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Friday 2 March 2012


How Collyer’s students made a difference to African youngsters A teacher and four students from Collyer’s visited Africa for a week to help develop education there. Katie Bashford, Ian Groves, Dan Mannion and Jayson Probin joined Joe Brock, head of Science and Maths, in The Gambia after students developed equipment and a training book to teach electricity anywhere. Eighty teachers attended two main workshops at the Teacher Training College in Bricama, on the outskirts of Banjul. One featured the students’ electricity model and Physics experiments, including models of radioactivity, rocket science, hydraulics, and sound and light.

are a credit ‘toThey Collyer’s and Horsham ’

The other was based around microscopy and looking at images from both the manmade and biological worlds. The Gambians also benefited from simple but effective Chemistry experiments. Jayson told The Resident: “Much of the teaching in The Gambia, as in many African countries, lacks the

depth required to apply the knowledge to new situations and is hindering the development of science and engineering. “Many students give up Science as soon as they can, as they see it as a difficult and abstract subject that has little to do with their lives.” Dan said: “It was a brilliant trip. I found the experience emotional as there is a big difference between reading about things and actually experiencing them.” The visit was part-funded by the Jephcott Trust and made in association with Projects Aiding Gambian Education and Natural Talent (PAGEANT), a charity run by Pippa and Ian Howard from Southwater. Mr Brock said: “The Collyer’s students acted as trainers, having developed their practical experiments before going out. “Through funding from PAGEANT and the Institute of Education, we were able to donate 30 science kits and 30 electricity kits to college and trainee teachers about to embark on their teaching careers.” Students Lucy Barnett, Fred Golding and Ashleigh Robinson visited the Institute of Physics in London to present the electricity project to all of the Africa co-ordinators. They hope resources developed by Collyer’s students will be used across Africa and possibly in China


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and India. Mr Brock added: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity to support such a worthwhile project. This is the first time I’ve allowed students to take such hands-on roles and I would certainly do it again, as the teams at home and in The Gambia have been incredible ambassadors.” Collyer’s principal Jackie Johnston said: “The level of planning required was extraordinary and I’m really proud of Joe Brock and these talented students. They are a credit to Collyer’s and Horsham.”

Collyer’s student Jayson Probin teaches children at a primary school in The Gambia

Trainee teachers and the PAGEANT team at the Teacher Training College in Bricama

The Resident - 2nd March 2012  

The Resident newspaper, 2nd March 2012 issue.

The Resident - 2nd March 2012  

The Resident newspaper, 2nd March 2012 issue.