Wood Farm Primary School

Miss Keir and Mr Payne visit South Africa!

In the autumn of 2017 Miss Keir and Mr Payne flew out from Oxford to visit our friends in Adelaide.  Scroll down to read their blog from their week-long visit.

Our partnership with Adelaide Primary School is supported by BEFSA, and the British Council's Connecting Classrooms programme

Day 1 Sunday

24 hours later than planned, we arrived at Port Elizabeth airport where we were greeted by Miss Ferriera our host for the week. Although we were extremely tired from lots of travelling we enjoyed a 3 hour drive through the South African countryside - where we saw some cheeky Baboons strolling across the highway, stopped off at a local farm shop for delicious coffee and took in the breath-taking views. We eventually made it to the cottage where we are staying and had a traditional Brai.


Day 2 Monday

After a well-earned rest, we woke up early (6:30) and headed to school where the lessons began at 7:30am. Excitingly, we had the opportunity to spend time in the classrooms watching how learning happens and speaking to the children. As well as this we had a Skype call back to England with the local MP Anneliese Dodds, a group of prefects from Adelaide School and school councillors from Wood Farm School. In the afternoon, we went on another journey through the beautiful South Africa countryside to Fort Hare University in Alice ,to meet with other teachers from Oxfordshire and South Africa, who are also taking part in the programme. Later that evening, we visited two teachers from Adelaide for another braai. We enjoyed lots of traditional South African meat, including biltong!

School Councillors from Wood Farm talked to a group of prefects from Adelaide, and were joined in a Skype call by our local MP in Oxford

Day 3 Tuesday

Another early start again for us today and we both had mixed feelings of excitement and worry at the thought of teaching a class of 45 brand-new children. We began our school day in grade 7 and 4 (our year 8 and 5 equivalent) and shared pictures of Wood Farm School, projects that we have completed and also some of our trips. The children found the lesson interesting and asked many questions, however they couldn't seem to understand why we haven't met the queen! Following this, we taught some maths problem solving in grade 3, which we thoroughly enjoyed and also visited grade 2, where we shared some picture books. After a quick bite to eat, we were taken on a tour of the local township by some of the children in Adelaide primary. We were lucky enough to have been invited into some of their homes, meeting many of their family members and having a closer look at life in South Africa. Tonight, we attended a delicious meal, put on by Adelaide's headteacher, Mrs Every, and got to know the other teachers from the school a little better.

We introduced our 'Zero Hunger' project to the children in grades 6 and 7

Day 4 Wednesday

After the first good night sleep after arriving, we both woke up early to head into school for another action-packed day of teaching. We spent most of the morning teaching the grade 6 and 7 pupils: we were introducing a project about Zero Hunger and the children were discussing what they think hunger is, shared some of their experiences of hunger and began deciding how they can help with this issue in their local community. We will be doing this project at some point later on in the year at Wood Farm. In the afternoon, the sun was finally shining for the first time which meant we put on our sunglasses and headed out on an adventurous game drive.  Mr Payne was hoping to see some interesting animals, he wasn't disappointed as we luckily saw some giraffe, springbok, zebra and wildebeest! In the evening, we had yet another scrumptious braai and had a lovely catch-up with Miss Van de Vyver, who was very excited to hear about everyone back in England and sends her best wishes.

We Skyped Miss Keir's class, and gave a formal presentation to the British Council

Day 5 Thursday

Today we had a whistle stop tour in school where we finished an exciting video with the grade 5 and 6s which you will eventually see back at school. We had just enough time to show Winnie the Pooh around Adelaide, introducing him to the children! Excitingly, we also Skyped Miss Keir's class with a few children from here. After this nerves were high as we had to go and give a formal presentation to the British Council - where we showed our video and spoke about our fantastic link with Adelaide. There were lots of people there watching and luckily we did really well! In the evening we had the first rest since being here and had a night in with Mrs Ferreira and her children.