Ten Year 11 Weald School students visited Namilyango College just outside Kampala in Uganda over half term.
The inaugural trip involving students followed visits of staff from both schools in the last two years as a result of a twinning programme from the London 2012 Olympics called International Inspirations.
The aim of the trip was to allow students to gain an insight into the lives of young Ugandans.
Some of the week was spent at school in lessons, but also involved visits to local primary schools, working as sports leaders. The students also had the opportunity to visit local sights.
One of the students who went on the trip, Zoe Melhuish, commented: “It was an incredible experience. We really got an insight into life for a young Ugandan. Most secondary schools are boarding, as was Namilyango. Students got up at 5am and were in class by 5.30 am working unsupervised.
“Some of the classes were as big as 80 students. We couldn’t believe how long and hard they worked. In the evening they were in classrooms unsupervised from 7.30 to 10.00 pm doing homework.”
Another student, Ciaran Preston, explained: “In the evenings we had the opportunity to give talks to various classes and students so that Ugandans got an understanding of what life was like for us as English students. I also got the opportunity to play rugby on a number of occasions with the Ugandans who were really good.
“One of the highlights was visiting the charity ‘Hands for Hope’ in Kampala which works with the most deprived children in one of the slums there. It made a huge impact on all of us.”
The Weald is hoping to host a return trip from the Ugandan school in 2015.
Report and photos contributed by thwe Weald School