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Baker’s dozen jet off on African adventure
A 13-strong task force of Cheshire-based teachers and members of the local business community has embarked on a journey of more than 4,000 miles to visit two schools in Kenya.
The team, which includes Alison Hooper, head teacher of Egerton Primary School in Knutsford, Matt Boot, head teacher at Wincham Primary School and Lindsay Occleston of Northwich-based Roberts Bakery, are spending 11 days visiting partner schools Egerton Primary School and DEB School in Njoro, Kenya.
Alison and Lindsay – a 4th generation Roberts’ family member – are members of the Egerton Schools’ Foundation, a charity which aims to maintain a strong partnership between the two schools. The foundation secured funding in 2016 to develop a new library at the school and the team flew out with hundreds of books to boost the new facility. The books are favourites from home that the pupils from Egerton in Cheshire have chosen as a gift.
The team will also deliver a diverse teaching and enrichment learning programme during the 11-day visit.
Having already taught youngsters the art of making bread at Egerton School in Knutsford, Lindsay Occleston from Roberts Bakery will be re-creating the experience for 200 lucky youngsters in Kenya. Lindsay has already packed all the ingredients and aprons in preparation for the bread making extravaganza.
Jill Adams, who was company nurse at Roberts Bakery before retiring, is making her second trip to Kenya to teach the school’s 10 to 14-year-old pupils about the potential health effects of child-bearing at a young age. Her daughter Becky – a qualified psychology teacher – and two teachers from Egerton in Knutsford will be teaching children. Three coaches from Multiflex will provide sports coaching for the children. The youngest member of the team is Mrs Hooper’s 15-year old niece Beth Fowler – a talented musician.
Alison Hooper said: “We’ve worked hard over the last decade to forge links between the two schools and to develop a powerful and equitable approach to teaching and learning between adults and children in two very different countries. We have an incredible team of people who will make this visit a great success and everyone is extremely excited about what we have planned. The connection between the two schools is enhanced with every visit and the children and Kenya and Knutsford will all gain from this unique shared experience.”
Lindsay added: “This is my second visit to Kenya. It’s a great privilege to be part of this amazing project and to improve and enrich the lives of the children there. We’re really looking forward to the bread making and helping the children to build their skills doing something they’ve never done before, but whilst also having a lot of fun.”
The Kenyan school is linked to Egerton Primary in Knutsford, which was established by Lord Wilbraham Egerton of the Tatton Estate in 1893. His nephew Maurice Egerton, founded the school in Kenya in 1939 but the two schools didn’t know of each other until 2005. Since then, Mrs Hooper has developed links between the schools through project work and exchange visits. This trip to Kenya is the ninth exchange visit from Cheshire.