Team Badar Uugan

British teachers Rekha Slatter from Edlesborough School and Derek Peaple from Park House School visit School #79 in Ulan Bator Mongolia...

Derek Peaple from Park House School, boxer Badar Uugan and Rekha Slatter from Edlesborough School Derek Peaple from Park House School, boxer Badar Uugan and Rekha Slatter from Edlesborough School

Edlesborough School, Park House School and School #79 are twinned as part of the Olympic Dreams Network.

School #79 is the former school of Mongolian boxer and World Olympic Dreams athlete, Badar Uugan.

Rekha Slatter from Edlesborough School and Derek Peaple from Park House School write about their trip and the insight they have gained into Mongolian school life.

Our visit

Building on our partnership with School #79, we travelled over the Easter Holiday to Mongolia to meet the pupils and staff of the school; it was the most inspiring experience of our lives.

Up close - the London 2012 Olympic medals Up close - the London 2012 Olympic medals

The school is located in the 'Ger' district of the city and many of the children attending the school live in small 'Ger's' (Yurt) together with their extended family.

The overwhelming impression that came across from this trip was the pride children had in their school and country.

The school was hugely proud of successful former pupils like Badar Uugan, the Olympic gold medallist and initial inspiration for our partnership, and their successes were celebrated by displaying posters and pictures of them all around the school.

Many of the classes we visited during our trip sang their national anthem with great pride, hands clasped tightly on their hearts.

Mongolian children at School #79 singing the national anthem Mongolian children at School #79 singing the national anthem

The children at the school were keen to learn and wanted to improve their lives by studying. When we asked them about their dreams and aspirations most children answered that they would like to be successful and help improve their parents' lives and make them proud!

Staff and children alike were very keen to learn English as this would give them the opportunity to better their lives by getting good jobs.

The children and staff had many questions for us and were keen to find out about our lives in England. One of the art teachers asked us how we teach art to children in schools; he was amazed to find out the number of resources we had at our disposal.

Derek Peaple and Rekha Slatter with the London 2012 Olympic medals Derek Peaple and Rekha Slatter with the London 2012 Olympic medals

They were very keen to find out if children in England learn other languages in school.

Some of the differences we noticed between our schools related to school organisation and the structure of learning.

They had the primary, junior and secondary section all in one area, separate buildings but all part of one school.

Predominantly all classes had chalk boards, although there were some portable screens and projectors for interactive teaching.

The staff included a school Doctor and if the children were unwell they could be treated at school. The children in reception class were taught to play chess as the head teacher Mr Bold believed in training the mind at the young age.

During our visit we had a great honour to be welcomed by Mongolian Olympic committee at their headquarters; here we had a surprise visit from Badar Uugan himself!

Mongolian Olympic Committee Mongolian Olympic Committee

He was very humble about his achievement and very grateful to his school teachers for supporting him. Indeed, the genuine bond between them was very evident.

He was very happy to see that because of his success the children in School #79 have been given the opportunity to be linked with our schools in England through the 'BBC World Class' project.

He said this could only be a very good thing for the pupils as this would help them learn English and find out about other country.

We are hopeful that our partnership will develop as part of a longer term legacy involving teacher and student exchanges alongside continued learning from each other.

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