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Global Links - Kenya Partnership

Open Arms Academy, Kenya

We enjoy a partnership with Open Arms Academy in the Rift Valley, Kenya, where our school has had a link for over five years. During this time, eight members of our staff and two governors have visited the school to share good practice and enrich our global understanding. Staff from Open Arms Academy have also visited Heron Hill and been able to observe lessons and be involved in our annual Kenya Day.

Our latest trip took place during the Easter holidays, 2024, and you can read more about this here:

Together with St Thomas's School, Kendal, our partnership seeks both to support the education of children at Open Arms and also widen our own perspectives - both staff and pupils - as we learn from our Kenyan colleagues. We have particularly enjoyed connecting through music, by sharing songs through recorded videos as well as live online video calls. We hope there will be many more of these happy occasions! 

Open Arms Academy provides a quality education for around 330 Kenyan children; around 100 of these children have been rescued from desperate situations and now thrive in the Open Arms Village. The school also serves the surrounding community and supports many local families by providing meals for the children, as well as their lessons. Parents of sponsored children are also required to join the Community Empowerment scheme.  This enables them to save in small groups, releasing shared capital that is used for small loans to help individuals and families develop their own businesses, providing them with a hand up out of situations of poverty.

Open Arms is part of the Stand By Me charity which supports schools in several countries. You can find out more by following these links:

The current climate crisis we face only emphasises the need for all of us to connect and learn with and from others so that we can work together to find solutions. Our link is a very important part of ensuring the next generation has a sense of global responsibility, inspiring them to take action and  become change makers and creative, collaborative thinkers.

Our latest live link happened in March 2023 when Class 3 at Open Arms and Year 4 at Heron Hill met on a Zoom call to share a song about caring for our planet, and ideas of what we could do in our schools to make a difference. We hope to repeat the experience in the Summer Term 2024.


The whole school moved into its wonderful new building in January 2024.

‚ÄčThe children begin each week with an assembly on their value of the week and raise their flag. 
Open Arms is a very sustainable village. They have their own farm and bakery. They also keep their own bees, providing them with a supply of delicious honey. The honey is also sold to the local community to help support the school.
The school sources its own water from the nearby river. The water is pumped up from the river and passes through a complicated filtration system, enabling it to be drunk from the tap!

Open Arms Village is made up of several family homes for orphaned and abandoned children, the school, a farm, a bakery, a church, a health centre and staff and visitor accommodation.

Looking after their environment and appreciating nature is an essential part of pupils' learning and life together. We hope to learn more from Open Arms through our partnership together, further enriching us on our Eco-Schools journey.