Old Bexley C of E Primary School
Napache Primary School
Welcome to our new page on Starfishers. On this page you can see all the latest news from our linked school and keep up to date with our joint projects.
We’ve been linked to Napache school in the Salima district of Malawi since 2007. During this time there have been some wonderful developments with many stories to tell.
Please find below a brief history of our link to give you a quick insight into the nature of our journey together.
Click HERE to see our last School Linking Newsletter
Old Bexley Link Co-ordinator.
Napache Junior Primary School is 44 km away from Salima District Township and 2km from Lake Malawi. The local people are almost all subsistence farmers with small plots of land to grow what they need for their own families. The school serves six villages and was set up at the request of the village chiefs. It is a state school but it is managed by the School Committee, PTA (Parents Teachers Association) and the District Education Manager. The school originally comprised Standards 1 to 6 but the last two years have seen the addition of Standards 7 and 8, making it now a full primary school. There are currently 750 pupils in the school with a staff of 7.
The school is well supported by the School Management committee and the PTA. The World Health Organisation (WHO) runs a feeding programme for children in school and also in many other countries throughout the world. At Napache fortified porridge is provided by WHO and is prepared by members of the community for the children to eat at mid morning. The feeding programme not only ensures that the children have at least one nourishing meal a day but also encourages parents to send their children to school.
As pupil numbers have increased, some building programmes have been undertaken to provide a teacher’s house, and construction is currently underway to build an additional classroom block.
The children range in age from 6 to as old as 19. This is because children are required to repeat classes if they fail the end of year tests and many children miss a year or more of schooling because of their family circumstances. Although primary education in Malawi is free, the school dropout rate is high, particularly amongst girls, and enrolment drops sharply from 200 pupils in Standard 1 to about 40 in standard 8. Many children are unable to complete their primary education because of the demands from their families to help them work on the land.
As in any other school in Malawi, English, Maths, Religious Education, and General Studies are all taught at Napache School. In Standards 4 and above pupils are taught agriculture, science and health education, including lessons about hygiene and HIV/AIDS. Most teaching is in Chichewa in Standards 1-4 but once the children reach Standards 5–8 all teaching is in English.
Several exchange visits have taken place, including two visits from Napache to the UK, and these have been invaluable in cementing the relationship between the schools, enhancing professional skills and developing the joint curriculum.
Napache Junior Primary School
C/O Box 87, Chipoka, Salima, Malawi.
Hurst Road, Bexley, Kent, DA5 3JR
Tel. +44(0)1322 527981
Executive Head Teacher: Mr P. Wilson
Head of School: Ms K. Lindridge
Link Co-ordinator: Fiona Gibbon
Starfish Malawi says...
Thank you to all the Old Bexley and Napache school linking teams for all the fantastic work completed over the last 5 years.
Through Starfishers we want children to become responsible global citizens, understanding and actively playing their part in making this world a wonderful place for us all to live.
We believe a global child is an INSPIRED child.
Trip to the UK
Alfred Linyanja is the new Deputy Head and Link Coordinator at Napache Primary School, and recently came to visit Old Bexley through the Connecting Classrooms exchange programme.
Alfred had a wonderful time at the school, and also had the rare opportunity to see the Queen at the Trooping of the Colour on his first trip to London.
Alfred around the School
School Council Meeting
Trip to Malawi
The orchestra, both school choirs and the newly formed staff choir came together to give a fundraising concert for Napache school.
A large audience enjoyed the evening and gave very generously to raise enough money to build a block of toilets for the children, provide seeds and gardening equipment and put some money towards a teacher's house.
Eighteen carefully packed boxes were taken to a freight forwarders in Aylesford ready to begin their long journey by sea and road to Napache School. The contents included school stationery, footballs, netballs and girls’ underwear, and the supplies were bought with the money from a non-uniform day and other small fundraising events such as the toy tombola at the Christmas fair.
The journey will take about three months but the container will be received with great excitement when it arrives.
Large areas of Malawi have been stripped of trees because of the need for firewood. The local people have no other source of fuel for cooking. This deforestation causes top soil to blow away and rain water to run off the surface, thereby severely affecting the yield from the land.
At Napache a tree planting project was started last year to protect the school site from the wind (another affect of deforestation) and last month 800 saplings were planted by the children at the school. These trees were supplied by Kuti Park, a local wildlife centre where environmental education is supported.