Although Waterworld closed earlier this month the campaign by Splashback to open the pool again is still alive. Splashback would like to investigate the possibility of a community buy out. The current closing date for the sale of the site is 8th February but activists would like this delayed by 6 months so they can build a business case and try to attract alternative funding. Members of the group attended the community council meeting asking for support to a motion being put to a full CityCouncil meeting on 2nd February. Leith Links Community Council agreed to offer our support to the proposal and also asked that the figures for running costs be made available to Splashback for their alternative business plan.

The Drummond-Muthambi Partnership

Drummond Goes On Safari

‘Safari’ is the Kizwahli word for journey so if you go on safari to see your Granny in Kenya it doesn’t mean that she lives with the lions and zebra! This was only one of the words that 8 S6 students and 3 staff from Drummond Community High School had to relearn on their visit to their partner schools Muthambi Boys and Girls this summer.

The trip far exceeded our expectations both educationally and socially and it would not be exaggerating to say that it has changed the lives of students and staff in all three schools.

After a long flight we arrived tired but happy in Nairobi. The minute you step of the plane everything is different, the heat, the smell, the buildings, the people and you know you’re in Africa. We embarked on a very full programme for our ten day visit which was a combination of working and meeting with the Kenyan students and learning a bit about the life of ordinary Kenyans and the experience was far more fun than the usual ‘Safari’ holiday.

We took part in lots of projects, but here are just a few highlights.

In Muthambi Boys school we converted a motley collection of damp and ancient old books on rickety shelves into the foundations of a school library With 8 boys working as volunteer Librarians we cleared shelves and set up some of the new and exciting books that we had managed to take out with us (packing only 2 pairs of knickers and 3 socks = more space for resources!). The Library will now open for the boys in the evenings and we hope to send out more books in the future.

In the Girls school we taught lessons on Scottish poetry and did cookery demonstrations introducing the girls to shortbread, it was difficult to record their comments as their mouths were so full! We also took part in sports and games, music, tribal dancing and question and answer session on every topic under the sun, plus we made a short film on the life of a Muthambi schoolgirl.

When we weren’t in school we were out experiencing Kenyan life guided by Muthambi staff and students. We visited a crocodile farm and handled ‘teenage’ crocs (yes they do have big teeth!), picked tea and processed it at a Fairtrade tea factory, were entertained by a smallholder farmer and his family, visited a government sericulture research farm along with local primary and secondary schools. The highlight was our ‘safari’ to a game conservancy project where we saw 4 out of the ‘big 5’ must see animals.

What next?

Our S6 have left for work, college and university but inspired by their experiences they would like Drummond students to have the wonderful opportunity of a return visit by our Kenyan friends. Apart from strengthening our curricular links we are hoping to raise £15,000 to bring 8 students and 2 staff over to Drummond in June 2011. Our ex-S6 will be working alongside our new group of students and will be running fundraising activities throughout the year. We are looking for help with ideas for raising money, grant opportunities and hospitality for the return visit.

If you have any ideas or would like to help out please contact Annie Scanlon on Tel: 556 2651, at admin@drummond.edin.sch.uk or pop into the school sometime for a chat.

 We would like to thank the Spurtle and its readers for their support, parents and adult students at DCHS plus the John Watson Trust and Leith Links Community Council for their generous grants.

 Annie Scanlon

Librarian/Kenya Partnership



The Drummond-Muthambi Schools Partnerships Link

By the time you read this……

Eight S6 students and three members of staff from Drummond Community High School will be on their way to Kenya with the kind support of Leith Links Community Council.

In our first article we told you about our school’s partnership with Muthambi Boys and Girls High Schools at the foot of Mount Kenya. Now we’re ready to go and the students have made some comments about what they are looking forward to, what they hope to gain from the trip and some of their fears!

‘I’m interested in the culture and politics, particularly the debate on the new constitution that the Kenyans will vote on later this summer.’

                                                                                                    Sean Cadger

‘It’s the food, they grow everything that we see in the supermarkets but I’m interested in how it’s grown and why there’s famine in certain areas of Kenya. I’m told the mangoes are fab!’

                           Jordan Russell-Hall

‘I’m looking forward to meeting the students and seeing what their experience of education is compared with our.’

                                                     Chelsea Ewan

‘All the projects we’re doing with the Kenyan students will be interesting but the heat and toilets are a bit scary!’

                                         Freya Stewart

‘It will be interesting to see education from a Kenyan teacher’s point of view. What are the challenges, what sort of training and career prospects are there in Kenyan schools.’

                Matt Annable, DCHS staff.

‘I’m really interested in the differences in the curriculum, especially how they teach and observe religion in school.’

                                                    Valentina Flex

‘Life, I think it’s going to be so different observing and experiencing their way of everyday living.’

                              Kerry Irving

‘I love working in the Library at Drummond Community High School and I can’t imagine a school functioning without one. I’m really looking forward to setting up a library at Muthambi Boys High School, in a day. Laurence Lewellyn- Bowen eat your heart out!’ 

                                                            Annie Scanlon, DCHS staff

‘I’m hoping to work with the students at Muthambi to strengthen and extend the partnership work we’re already doing. I’ll also be doing some sketching.’

                                                                                                   Hannah Reynolds

‘This project is so important, it allows us to meet and learn from exciting and interesting people living a different life to us 8,000 miles away. Not only will we make new friends but we’ll learn what we need to do to make a difference to their lives.

       Jemma Craig

‘I’m looking forward to meeting up with the students and staff we met on our last trip and to finding out how they are using the resources that we sent out.’

                                                                                              Patricia Snow, DCHS staff.

On our visit we will be working on:

Setting up a library at Muthambi Boys High School

Introducing the Kenyan students to Scottish poetry

Making short videos for use at Drummond on topics such as Fairtrade, malaria, a day in the life of Muthambi student.

Doing cookery demonstrations.

Developing partnership projects with the P.E. and Maths departments.

Teaching Scottish country dancing and learning some African dance!

On our return we will:

Do assemblies for students at Drummond.

Develop the partnership projects set up on our visit.

Report back to the organisations that have supported our visit.

Fundraise to bring some staff and students from Muthambi back to Drummond next summer.

Annie Scanlon

Drummond Community High School

Biomass Training Event, Saturday 5th June

Members of the community concerned about Forth Energy’s proposal for a Biomass Power Plant in Leith Docks were invited to attend an event at Edinburgh City Chambers to learn more about the planning process and how to properly lodge any objections. The course was organised by Planning Aid for Scotland and funded by the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership and was well represented by members of all Leith Community Councils, residents associations and other interested parties. There was a lot of information to absorb and it was also a good way of networking between community organisations.

Ally Tibbitt, who is a member of Leith Links Community Council, wrote up a longer account of the workshop on the Greener Leith blog. You can read his post here.

The Drummond – Muthambi Schools Partnership Link

Leith Links Community Council agreed to provide a small amount of funding to support the pupils at Drummond Community High School who are involved in The Drummond – Muthanmbi Schools Partnership Link. The only condition we placed on our donation was that the pupils should provide us with regular updates for our blog. Here’s their first blog post below:

Muthambi Girls give blood

During the G8 conference in 2005, Drummond Community High School hosted a series of music workshops with young people from Rwanda and South Africa. After this event, our school was keen to develop a partnership link with an African school to foster active global citizenship. Through the City of Edinburgh’s International Unit, we found Muthambi Boys and Girls school, situated at the foot of Mount Kenya. Meru is a key area in which many schools across the city of Edinburgh have partnership schools.

In order for the partnership to work efficiently, we developed a partnership agreement between the three schools.

Curricular: Links between departments in both schools to share ideas, materials and projects.
Fundraising: Enhances the partnership by providing the schools with resources and opportunities.
Equality: Equal partnership between schools to ensure every individual is involved from all schools, which boosts the educational aspect of the project.
Visits: Encourages regular trips to both Edinburgh and Muthambi.
Communication: Improves communication between the schools, aiding learning opportunities and developing global education.

Visit to Muthambi

In June 2010 eight S6 students and three members of staff will visit our partner schools in Muthambi. We have been raising funds and collecting resources for the last two years.

We will be travelling from Nairobi to Muthambi in the space of four hours. We will be visiting villages, towns and markets on our journey. We will not be visiting conventional “tourist” sites.

Staying in the Transit Lodge in Muthambi. We will deliver presentations to the students about life in Scotland. The students have requested topics such as Fairtrade, politics, home economics, relationships and health.

During our stay we will be taking part in social activities with the students and the local community; a visit to the local church, to villages and community projects and businesses. We will also be part in various music, drama and sport workshops.

We will visit a Fairtrade tea plantation and processing factory where we will learn about tea from leaf to pot and meet with workers.

One of the highlights will be a trip to a wildlife conversation park with students from the Wildlife Rangers. This organisation is similar to the Guides or Scouts and helps young people get involved in conservation and educational work on the importance of Africa’s wildlife..

On the visit will be initiating and setting up projects for next year and organising the return visit of the Kenyan students in 2011.

We would like to thank Leith Community Council for their support and we will be adding reports and photographs of our visit.

Jemma Craig, S6

If you would like to know more about the project or would like to support us please contact.

Annie Scanlon
Drummond Community High School, 41 Bellevue Place,
EH7 4BS. Tel: 0131 556 2651.
Email: admin@drummond.edin.sch.uk

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