In 2011, Portobello High School started developing a link with Kiuriani High School, in the Maara district of Kenya. This partnership, initially one of DFID’s Global School Partnerships, has been made with the aim of sharing learning and resources with our link school.
Early projects have included sharing information about what life is like at each school for its pupils through letters and Christmas cards. Pupils also shared photos of their schools and grounds, which are now on display in both schools.
One of the main aims of the link is to develop pupils’ understanding of environmental issues, both in their own country and on a global scale, by sharing what they have learned with pupils in their link school. Kiuriani students have therefore been developing a tree nursery to grow fruit for use in the school. Portobello students from the Eco Committee have been working in the biodiversity garden and greenhouse to develop biodiversity in the school grounds and to grow food and herbs, which can then be sold locally.
Eco Day in December 2011 focused on the link and raised money to buy a data projector for Kiurani, which will make sharing photos and learning much easier. Classes in Kiurani can comprise 30 to 80 pupils and resources are limited, making it difficult to share learning between our schools.
In 2012, the partnership received a set Reciprocal Visit Grant from the British Council, allowing initial visits by members of staff from each school to be organised. In June 2012, two teachers from Kiurani High School visited Portobello for a week. During their visit, Timothy and Titus met many pupils and members of staff. They observed lessons, answered questions about life at Kiurani, visited the Changeworks Make Waste History Summit and the Royal Highland Show with Portobello pupils, and of course did some sightseeing to take photos for their pupils and learn more about Scottish culture. They also brought photos of and letters from Kiurani pupils.