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Hartington C of E Primary School students have enjoyed a special afternoon of African Dance, Sport, Story and Art, alongside youngsters from Taddington and Priestcliffe C of E Primary School.
Pupils from Hartington visited the neighbouring rural school on Thursday 15th January for an afternoon of native African fun and education.
Youngsters were split into three groups and asked to pick their favourite African football team, to tie in with the Africa Cup of Nations, which is running until Sunday 8th of February. The three groups became Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana football teams.
They then learnt the moves to an African Dance called ‘Footballers Journey’ that took them all the way from singing the National Anthem at the start of the match, to scoring a goal.
Following that, there was a short story session and then pupils put their art skills to the test with an African Art Workshop.
On Thursday 29th January, Hartington School will welcome Taddington and Priestcliffe students for similar African themed events.
The sessions are organised by Bemma Akyeampon, of African Ark, based in Nottingham.
Bemma, who originates from Ghana on the West Coast of Africa, said: “The aim of African Ark is to provide quality African and Caribbean experiences to youngsters, by giving workshops in varied art forms, including dance, music, art, storytelling, music and performance.”
“I want children to get an understanding of life in Africa – break down barriers and remove stereotypes – and for them to enjoy themselves.”
“At Hartington School, I will be taking a big piece of African fabric so we can cut it up to make beautiful costumes, including arm bands and head bands.”
Hartington pupils, Sam Wright, 7, and Josh Wright, 9, said: “It was enjoyable, exciting and energetic.”
Niamh Mellor, 6, said: “My favourite bit was the painting on cloth and making patterns on it with a sharp stick.”
Taddington pupils, Chloe Skidmore, Lizzie Orton and Jake Reason, all aged 8, also enjoyed the afternoon.
Chloe said: “My favourite thing was doing the African painting because we got to meet our friends from Hartington again.”
Lizzie said: “I liked doing the African cup of nations dance because I liked the music and all the different moves.”
Jake said: “I liked doing the patterns and pretending it was mud.”
Teaching Assistant at Hartington C of E Primary School, Mary Teeboon said: “We had a fantastic afternoon in Taddington – it was really good to visit another school and meet other local students whilst really enjoying Bemma’s activities and embracing African culture. We’re now really looking forward to next week!”
Hartington students gave a short presentation of their African themed work at the schools’ Community Lunch on Friday 16th January and have invited visitors to see their final production on the afternoon of the 29th January.
The hugely popular, fortnightly Community Lunch events see local, elderly residents visit the School to enjoy a home cooked meal and entertainment.