Forging links across the world

Students at an Alnwick school are set to forge links with youngsters in South Africa, thanks to the work of a former pupil.

As part of their Year 5 geography project, children at the Duke’s Middle School are following the travels of ex-student, Ellen Puddephatt.

Ellen has been making her way from Tanzania to Cape Town, where she will be teaching Year 5 pupils in a school in Simon’s Town, South Africa.

Before she left, Ellen spent days at the Duke’s helping the pupils to film video diaries about themselves and their locality, as well as writing letters to her new pupils in South Africa.

She set off in early September with Percy, the Duke’s school mascot, and has been emailing the pupils with regular updates and pictures as she passes landmarks on her way.

Pupils are using their lessons to research the geographical features, habitat and climate of the countries visited.

So far, they have found out about slavery and spices in Zanzibar, explorer and missionary David Livingstone and Victoria Falls.

They have also found out about the lion conservation projects in Zambia and what lives in Lake Malawi.

Duke’s Middle School deputy headteacher, Anne Puddephatt, said: “This has been such an exciting way to bring learning to life for the pupils.

“As soon as they get an email from Ellen and Percy, they are desperate to go off and find out more about it.

“They are really looking forward to the next stage of the project which will be when Ellen arrives in Cape Town in mid-October and starts to send letters and videos back from the Simon’s Town pupils.”