Saturday 4th July - Saying Goodbye to our Lovely New Friends
We went to school for the leaving barbeque and we were all really upset knowing that we wouldn’t see our new friends again. So we had fun for the last few hours and played some of our favourite games. We played Time Bomb, rounders and Frisbee; all of the children seemed to enjoy themselves. We took lots of photos with each other and enjoyed our last hour together.
The minibus arrived a lot earlier than we thought. That’s when everyone got very emotional and started to cry. We took one last group photo and gave out hugs. They all got onto the mini bus and we waved them off and then they were gone…everyone was very upset. We all hope that we will have such an opportunity like this again - to meet them for a second time. I have enjoyed this amazing experience that school has enabled us to
have - out of all of the school, it was us six pupils who were chosen. I’m very proud and can’t believe I was selected. I’ve learned what life is like in Soweto and I hope that one day I could go over there to meet them for asecond time.
Today was really fun but also quite sad. We had a BBQ on the front lawn outside of school. Games were being played and there was music. We played Time Bomb, cricket, rounders and much more. We also sat on picnic blankets and had some food. We exchanged presents and took photos. It was so sad when they had to get on the minibus to go to the airport. There were people crying. We had all grown so close over the past week and it was so hard to say goodbye. I have really enjoyed having the visitors over and hope that we stay in touch and see each other again.
Today I had to be at school for 2:30pm for a BBQ as sadly it was our friends’ last day in England. :( When I arrived, I quickly found Hlamalani and gave her some presents from me. I couldn’t stay for very long as I had to go for a bridesmaid dress fitting but when I did have to go, I gave Hlamalani a hug and we said bye. I am going to miss her so much but I will never forget her.
Friday 3rd July - Last Day in Lessons
This week, six pupils from our partner school in Soweto (South Africa) visited the UK. It was a special week for everyone. They went on trips to places such as Blackpool, Liverpool and Manchester. They got to meet new people and take part in our lessons. I was a back-up buddy and my friend was called Nati; she was really caring and had beautiful hair. We talked about lots of things and compared the UK to South Africa. Today everyone was saying goodbye, we took some photos for our memories and chilled on the field. After lunch we had a goodbye assembly where some pupils did speeches and the buddies did an African dance. Presents were exchanged and there were videos and photos being shown on the big screen in the hall. It was quite sad because the week had nearly ended.
Today we came to school as normal again, in our school uniform. The first thing we did was go to the library to collect our buddies. Then, during form time we went to Mrs Graham’s form, because they did lots to help raise money for the Soweto children. We brought them chocolates and allowed them to ask questions to the African children about their week in England.
After this we went to tech, where, along with Miss Hampson, I helped Angel to make a bag. It had a picture of me and Angel, our school logo, their school logo, and a picture of all of us together.
It then moved onto Period 2 where we were still in tech, but with Miss White. We made clocks and Angel’s design was a lovely purple flower which she was really impressed with the way it turned out.
Then the buddies and Soweto children went to Mrs Doolan where we prepared our leaving assembly, ready for fifth period. We included many things such as a video, choir, and a dance, with my favourite being the dance.
It then came to lunchtime, and we went for lunch with the governors and Mr Dumican in the library. Again, we had a huge buffet which was really nice.
Next was the assembly; it was really enjoyable, and Angel really showed her talent off with her amazing singing voice. She also was brave enough to get up and give a speech which she said very loud and clear.
As a thank-you from Mrs Doolan, we were all rewarded with a box of Celebrations for helping out during the week!
Thursday 2nd July - United @ Manchester
We came to school in our own clothes today and as soon as I got there I went straight to the library to collect Angel. We then all stayed and chatted in the LRC, as no other pupils were in school due to Review Day. When we got on the minibus which was to take us to Manchester, I sat next to Angel and Holly once again, and we still played ‘Eye Spy’, although, Angel got really tired and fell asleep the whole way there.
First stop of the day was the Manchester United Museum and tour; Ewan was very happy as he is a huge fan! The tour was really interesting and there were a lot of facts which the tour guide told us about United. We went all around the stadium - even in private rooms including the changing rooms. After the tour had finished we went back to the gift shop and museum and had our photo taken with some trophies which the club had won. As the photos were taken in front of a ‘green screen’, it made it look as though we were standing in front of the stadium!
After Manchester United, we got back on the bus and went straight to Chill Factor e. We went on the ice park which included: tube rides, an ice slide, and a sledging hill. It was very, very cold and the Soweto children found it to be even colder! We had to wear large jackets and pants, a helmet, gloves and big boots to protect us from the cold. It was really fun, and an amazing experience for the Africans, as they had never seen anything like this before.
Next we went to the Sea Life Centre - some of the fish in there were incredible! We walked around and looked at all of the different animals. There was a lot of things going on, and little different stations to see. My favourite part was the rock pool, were we could put our hands in the water and hold some of the sea creatures.
The Trafford Centre was THE best! The Soweto children got £20 to spend on anything they wanted to and Mrs Morris and Mr Dumican also very kindly gave us £5 to get something to eat with. We had one and a half hours to go around and explore.
The time came where we had to leave Manchester, and get back on the minibus…Angel fell asleep again too. Everyone said today was the best day and I would also agree.
Wednesday 1st July - Let's Sing! at Robin Park
When we arrived at school, we all went to the library to wait for our friends to be dropped off by their host families. When they arrived I didn’t feel so well so I went to Room 1 and they rang my mum. I went home because I was really tired. My buddy, Promise, went around Lucy and Molly’s lessons instead.
I came back to school at dinnertime before Let’s Sing! started. We all got onto the coaches to take us to Robin Park. When we got to there we went in and and prepared for the show. All of the parents seemed to enjoy it and so did the children.
Today when I arrived at school I went straight to the library and met up with all of our friends. Next we took them to meet some Year 7 forms and to tell them a bit of what we have been doing this week. After that me and Mzamo went to our first lesson which was history, which we really enjoyed. Mzamo sat next to Ben and really enjoyed drawing the different houses. Next we went to our IT lesson and Mzamo sat next to Paddy and got to look at footballers on Google Images which I am sure he felt very happy about.
It was break time now and I took Mzamo to the Reception as they were going shopping for some nice clothes for the Year 11’s prom. When they came back to school we had a very quick dinner as we were rushing to get to Let’s Sing!
As we arrived at the venue we went into the big Powerade room where all the schools taking part had gathered. After practising for a long time we managed to go and get something to eat for our tea. At 6:30pm it was time to start. Everyone was really excited and nervous. After most of the songs, it was now time for our Soweto friends to perform their song and dance. Everybody loved it and thought it was very different compared to all the other years of Let’s Sing! After everyone had performed, we had a finale and then everyone went home, feeling very excited for the big day ahead tomorrow…the trip to Manchester United, the Trafford Centre and the Chill Factor e.
Tuesday 30th June - Cruising, Cafe and Concert
When I arrived at school I could see all our Soweto friends looking very excited for the day ahead in Liverpool. Firstly, the buddies took our friends to our year assembly which was led by Mr Doyle. The assembly was based on ‘faith’ and was very interesting. After that, we all got into the minibus and set off for Liverpool. During the journey me, Mia and Angel played ‘Eye Spy’. As we arrived in Liverpool, Mr Dumican got a bit lost but then we were fine and parked up outside Anfield, Liverpool’s FC’s stadium. Everyone took pictures outside and the boys particularly enjoyed looking at the stadium.
Next we went to the cathedral. Inside we looked around in all the different areas, a lady told us some facts about when it was being built and then we sat down to pray and look in detail at the building inside. After this, as we were walking through Albert Docks we saw some owls which the man let us stroke; everybody really enjoyed the experience. We then walked down to the River Mersey where a great big and massive ship called The Princess had just come in. Then we hopped onto a ferry and had a little tour of the landmarks of Liverpool and learned some facts about the city. It was really good but unfortunately it was very cold and windy.
Thankfully, it was time for dinner as everybody was hungry. We all went into Nando’s for lunch and everyone had chicken and chips which was really tasty! Also, we all had fun trying the sauces, even the spicy ones whichAngel found very hot. After having eaten dinner we went and got some currency changed for the Soweto children and everybody had a slush. After this we had a walk to the big wheel which looked quite scary! I got into a carriage with Liv, Ewan, Mzamo and Siphesile. It went very high but everyone enjoyed it. We got our pictures taken and all of our friends were each bought one, which they really liked.
Lastly, we got on the minibus and headed back to school. We were there for about an hour and a half and then everyone started to get ready for the showcase which was being performed in the school hall. I was singing with the choir and there were dancers and a music band, but our favourite of all was our Soweto friends performing a traditional African dance with singing and drums. Everybody really enjoyed it and thought it was amazing! Mr Dumican then gave a speech about how well we had performed and then he said ‘thank-you’ to all the Soweto visitors, in Zulu. They said he did really well! Then Jabu, the head teacher of Donaldson School, also gave a speech saying thank-you for the lovely, warm welcome which our school had given to his staff and pupils. Me and Liv helped the girls take off their accessories and then everybody went home, tired but ready for a new and exciting day tomorrow.
Today we visited Liverpool. We met up with our friends before school in the library and took them to our Year 8 assembly. After assembly we set off for Liverpool in the minibus. Our first stop was at Anfield for a photo opportunity in front of the stadium, even though we didn’t have many Liverpool fans with us! Next we went to the Metropolitan Cathedral, where we had a quiet half an hour looking around. Then we walked round the Albert Docks to a ferry where we cruised along the Mersey, taking in all of the sights.
After a tiring morning, we rested in Nando's whilst having our lunch and then we went round and round the Wheel of Liverpool, taking in the views. We finally returned to school and our visitors performed for us in a Soweto Showcase along with pupils of our school. The night was wonderful and the South African music was enjoyed very much by everyone who attended!
As soon as we arrived in school, we went straight to the library to collect our buddies, we also had a chat to the rest and asked them if they’d had a good night. After that we took our buddies to our assembly, where we learned about ‘Faith’.
On the minibus, I sat next to Angel and Holly, and we taught her lots of different games - but her favourite was ‘Eye Spy’, so we played that all the way to Liverpool. Our first stop in Liverpool was Anfield, Liverpool’s football stadium where we got off the bus and took some pictures - Holly was very happy as she is a Liverpool supporter! Next stop of the day was the cathedral; we had a look round and went in all the different, beautiful chapels.
As we were walking round Liverpool, we saw a little stand with many different breeds of owls, and the man even let us stroke them. As me and Mia were so fascinated with the owls, the African children, not realising we weren’t with them, walked off so we had to run and catch them up.
Next we got on a river boat and sailed down the Mersey, where we were told many different and interesting facts on the history of Liverpool. We had many laughs on the boat and made some unforgettable memories.
We started to get a little bit hungry so we went in to Nando’s for some lunch. As we were waiting for the food to arrive, we had fun, tasting the famous Nando’s sauce which was very spicy! The chicken and chips we all chose was very tasty and very filling.
After lunch, we changed the African children’s money into English pounds, and we enjoyed a cold, refreshing Slush. Before we got back on the bus, we went on the big wheel - I went in a carriage with Georgia, Ewan, Mzamo and Siphesile. Georgia found it quite scary, but overall we enjoyed it.It was now time to get back on the minibus, and get back to school, ready for the showcase.
When we arrived back in school we had an hour and half a half to get ready and prepare for the show. For tea we had a delicious buffet, which everyone enjoyed. In the showcase, I was in the senior choir and in the dancing too. I really enjoyed the show but my favourite part was when the Soweto children performed; they were so good and very courageous. It then came to the end of the show and everyone was very tired. It had been a long, tiring but fantastic day. Me and Georgia helped the girls get changed out of their costumes and we said our goodbyes for tomorrow and ‘Let’s Sing!’
Monday 29th June - A New School for our New Friends
On Monday morning we all met in the library so that we could show our visitors round. Firstly, we took a trip to Mr Dumican's office where he greeted all the children and welcomed them to their first school day at St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School. Following staff briefing where our visitors were introduced to the teachers and other members of staff, we went to normal lessons such as music where we showed the pupils all of the different things we do at school. We also got to do some acting in our drama lesson.
After break there was only a half lesson of English as it was time for the St Peter and St Paul Mass, where they got to experience what is like at one of our masses. After this it was lunchtime and we all had something to eat. Our new friends tried chicken wraps for the first time, which I think they really enjoyed. Then we had a short time to play on the field, followed by Period 5 which was a normal maths lesson.
Today we took our South African buddies around school and into our lessons. They did struggle a bit with the shock of how other students surrounded them, but they got used to it and all the students were impressed by Siphesihle's back flips!
After school we went on Mr Griffin's narrow boat which was a lot of fun as we got to sit on the roof of the boat, this was great as it was very sunny all evening. We talked about life in South Africa and compared it to what it is like here in England.
When we got into school, we had to go to the library to meet up with our new friends. I was very excited for this, as though I’m a back-up buddy, I still couldn’t wait to see them again and ask them lots about what had happened at Blackpool and about how they were enjoying England so far. When the form bell went, Mia - who is the main buddy - took Hlamalani to her form and to her first two lessons of the day. I met up with Mia and Hlamalani at break.
For Periods 3 & 4, I took Hlamalani with me to my lessons because Mia had choir. In Period 3 (English) we had a spelling bee. Hlamalani joined in and she did very well!!! During Period 4 and part of Period 3, it was the St Peter and St Paul Mass, so Hlamalani came along to join in with us too. At lunch, we met up with Mia again and had our dinner. In Period 5, (Maths) me, Mia and Hlamalani all sat together. We had a great day!
When I arrived at school I went to the library to meet Hlamalani and we went to my form. After form we went to our first lesson, which was art. We were doing clay and Hlamalani was really good at it. Our second lesson was P.E. - we were playing rounders. After learning how to play it, Hlamalani scored our team a great rounder and we won the game. When we finished school we went for a ride on Mr Griffin’s narrow boat; it was so much fun. Siphesihle took many photos of the different boats we passed and so did Hlamalani. After eating and having a drink we got on the minibus and went back to school, tired but happy!
Sunday 28th June - Blackpool Bound
We met up with all of our new friends at the front of school, ready to set off for a day out in Blackpool. We got into the minibus and on the way we all played games and found out a little bit more about each other.
When we arrived in Blackpool, we drove past the beach and lots of amazing buildings. The children took lots of photos so they could show all of their friends back home. The first thing we did was go to the Blackpool Tower Circus where we saw lots of amazing acts.
Next we went to the 4D cinema in the tower where all of the children were having so much fun and were laughing a lot, especially when the water kept splashing on them. Then we went upstairs and stood on the glass floor; it was very scary, but exciting at the same time. In the gift shop we bought a photo and we let our visitors choose a bit of something for each of them to take home.
When we left the tower we went to Harry Ramsden’s, which is a lovely fish and chip shop where we all had some yummy food! I ate chicken and chips and I really enjoyed it. It was a great day out as the weather was beautiful all day. We all had a really fun time!
We all arrived at school at noon and I gave the girls some necklaces and keyrings which they all really liked. We said hello, then all of us got onto the minibus. On the way there, me, Mia, Nathi, Jess and Tshepiso all played ‘Guess Who I Am’.
When we got to Blackpool, we went straight to the circus inside the tower and sat down ready to watch the performance. We watched funny things like comedy acts and saw quite a lot of very scary acts such as: acrobats; motor bikers; tightrope walkers and dangerous stunts. After the amazing finale, we went and watched a 4D clip where it felt as if you were flying over Blackpool Tower. This was really fun but also a bit scary! Everyone enjoyed it including my friend, Mzamo.
Next, we had our photograph taken where it looked as though we were falling off Blackpool Tower. We then stepped into a lift which took 69 seconds and went straight up to the top of the tower. I felt very scared and so did all the other girls. However the boys, Mzamo and Siphesile, didn’t mind it and found it funny. We stood on a piece of clear glass where you could look straight down and see a clear view of Blackpool. Me, Mzamo, Mia and Liv all lay down on the glass on our stomachs which was very frightening as it felt as though you were going to fall straight through!
Lastly, after all the excitement was over we went for tea at Harry Ramsden’s. I had haddock and chips and Mzamo did too. We sat down chatting and had a really nice time talking about the day and remembering our favourite parts. After tea we had a lovely walk on the beach although it was very windy. Our friends liked seeing the sea and how cold it was. Finally, after a fantastic day, we got back on the minibus and made our way back home. Everybody said goodbye and all went home until tomorrow… a new school for our new Soweto friends.
Saturday 27th June 2015 - Meeting Our New Friends
Today at 9:30am, all of the buddies, back-up buddies and teachers were waiting for the arrival of our new friends from South Africa. When they arrived some of the Year 11 choir sang songs so that they would feel welcome to our school and our community. After the songs, we all sat down and had breakfast. I sat with two girls called Promise and Sammy and they were teaching me words from Zulu. We shared our interests and took many photos of that moment.
At 2:30pm we all met at Haigh Hall and we played games such as: rounders, badminton and cricket and yet again the teachers took photos of us all. After that we all made our way to the park and got an ice cream. We all enjoyed ourselves on the park and I was talking to different people and found out what subjects they liked, how old they were and what their favourite colours were. I made some loom bands for them because they love colourful things. Unfortunately it was time to go home but I will see them again in the week. After this trip I have learnt different things about them, such as what their interests are and some other basic information about them.
We had to wake up early to go and meet our visitors from Soweto. I got to school at 9:30am, feeling excited and nervous both at the same time. Shortly after we arrived at school, our visitors also arrived and I was no
longer nervous. We greeted them by shaking their hands and saying hello. Then we went into food tech where you could get breakfast and talk to our new friends. We sat on a table and told them about England and asked them about what life was like back in Africa. Then the visitors went to their homes where they would be staying with staff from the school. They needed a rest as they had just got off the plane from Manchester Airport aftera very long flight.
At 2:00pm, we all met again at the front of Haigh Hall and set up a picnic blanket and played some outdoor games, such as Frisbee and cricket so that we could get to know each other better. Everybody had a great time! After this, we went to the park and to the ice cream van until 5:30pm when unfortunately it was time to go home.
When we arrived at school in the morning, the Year 10 choir welcomed all of our South African guests with a song called, ‘Roar’. When they got out of the minibus we shook their hands and welcomed them to our school. They all had huge smiles on their faces. I was really excited to meet them but they looked really tired after the long journey.
We all made our way to the food tech kitchen for a lovely cooked breakfast, where we started to get to know each other really well. They all seemed to like the food and they went back for more! I met Tshepiso and all of the other pupils too. All of the children enjoyed telling us their hobbies and what they want to achieve in life.
After that the pupils all went to their host families for a nap as they were really tired from the long plane journey, before we set off for Haigh Hall in the afternoon.
At Haigh Hall we got to bond with our new friends really well and played a couple of games of rounders. We taught the children how to play ‘Time bomb’ and they seemed to really enjoy it. We finished off the day with a nice, cold ice cream and a play on the park. Then our guests made their way home to get an early sleep for Blackpool the following morning.
Today was the day where all buddies and Soweto children would meet for the first time. They were welcomed with open arms as they arrived at school in the mini bus with Mr Dumican. All the Year 10s gathered and sang ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry, with two of the girls playing guitar. Our visitor’s faces were so overwhelmed with everything that was going on.
Next we took them to Mrs Croston’s food room where we spoke to our new friends and had a delicious breakfast. We each introduced ourselves to Mzamo, Nathi, Promise, Hlamalani, Siphesihle and lastly Angel, my buddy. We all had a great time asking and answering each other’s questions, and there was many laughs too. At noon when breakfast ended, each of the Soweto children went back to their host families to settle down and unpack.
We met up again at the front of Haigh Hall at 2:00pm were we played games and found out more about our new friends. We had lots of fun and I think everyone enjoyed it.
When everyone got a bit tired, Mrs Morris very kindly bought us all a well-deserved ice cream; they were really good too! It was coming towards the end of the day, so for the last 20 minutes we all went and played on the park. Playing on the swings, roundabout and the climbing frame was very funny and also exciting.
All too soon it came to an end, so we said our goodbyes as the Soweto children went back to their host families’ houses and got some rest for the big day out tomorrow… Blackpool!
When I arrived at school I was very nervous to meet all of the children and teachers, but especially my new friend, Mzamo. As the minibus arrived and the Soweto children and adults stepped out, we were all singing ‘Roar’. Everyone was so overwhelmed to finally meet them at last. After that, we all sat down in Mrs Croston’s food room and got to know our visitors a little bit more. The atmosphere was really happy and joyful. I learnt a lot about Mzamo and I really enjoyed getting to know him and all the others. We then had some breakfast and asked questions about each other. Everyone laughed and giggled and enjoyed trying to pronounce African words and names. After having eaten breakfast, everybody went home and the Soweto visitors went home with their new hosts to unpack and settle in.
With the sun shining brightly at 2:00pm, everybody met up at Haigh Hall where we set up a picnic rug and played some games like rounders, ‘Time Bomb’, badminton and cricket. Everyone took part and we had a really fun-filled afternoon, complete with many laughs. Mzamo also showed me some of his very talented sports skills which I enjoyed and I told him some things about me and what we were doing this week. I also got to spendsome time with all the other children and teachers.
After everyone was getting tired of the sun we were treated to an ice-cream. Everybody enjoyed them including the Soweto children. Then we went on the park; our new friends seemed to like the roundabout the most! It was time for everyone to go home, so we all said our goodbyes and all went our separate ways until tomorrow.
I first met Siphesile and the rest of our South African friends at school for breakfast. They were all tired but seemed to settle in really well and got to know us very quickly. Later on we went to Haigh Hall Country Park where we all played games like football and rounders. We were all surprised by how good they were at sport, rounders especially!
Saturday morning was an exciting time here at school as we were all gathering outside to welcome our South African visitors who had just come all the way from Soweto. After some time waiting, they finally arrived and were greeted by most of the school community including some of the choir, all of the Year 8 buddies and some members of staff. After that first meeting, we gathered in the food room to a welcome breakfast, where we got to know the children including Mzamo Sithole, Nathi Mdlangathi, Tshepiso Dlamini, Hlamani Vilakazi, Siphesile Sithole and Angel Hlongwane, a little better. It was a very enjoyable celebration, however all of our visitors were very tired after having been on an eleven-hour flight!
Later that day we all met at Haigh Hall so that we could get to know each other better. Luckily it was a very sunny afternoon and we played games such as rounders, cricket, badminton, tennis and football. After having had fun all afternoon we went up to the park for some time and enjoyed a refreshing ice cream. Finally, after what had been a very fun day the visitors went home to where they were staying with staff for the week.
Today we met our Soweto visitors for the first time. At first I was a little nervous but after getting to know them it was so much fun. Hlamalani and Tshepiso taught me some Zulu which was very funny. Meeting back up with everyone at Haigh Hall meant we could play games and have fun in the sun. We played Frisbee, rounders and cricket. I really enjoyed this. At the end of the day we all had an ice cream and played on the park.