What is Warwick in Africa?
Warwick in Africa is a multifaceted programme consisting of three core elements: a Student Volunteering programme, a Lead Teacher Support programme and a Teacher Support programme - the main subject focus being Mathematics and English. In the context of Warwick in Africa, a Lead Teacher is an experienced teacher from our partner schools who has demonstrated leadership qualities and a desire to take on a more active role in the partnership.
Our primary aim is to have a positive impact on the quality of teaching and learning in our partner schools for the benefit of learners and we do this by facilitating student volunteer placements and providing a comprehensive range of training and support activities.
As a consequence of receiving additional support in the classroom and joining a community of practice with other educators from across Africa in support of their professional development, teachers benefit from a boost to their morale, as well as to the quality of their teaching practise.
Student volunteers gain a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in another culture, experience life in the classroom, build personal resilience and a broad range of skills. They have so much to offer in terms of energy and enthusiasm, new ideas and a fresh perspective.
Learners enjoy an injection of new energy in their classroom and the company of young people from another culture. Furthermore, student volunteers often initiate new activities at the school during their placements which creates fresh experiences for learners. Ultimately, as a consequence of the all-round support received by teachers and the input of student volunteers, learners will benefit from an enhanced learning experience making them more likely to succeed academically.
We motivate and inspire teachers to become the heroes of their own stories by providing them with moral and practical support in a non-directive manner. We help to reinvigorate the school experience by sending dynamic and energetic students to provide assistance in the classroom during the summer months. We connect our partners to opportunities and cutting-edge research to assist them with developing their craft.
We hold our core values at the heart of everything we do. These are: Collaboration, Respect, Aspiration, Impact, Commitment and Resilience.
Placements in schools
Placements in Africa take place during the summer and can last up to seven weeks. The role mostly involves the co-delivery of Maths and English classes with local teachers, however, volunteers contribute to school life in many ways. An effective student volunteer approaches the task with a self-reflective and learning mindset, ready and willing to provide new ideas and perspectives with humility and an open mind.
Other UK-based roles
Joining Warwick in Africa as a volunteer does not necessarily have to involve international travel. Students engage with the programme in a variety of ways, such as research projects, promotion, communications, fundraising, and even sometimes making important contributions to the shape of the programme. These activities present a valuable opportunity to develop a broad range of skills for life.
Once a part of the Warwick to Africa community, students tend to stay connected with us throughout their studies. This is testament to the transformative effect this programme can have on students who choose to take part.
Lead Teacher Role
There is a growing network of Warwick in Africa Lead Teachers who play a fundamental role in the programme. They are selected on the basis of their teaching experience and leadership qualities. As well as providing a vital link between the Teacher Support and Student Volunteering programmes they deliver annual workshops and other local continuous professional development events throughout the year for the benefit of the wider group of local teachers at our partner schools.
Warwick Study Programme and the Annual Lead Teacher Conference
Newly recruited Lead Teachers are invited to the University to attend the Warwick Study Programme, an annual on-campus event. This provides them with an opportunity to learn and understand more about their new role and the support they can expect to receive in order for them to succeed. During their visit, the Lead Teachers spend time in UK schools, observing lessons and mixing with teaching staff, which creates a space for useful exchanges of new ideas and perspectives to take place between the Lead Teachers and their UK counterparts.
Thereafter, Lead Teachers are invited to take place in a virtual annual conference, where they can meet in person with colleagues from their local area, and virtually with colleagues elsewhere. This is a welcome chance to catch up on the events of the year just gone and to share best practise and ideas for the year ahead.
In addition to the events above, all Lead Teachers are matched with a mentor who provides them with ongoing support. Warwick staff and alumni can apply to become a Warwick in Africa Mentor based on their expertise in coaching and mentoring, learning and development or teacher training; or if they have a specialism in Mathematics, English language, English as an additional language, or English literature.
Annual Teacher Workshops
All of the teachers, at the majority of our partner schools, benefit from attending annual teacher workshops in their geographical locations, led by the Lead Teachers with the support of their Mentors. These workshops are residential and take place over several days. Teachers enjoy meeting colleagues from other schools in their area, and taking a well-earned break from the classroom, to receive training based on an enhancement approach which focuses on drawing out good practise and sharing ideas.
Continuous school based CPD (through Teach 2030)
In 2020, Warwick in Africa formed a partnership with the Commonwealth Education Trust to bring the Teach 2030 programme to all teachers at our partner schools.
This collaboration was introduced to enhance the teacher support element of the programme. It involves bringing bitesize online professional development courses to our network of schools and teachers which are easy to use on a smartphone, tablet or computer, and especially designed to be low data.
What we do
We work with schools to find sustainable, creative and innovative solutions to problems, such as a lack of resources and large class sizes.
We offer non-directive advice, support and training to our partner schools.
What we don't do
We do not support our partners in a way which is unsustainable, for example, by supplying them with equipment or providing financial support.
We do not assume to understand the situation of our partners fully and our approach is non-intrusive. We encourage teachers to tailor changes to suit their own needs.