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The Primary School staff visit the UK

Monday 24 October 2016

Between October 17 to 22, School Principal Carmella Ferber and senior teacher and WAS-NS member Raida Aiashe Khatib were in the UK to meet with supporters, speak on behalf of the Primary School and visit two British Schools. They got together with old friends and made some new ones.

For school teachers, meeting counterparts in other countries is always stimulating. Raida speaks with transparent enthusiasm about her visit to the schools and of the warm connections formed there. The first school on the program was the St. Paul’s Steiner School in Islington, where they met the new principal Stephanie Jansen. She had no previous connection with Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom, so was mainly interested to learn about it.

The second school on the program, the Gallions Primary School, was one with which previous connections have been made, especially since John Ward, one of the school’s governors, had visited the WAS-NS Primary School and met with Carmella earlier this year. The School’s multiculturalism (its pupils speak more than 50 languages) and social agenda (it emphasizes acceptance of the most disadvantaged pupils) make it a wonderful candidate for stronger connections with our school. After spending two days there, attending classes, concerts and meeting faculty and students, Raida and Carmella were deeply impressed with what they saw. Gallion’s school places an unusual focus on music, which is a subject that we are currently trying to strengthen at the WAS-NS school. Video exchanges and visits by Gallions School teachers to WAS-NS are planned for 2017.

Carmella and Raida had the opportunity to meet with UK supporters of WAS-NS, including members of the Silman Family, whose family trust has this year contributed so generously to developing the school library, the Lyons family, who similarly have a connection with the School going back many years. They also visited people from the Tolkien Trust and the Alan & Babette Sainsbury Charitable Trust, which have also generously contributed to the School.

Travelling to a distant country and finding there an intricate web of friends, supporters and people who are deeply committed to the Primary School and its values, made Carmella and Raida’s trip seem like re-connecting with an overseas branch of one’s own family. May the links so formed only grow stronger! We look forward to seeing some of these UK friends when they visit in 2017.

Carmella and Raida speaking with Jenny Nemko in a recorded interview that was broadcast live on Facebook.

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