June 2012 Return visit from Fawkham School to Banni School

In June 2012 seven of us visited The Gambia and worked in Banni School
continuing the links between Banni and Fawkham primary school. We worked
with the children and teachers on the water project which was our joint
curriculum project teaching about water in the UK. We joined in Maths and
Jolly phonics lessons which had been two of Demba's focus topics when he was
in the UK, and also attempted to learn some Mandinka the local tribal

To start our new project on music across the two schools we taught the
children in Banni the Hokey - Cokey and 'Head shoulders knees and toes.' We
took art equipment with us so children could enjoy the opportunity of using
paints and coloured felts and crayons. Also we took rounders cricket and
foot ball equipment to help the school extend the range of sports on offer.
We taught the children some gymnastics including sports acrobatics. A
student versus teachers football match was organised on the last day the
students wearing the strip donated to them by Cobham colts. Some members of
our group took part in races including the tree legged race and bucket race.

Our cultural experiences included visiting the black faced monkeys, touching
crocodiles, attending a Batik making work shop and visiting the local
markets. We were fortunate enough to learn some drumming and dancing when we
spent the afternoon with Demba and his family. Also we sampled some
excellent Gambia food in many of the places we visited

A Pictorial story of the visit

Richard wrote a poem about the visit:

Bobbing along

How to explain,
The sights and the sound
The exotic smells
And the gathering round

Is that a goat or a cow?
In the midst of the road..
Wow, look at that roof rack!
It doubles the load.

A mention to Abdullah
Our driver and guide.
Always calm and polite,
Though we’re late for our ride.

If you stop in a village.
You’re be swimming in kids.
All desperate to meet you,
Super glued to your ribs.

The people are friendly,
If sometimes over nice.
Every stall in the market,
Will "give you good price"

So all I can suggest is,
Take on this great chance.
Toubab, save a few Bob,
For the Gambian experience.

Sue, Matthew and Sarah Thompson were dropped off on 5th June 2012 at 7am London Gatwick Airport South Terminal with all the extra baggage. Later Sue carries her name so she remembers who she is.

We travelled by mini-bus and had Abdulla as our wonderful guide and driver

Welcome to Banni

The team

Head Teacher becomes an England supporter

Bucket Racing

Sports acrobats

School dinners

The soccer strips are popular

The real work was done in the class rooms

Art lessons

All the donations and purchases found their way to the Gambia

The last couple of days in the capital Banjul visiting the local sites...

Batik lessons with lunch

the monkeys

the crocs

Demba's family