Charity no 1139982
Education as a way out of poverty



Essex Schools Involvement

         Several Essex schools have been involved with the BEA. They are enthusiastic about forming links with schools in Bansang and are coming up with their own ideas for developing cultural exchange. They are also keen to contribute to the Appeal's aims of raising educational standards by improving resources and sponsoring students. These links first developed back in 2008 following a visit to the UK by the Principal of Bansang Senior Secondary School, Ismaila Ceesay. He has returned twice since to cement these and develop further school links as well as to learn from teaching methods over here that he can take back to teachers in Bansang.

      The schools currently involved are The Plume School
in Maldon, Great Totham County Primary School, Melbourne Park Primary School in Chelmsford, Ingatestone and Fryerning Junior School, Powers Hall Junior School, Feering Primary School and Galleywood Infants School. We are looking for other schools that might be interested in linking with schools in the Bansang area. There is a great sense of community involvement in Bansang which visitors from schools here have noticed. This has inspired schools here to involve the community in a similar way. If your school would like to get involved please contact BEA through our contact page or in writing.

The Plume School          
    This school has been involved from the start of BEA back in 2008, raising money and collecting equipment to send to Bansang. They have sponsored students also as a school, this responsibility is being taken over by individual classes now.

Plume_ambassadors.jpg       8ods_jun_12.jpg
Plume School Ambassador                            Class 8ODS handing over a cheque to sponsor a student

 Great Totham Primary School

    Great Totham school welcomed Mr Ceesay on his first visit back in 2008 when he was impressed by the standard of primary education. In response to this visit, under their current head teacher Keith Bannister Gt Totham formed a link with Mabali Kuta Lower Basic School, a small village primary school close to Bansang.
    Over the last five years Annabel Kerr has taken many assemblies at Great Totham telling pupils about life and school in The Gambia. She is constantly impressed by their interest and understanding. The children have
Ismaila_speaking_at_Gt_Totham_assembly.jpg exchanged information about life here and in The Gambia, focusing on recycling and gardening. Mr Bannister and geography teacher, Jemma Flynn visited Mabali School in February 2010 along with the Maldon Saints football coaches and The Plume link teacher. The school has now invited a teacher from Mabali Kuta Primary School on a reciprocal visit to further develop cultural links.


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Melbourne Park Primary School

Melbourne Park Primary School linked with Daru Lower Basic School about 5 miles from Bansang back in 2010. This school is now headed by Jabou Kongira, former principal of Mabali Kuta Lower Basic School. Neil_Taggart.jpgAnnabel Kerr has given several assemblies to Melbourne Park school about Bansang, Daru and life in Gambia.
The children have shown a great interest in how different people's lives can be. The school has raised some money to help Daru LBS and has also got penpal links with the school exchanging cultural information.

Neil Taggart- Former Head Teacher

Powers Hall Junior School

This school became involved after its head teacher, Mrs Bass attended a quiz night in 2011. The school is linked with Jahanka Basic Cycle School, a very isolated school reached after driving for 30 minutes on rocky unmade roads. The school fundraised by having a pyjama day and proceeds went to buying resource provisions for Jahanka school afer discussion with both headteachers. The school also donates its own resources where possible and children have been exchanging letters.



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Ingatestone and Fryerning Junior School

This school linked up with Sololo Basic Cycle School in 2012 under their new head teacher, Neil Taggart. The school donated proceeds from their Christmas carol concert last year and have been exchanging letters with their link school. They have enjoyed an assembly about Sololo school and life in Bansang and are donating school furniture which will be sent out to Sololo and other schools in September 2013.

Pupils keen to demonstrate their learning materials to their link school in Sololo

Galleywood Infants School

This school became involved in 2012 around the time Sue Read, deputy head tacher visited Gambia on holiday. Having visited schools on her holiday she was keen to find a link for her school. The school is now linked with Agape Nursery school, children start this at the age of four or five in Gambia for 3 years so it seemed an appropriate age range to match up. The school did amazingly well to raise nearly £637 for their link school which has been used to provide resources and put towards the much needed nursery building. They have been delighted to exchange pictures and letters with the children of Bansang. Mrs Read visited Gambia at Easter 2013 and enjoyed spending 2 days in Bansang seeing the nursery school and the area.


Receiving the donation from the children at Galleywood Infant School


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Feering Primary School

Our trustee, Jemma moved to this school from Gt Totham in 2012. She was keen to get the school involved with BEA and have their own link school. Annabel visited a distant village school, called Sukuta Lower Basic School at her visit in March 2013. This school had a dedicated staff, but was very much a school in need being half a day's trek from the closest shop. On her return Annabel gave an assembly in Feering about the school and the children have developed an interest in linking with Sukuta school, raising funds and exchanging letters.


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September 21, 2018