Education for Girls

The two schools also talked about deeper issues affecting their students such as pupil motivation and trying to keep girls in education. Like many schools in the UK, Bedford Academy notice a significant drop in girls participating in sport when they reach the upper-school age of 13.

Michael Cox and his team are working hard to overcome this by giving girls opportunities to take part in Bollywood dance sessions, a girls-only gym and boxercise class, alongside non-traditional female sports such as football, cricket and tag American football.

Girl students at Bishop Okiring are affected by many issues which hamper their education, such as early marriages, female circumcision and parents preferring to educate boys to girls.

You can read more about how Naboth is inspiring female pupils to continue their education in his Blog .

Partnership Reflections
Michael Cox
Sports Co-ordinator, Bedford Academy

17 year old students Eghla and Emma
Head Girl Emma hit it off with Eglah immediately

I think the most successful aspect of our partnership has been the effect on our students. Especially our sixth form who were most involved in the recent visit. They have become more thankful for what they have and have shown an increased awareness of world issues rather than just looking at what is going on in their life.

They have been pleasantly surprised with how easy it has been to communicate with each other - although we did have a short period recently when we were unable to email as there was a lack of rain in Kenya which meant that Bishop Okiring had no electricity due to their electricity being supplied by a hydro-electric dam.

Plans for the future

We have presently been working on 'the culture box' . Each school is putting together 9 items that reflect the local and national culture with 1 bonus mystery item. The mystery item the other School has to guess what it is used for.

Our sixth form students who were very much involved in the visit have written pen pal letters to students at Bishop Okiring and have so far shared several letters.

Our humanities department has started a fair trade project also with Bishop Okiring.

Inspiration for 2012

Twinning for 2012 has been an amazing experience so far. It has really helped our students to broaden their horizons and think more on a global level rather than just locally. It has helped them to understand how lucky they are and how they need to make the most of the opportunities that are available to them.

On a School level it has helped us to develop partnerships with other Schools around us such as our Lower School who joined us in the project. It has also helped us to establish links with local community groups such as the Kenyan Community of Bedford and the Borough Council.

BBC World Class reporter Debbie Martin joins Olympic long distance running siblings, Linet and Moses Masai on the long and muddy roads to their old school in a tiny Kenyan village. Bishop Okiring school is linking with Bedford Academy in the UK to begin an exciting Olympic Journey to London 2012. Go to

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see also
In Pictures: Olympic journey from Kenya to Bedford
08 Feb 11 |  World Olympic Dreams
Linet and Moses Masai's schools - Kenya
26 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams

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