• Calder Walk, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV31 1SA
Friends around the world

We believe it important to broaden children’s intercultural understanding. Staff at both Sydenham & Lighthorne have worked hard to create and sustain several links with schools and communities in countries around the world. Here are some details of some of our current projects:

Our Partnership with Kwinella Basic School in The Gambia

Kwinella school is about 3 hours drive from the capital Banjul and airport, along a made up road that suddenly becomes a dusty red track for the last 30 minutes.

Kwinella school has approx 240 children in 8 classes.  The children sit at desks and have to bring their own pencil and exercise book to write in.  Not all the children can afford these.  Some children arrive after a long walk from their village.  School is not compulsory but to encourage attendance children are provided with a meal at lunchtime, this usually consists of rice with a few vegetables.  Six to eight children sit on the floor around a large metal dish and eat the rice with their right hand.

The children learn about Maths, English, Social & Cultural studies, Arabic & PE.  They children are passionate about playing football and many support teams such as Manchester United & Chelsea.

Reflections on Kwinella School Visit - Mrs Thorneywork and Miss Bond (January 2015)

In January, I was fortunate to return to The Gambia with Miss Bond, a teacher at Sydenham Primary School. We left Manchester in the early hours and arrived at Banjul Airport 6 hours later. There, we were met by Mr Jarju, head teacher at Kwinella, and we stayed near the coast on the first night.

Next morning Mr Jarju arrived and we visited the crocodiles at Brikama, as you can see I was brave enough to touch one. That afternoon we drove inland until we arrived at Kwinella School. As it was late afternoon the children had already gone home for the day.  On Friday we spent time in the classes sharing some popular songs and rhymes with Reception children.

The children were interested in letters I had taken written by our Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils. I watched children playing football, which they really enjoyed, and taking part in Inter Schools Sports, in bare feet! We attended a teachers meeting from local schools and shared some of our learning ideas.

It was lovely to see Mr Jarju’s family again and we were made most welcome by everybody.


Kolkata, India

As part of the Global School Exchange programme funded by the British Council we developed strong links with Vivekanada Mission School. Last year was the phase-III of the programme in which both the schools worked on the project related to ‘Marriage, Food and Extinct Animals and Birds’ along with a bit of inter-cultural exchange. The Indian visitors enjoyed spending time with the children in our school.

Find out more about the global partnership with Vivekananda Mission School in Kolkata below.

International Schools Award

Following our commitment to developing global links and supporting children develop their intercultural understanding, our school achieved the International Schools Award. To celebrate we held an International Evening where children and their families enjoyed an evening of International entertainment and tasted food from around the world.