In the news

19th February 2010 at 00:00

Terry Maxwell

Who is he?

Terry Maxwell, 60, is the retired head of Wadsworth Field Primary School in Stapleford, Nottingham. He teaches music at the school for one day a week while studying for an MA in education at Nottingham Trent University.

What's he doing in this column?

This Easter, he will cycle 200 miles across France to raise money for Upendo Junior School in Kiminini, Kenya, Wadsworth Field's partnership school.

Why the link with Kenya?

"I met (headteacher) Masibo Lumala by chance," Mr Maxwell says. "He'd emailed me while he was doing his PhD at Nottingham University and wanted our schools to link up. Myself and a colleague went to visit the school in June 2008. We did lots of fact-finding, forged relationships and sought curriculum inspired activities."

That must have been a great trip...

"We had lots of ideas to bring back, but the school in Kenya benefits mostly. When we first visited, the school was tiny - only 34 children. Because of its growing status there are now 88. Masibo received a laureate at Nottingham University last September. We helped raise the profile on our visit by going out into the community."

What are the plans for the bike ride?

"The school had no electricity or running water. It rained so much that the tiny classrooms were dark and lessons had to stop. Funds raised have brought electricity to the school, and it has a well. I'm doing the bike ride to help establish a communication system between the school and other schools and universities. I'd like the children to talk to each other using Skype."

That's a big ambition, isn't it?

"Wadsworth Field Primary sent its old computers when it revamped its ICT suite. I'd like to raise #163;1,000 and get Upendo Junior School two or three laptops with broadband accessibility and the security they need. At the moment, the five computers we sent are in a shop in the village of Kiminini. There is a small space rented there where the children go to use them. Not to use the internet, but just to learn how to use a computer."

So when is the big event?

"I'm doing it with two friends - we're keen cyclists - starting on April 3. It should take four days, starting in Saint Malo, north west France, and cycling to Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits in the south. We're prepared; we have the puncture kits ready. All we need now are the sponsors."

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