December 2014 31 Dec 2014

I am very excited to be telling you all about our fantastic new international link with Rwanda. In the Autumn the NAHT (National Association of Head Teachers) and the British Council launched a joint project for UK Head Teachers to work alongside Rwandan counterparts with the view of the UK Head Teacher mentoring their Rwandan colleague on school improvement. Over 21000 Head Teachers in the UK were contacted and of those that applied for the opportunity 28 were chosen. I was absolutely thrilled that Constantine was one of those schools.

In November I travelled to a meeting in London where I met the other Head Teachers along with representatives from the British Council and the Rwandan Education Board. We were given an overview of the history and culture of the country and of how the country has made such wonderful progress since the horrific genocide of 1994. We were questioned in depth about our experience and philosophy and our answers were used to match us with a Rwandan colleague.

I am absolutely delighted to announce that our colleague is called Constantin (or Constant as he prefers to be called.) What an amazing coincidence that his name is so similar to our school and village. He is a lovely man. He is married to Jane (another Head Teacher) and he has five children ranging from University level to primary level. He is in charge of a school of 2000 pupils of primary and secondary age. So far we have exchanged e-mails to get to know each other. He is a Manchester City fan (as is Mr Bancroft) so I have had quite a few football linked conversations!!

Constant and I are really eager to share each other’s expertise and also for our link to have a meaningful benefit for our pupils too.

Constant has sent me some wonderful photographs of his school community working together. The first two are the children planting trees for a forest around the school. Constant is in the stripy shirt.

Constant is also in the process of having five new classrooms built. This amazing photo shows the whole community volunteering their help. This includes the Police and the Army. I can’t imagine calling in the Army to help with a build here!

Constant is wearing red – he is certainly a very hands on Head and a hard worker.

I will keep you posted with news and photos and when I have updates here I will signal it via the newsletter. Let me know if there is anything you would like me to find out about Constant’s School or education in Rwanda – I know he will be more than happy to share his thoughts.