Monday 27 May 2013

Monday in Kenya - at Spurgeons Academy


Day 1 in Spurgeons and what a great day it has been!

We started off with a quick assembly in the bit of playground that the school still has access to (the rest is currently a building site as a new church and 5 classrooms are being built).
Everyone was introduced, and the children were very impressed that there were 3 mums there with 4 children – Ally with Jake, Carey with Naomi, and Chris with Gillian and Helen. And of course as the children have met Helen every year now at least once a year for the past 3 or 4 years, they were delighted that she has her mum and her sister with her this time, having taken her daughters with her on past trips!

After that we split into our various groups and headed off to do the different tasks we have lined up.

Helen, Jake and Ally taught P2 class in the morning, and then P4 in the afternoon (although Helen missed that lesson), whilst Chris, Carey, Naomi and Mary did P1 in the morning and then P3 in the afternoon (Mary missed that one). The lessons went really well and it was a good move to teach the younger students first and build confidence before going on to teach the older ones tomorrow.

Gillian, an advisory teacher in the UK, has had a good day with Oscar, the headteacher, discussing various aspects of school development and school improvement, looking at data management, and school statistics, and he is definitely enjoying having the chance to talk about all sorts of different aspects of what he does, with someone who understands the issues from the inside.

Meena, a social worker in the UK, has spent the day with Rose, the school social worker, learning about the many aspects of her work, and between them discussing new ways that she might be able to overcome some of the obstacles she faces, and find new methods of approach.

Mary, our seamstress / costumier, spent the morning helping in class, and then in the afternoon she went to the tailoring centre to meet the ladies who are keen to develop their sewing skills under her tutelage. The initial plan was for Mary to do the sewing workshops in the afternoons only, but the ladies are so keen to learn that Mary is now going to do full days with them, rather than just afternoons! And in exchange they will teach her Swahili!

Tomorrow will be a similar programme, but we will be teaching the older children, and also Ally will start doing some mentoring and self-esteem workshops for the staff, and Carey will do some health education lessons.

Due to all the building works the school is somewhat limited in outdoor space, and as a result there isn’t really any space for playing outside – just as well that wasn’t a major part of our plans! It’s quite an eye-opener for us Brits who are so used to all the health and safety side of things as well, as we see builders mixing cement on the playground, and massive dumper trucks of boulders being delivered, whilst the children go to get their morning cup of porridge! But the show goes on and everyone knows where they can and can’t go.

So, that’s it for today. Thanks for all your support and tomorrow I’ll see if I can post some photos as well!

Best wishes

Helen, and team J

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