Sandfields pupils back from trip to Bangladesh say they are inspired to "give 100 per cent in lessons"
TWO teenage girls from Port Talbot who have returned from a trip of a lifetime to Bangladesh, say they’ve been inspired.
Cherie Davies and Samantha King – both year 11 pupils at Sandfields Comprehensive School – went on the trip with Geography teacher Darren Grounds, as part of a British Council expedition. Joining them were Sharon Davies and Richard Shepard of Coed Hirwaun Primary School.
Funded by a British Council grant, the project — Connecting Classrooms — also involved Pontrhydyfen and Eastern Primary Schools are also involved with.
During the trip, the team would connect with their classrooms back home, answering questions on Facebook from their pupils and holding Face Time sessions during assembly.
Mr Grounds said: "During the school day, the children would write down their questions, and in the evenings the girls would respond to them, along with Richard Shephard from Coed Hirwaun.
"When we were taking pictures and uploading them to Facebook, the children would respond to that, it worked really well as a platform to present what was happening to the younger children.
"All of our objectives were met and the girls were absolutely amazing, especially as we had very long days."
Sam described the trip as the best experience of her life, while Cherie said: "It really makes you value the education system we have here.
"It was nice to see the children being respectful to their teachers, you don’t get that here.
"As a country, it makes you realised how good things are here as well."
Sam said she had wanted to become a teacher before going to the country, but that the trip had inspired her to think of different ways she could do it — and want to teach abroad.
Cherie said: "It’s inspired me to want to travel more, and it’s made me want to give 100 per cent in my lessons too."
The pair said they were thrilled to meet the children at the five different schools, and were touched when they were presented with gifts at each school.
The project was launched in the area two years ago by Mrs Davies, who established links with 11 schools in Bangladesh.
Teachers from Rangpur have also visited a variety of schools in Port Talbot over the past two years, but this trip was the first where pupils have been involved.
The girls' trip was part funded Tata Steel’s Global Bursary Fund with a £900 donation, because the British Council money covers only teacher travel.
See a video of the girls taking part in a traditional dance here: