Africa accross the curriculum

28th November 2003 at 00:00
We brought African culture into the curriculum when we arranged a visit from Kelewele Club, which runs workshops and produces language and cultural resources reflecting life in several African countries. We had a great day of history, geography, dance and music-making for Years 1-6.

Kelewele's Janet Narh - "Aunty Janet" for the day - introduced the children to some famous people in black history - eg scientist George Washington Carver, who invented 300 uses for the peanut. For geography she used a map to show how Africa is made up of different countries. This most interested the older children.

Then everybody enjoyed drumming, dancing and learning to count in three African languages, Swahili, Zulu and Twi. Much hilarity ensued as the staff joined in.

Kelewele (which means "fried plantain") brought samples of food such as plantain and coconut for children to handle.

The programme was planned for the wide age range, and the varied artefacts, such as a chief's stool, tall wooden models of chiefs and queens, and three kinds of drum, certainly appealed to the children's curiosity.

The day culminated in a display from Amazing Emannuel, the African music maker from Ghana - from plate-spinning to acrobatics and limbo dancing.

Children's comments included: "It was brilliant" and "The music was great", and staff agreed that the event was very informative for key stage 2, while the younger children enjoyed the music and dancing.

Sandra James, headteacher, St Paul's CE Primary School, Brentford

Kelewele Club tel: 0208 994 5672www.keleweleclub.com

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