Tanzania Blog

VR Tour of Msufini Primary School

Click on the image below to visit Msufini Primary School in Virtual Reality.

Miss Nelson and Mr Crooks to panoramic pictures during their time to give us the opportunity to better understand what Msufini is really like.

To activate the scene narration click on the ⚙️ icon in the top right of the screen.

Tarrangire Safari

Friday 14th February 2020

Today all teachers from Scotland had an opportunity to share the experiences in their partner schools with all other Scottish teachers, teachers from Tanzanian schools, Ephraim, a representative from the British council and Professor Christina Chua from the university of Dar es Salaam. We put together this short movie to illustrate many of the things we experienced and learned during our time at Msufini.

Thursday 13th February 2020

Day 4 marked our final day in Msufini. What an incredible experience from start to finish. We visited P7 in the morning to write reply letters to the Primary 7 of Towerbank. We look forward to the challenge of translating these Swahili letters into English.

After morning lessons the school put on an incredible display of traditional African dancing and singing for us. Following the traditional African celebrations, the whole school joined us in learning the Gay Gordon’s and the Canadian Barn Dance. They were much quicker learners than Ms Nelson and Mr Crooks at the African Dancing.

We then delivered a speech at assembly in Swahili to say thanks to all the pupils, staff and translators for making our whole experience one that we will never forget. We enjoyed celebrating such a special event which was topped off by our invitation to cut the ribbon, marking a monumental day in Msufini’s history! We were honourable guests invited to open the Nursery, P1/2 classrooms with a supply of electricity.

Wednesday 12th February 2020

Day 3’s focus was all about global citizenship. We planned and delivered the ‘Twende Kijani’ Let’s Go Green lessons to Primary 5, 6 and 7. We analysed the problems around the world in relation to climate change and thought about how this might impact Africa in the year 2050. The children of Msufini were so engaged and there was a variety of discussions going on across the year groups.

Tuesday 11th February 2020

Day 2 was a huge success! We achieved so much with the wonderful children at Msufini. We started the day with P2 and read them a story. They asked us questions about Scotland such as, ‘what do you eat?’ ‘Where do you come from?’ They were very interested in Towerbank and what our school was like.

We then moved onto P5 where we taught our Twende Kijani lesson. This was really interesting as we had taught the same lesson in P6/7 and P7 in Towerbank. They loved to see all your posters and agreed with many of your thoughts and ideas.

We then moved to the P5 class where we introduced them to animals you may find in Scotland. They were very intrigued by the unicorn! We learned animals names that you might see in Africa in Swahili and asked them to draw some pictures to share with you back at Towerbank.

Monday 10th February 2020

We are just about to set off to Msufini, to attend a morning assembly and be welcomed by the children and staff. We will be reunited with Noel (headteacher) and Leons (class teacher) after being given the opportunity to meet them on Saturday for lunch in Moshi.

Our first day at Msufini was incredible. We were welcomed at assembly by some talented drummers and a traditional African song. We had a tour of the whole school grounds and observed some lessons in Swahili and Science before spending some time dancing and singing with the nursery children.

In the afternoon we taught our first lesson with P3. We read the book ‘Only One You’ and discussed the importance of being unique or different and feeling special.

Our interpreter Hance made this lesson possible with his amazing translations for the children to fully understand our teachings.

Sunday 9th February 2020

Today we have spent the day exploring the local area. It all began at 8am when we attending mass at St Ursula’s High School and were introduced to the children in the school. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming. We have spent time with our teaching partners discussing the week ahead. We are leaving for Msufini at 7am tomorrow morning and we can’t wait!

Saturday 8th February 2020

After 24 hours and 3 flights, Mr Crooks and Ms Nelson have finally made it to the Sacred Heart Centre and it was well worth the journey!

Today we were lucky enough to meet the Head Teacher of Msufini Primary School and Leons (who visited Towerbank) one of the teachers we will be working with. We discussed the similarities and differences between school life in Towerbank and Tanzania.

We were treated to a delicious traditional Tanzanian meal at lunch time and a tour of the local town, Moshi.

Tour of Msufini Primary School 2018


Towerbank Primary School has a link with Msufini Primary School in Tanzania. The link was established through the organisation Twende Pamoja. Mrs McGroarty and Ms Bicheno are visiting Msufini during the February break. Here is their blog.

Thursday 8th February

We are all packed and ready to go. The Towerbank boys and girls have been working hard writing letters and making cards for the children at Msufini Primary School.

Thank you to everyone who contributed. Thanks to the adults too!

Friday 9th February

The Tanzanian flag flies over Towerbank in preparation for the upcoming visit.

Saturday 10th February

After a long flight, we relaxed in the morning before setting off into Moshi to explore the town.

We met Innocent, who will be our translator for the week in school. We are so excited to meet him and learn more about Tanzania.

We loved the vibrant colours, sights and smells of the busy town.

Sunday 11th February

Today we went to a special assembly at St Ursula’s with the whole school. It was held outside as the weather is so warm. After that we got a tour of the grounds and discovered that they keep livestock and grow their own vegetables!

We are looking forward to our first day at Msufini tomorrow!

Monday 12th February

Today was our first day of teaching at Msufini. The children we full of smiles and excited to hear about Towerbank.

We introduced ourselves to each class and watched a Science lesson in Swahili about light energy.

Ms Bicheno was put to work straight away with a pile of marking!

Ms McGroarty is really enjoying taking photos of the school and the children is the warm sunshine.

Tuesday 13th February

Today we taught the children about Scotland! We told them about the weather, clothes, the flag and some Scottish traditions.

Wednesday 14th February

Msufini students (wanafunzi) love ceilidh dancing! They did really well learning the Gay Gordons and Military Two Step.

They enjoyed clapping to the beat of the music and noticed the sound of some of the instruments used in the songs. Some children did demonstrations for the others.

We have been learning a little Swahili!

1 – moja
2 – mbili
3 – tatu
4 – nne
5 – tano
6 – sita
7 – saba
8 – nane
9 – tisa
10 – kumi

We are still blown away every time we look at Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a stunning sight to wake up to!

The boys and girls at Msufini are so excited to be friends (marafiki) with Scottish children!

Thursday 15th February

The pupils loved seeing the work children in Scotland had done. Towerbank children have been working on two stories. The Honey Bird’s Revenge and The Blind Man Catches the Bird.

Standard 5 (P5) enjoyed the Honey Bird story and did some group work all about it. The were impressed by the art and drama we showed them from Scotland.

Standard 6 (P6) listened to the Blind Man Catches the Bird and talked about the story afterwards. They drew some birds and coloured them in. They loved using the coloured pencils as well as seeing the Towerbank cards and artwork.

We taught them some of the English words for the colours and they taught us some Swahili colours!

We visited Nursery and read them some stories sent over from our Nursery in Scotland!

Friday 16th February

We were sad to say goodbye to the students and teachers at Msufini today! We have had such an incredible time.

The students gave us eggs, mangoes and nuts as a gift which was such a lovely gesture! The teachers enjoyed some shortbread we gave them at morning break, although some said it was too sugary for them! We gave the school a framed picture of the whole school spelling out Towerbank on Portobello beach. They also loved the school calendar and the Scotland flag!

Ms Bicheno gave a speech in Swahili and the boys and girls were so impressed! We filmed the whole thing so we’re looking forward to showing people at home! We were given a beautiful scarf each which we will bring to school next week.

The teachers held a special celebration for us at lunchtime and we took lots of pictures.

We will miss Msufini.







Saturday 17th February

What an incredible day we have had. We got up at 5am and drove for 4 hours to get to a national park. The park was called Tarangire and it is where some people go for safari! (Safari means journey in Swahili)

Our guide, Arnold, told us all about the nomadic people who move through the land near Tarangire. They are called Massai people and they live a traditional way of life.

We entered the park and saw animals striaght away! We saw Grant’s gazelles, Massai giraffes, superb starlings, impala, buffalo, warthogs and many more! One of the incredible moments was having lunch with beautifully coloured birds and naughty monkeys! The colours, sights and sounds blew us away! Here are a few pictures to give you a taste of the experiences we had.