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Link with Kenya gets a jump start

(Photograph) - Dusty cultural textbooks can give some sense of far-flung lands and people, but there is nothing like seeing them up close.

Drummond Community High in Edinburgh has made links with two Kenyan schools and last year sent 12 pupils and two teachers on a nine-day visit to the country. But staff are keen that it is not only the lucky few who get to experience other cultures first-hand. So when they discovered a group of Masai warriors was touring and performing in the UK, the school was quick to invite them for a visit. Last week they laid on a one-off performance.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for many pupils to see these sorts of things in real life," says Jon Reid, headteacher. "It's exposing their minds to things they might not have seen before."

The visit was a good example of an event that tied in well with the broadening of experiences demanded by A Curriculum for Excellence.

Mandy Toogood, the school's community programme manager, has been responsible for developing links with Kenya. Next month, staff and pupils will welcome eight students and four teachers from Kenya.

The visit will be a "meeting of cultures", says Mr Reid.

One event will see a bongo drum tutor spending a day teaching Scottish and Kenyan pupils who will perform together that night.

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