Boarding an aeroplane, and leaving South Africa for the first time in their lives, Kagiso Magano (English Teacher) and Norval Petersen (Science Teacher), two young and enthusiastic teachers from Sparrow Schools, flew to London, England on 24th November 2016. The teachers were selected to take part in the first Teacher Exchange Programme between Dulwich Prep (London) and Sparrow Schools (Johannesburg), as part of a teacher development and relationship building project between the two schools.
Norval and Kagiso spent two weeks at Dulwich Prep London, learning about the different teaching methods and resources at the school. It was also a great opportunity for the teachers to meet the UK Foundation Trustees and supporters based in and around London. The teachers spoke at assemblies and fundraising events to explain to donors how their money supports learners with special needs in Johannesburg. From the personal stories that the two men shared about the children they teach, the audience felt a deeper connection with Sparrow Schools, 5,500 miles away. Many pupils and teachers were shocked to hear about the lack of teaching resources at Sparrow Schools and have a renewed energy to support the school.
Dulwich Prep London have been long-term supporters of Sparrow Schools and have visited the school in Melville, Johannesburg on several cricket tours over the years. Last year (October 2016), George Marsh, retired headteacher at Dulwich Prep and Founder of the Sparrow Schools Foundation, UK, visited Johannesburg for the first time since 2007 and saw how the money raised by Dulwich Prep and the UK Foundation has developed the school. The current headteacher at Dulwich Prep London, Michael Roulston, has continued the Dulwich-Sparrow relationship, with a particular interest in developing teaching methods and relations.
Kagiso Magano, Richard Bernhard (Former Chairman of the Sparrow Schools Foundation, UK), Norval Petersen.
The teachers arrived back in Johannesburg full of enthusiasm to share their experience with the rest of the school. Two teachers from Dulwich Prep will fly to Johannesburg later in the year to spend time at Sparrow Schools to continue sharing teaching methods and developing relations between the two schools.
‘It was truly an amazing opportunity for us to learn, grow and exchange best teaching practices. The lifelong experience gained will never be forgotten.’ (Kagiso Magano)
‘It was an extraordinary experience for a South African educator to witness the advancement in teaching and learning practices at Dulwich Prep London.’ (Norval Petersen)
Thank you Michael Roulston for hosting Norval and Kagiso during their stay in London and Dulwich Prep London for sponsoring the two teachers flights in order to make this incredible opportunity a reality. We would also like to thank Dulwich for their ongoing support for Sparrow and we look forward to welcoming the teachers from Dulwich Prep soon.