On behalf of us all, we think it’s safe to say that today was an emotional one. After spending the last 5 days with the children at the catch up centre and developing a special bond with them, it was incredibly difficult to say our goodbyes.
This morning, team superman used balloons labelled with adjectives to describe positive attributes about class members. Each child was given a balloon and then passed around the class and when Emma shouted STOP they had to choose a class member who had that quality about them. The children then had to create masks incorporating the adjective on the balloon that they were holding. Catherine then told the class a story about a Chinese hero and the children enjoyed it. We then had altogether time where Team Superman (Emma’s Team) won the team chant for the second time this week. After this victory we had a session of educational games such as scrabble, puzzles, dominos, card games and number quest – which Tracy spent the entire 90 minutes playing with a group of girls!
Team Mo Farah (Natalie’s Team) started the morning with a lesson on the circle of life of a frog. The children loved the little models of the tadpoles and frogs and then resorted to throwing them around the classroom – standard behaviour! Susie then read a story about a tadpole and a caterpillar – long story short, they were friends and then the frog ate the butterfly! The kids were laughing! We then had a lesson on number generators taught by Sionedd and finished with bingo. After the break and altogether time we practiced our team song ready for our performance. We then made masks where the children decided that emptying pots of glitter over themselves was a good idea; they were more glitz and glam than the masks! We then played Quick Cricket, with Susie trying to explain the rules without anyone understanding her. After this the children made Loom Band bracelets which they always offer as gifts once they’ve finished!
After lunch proved to be one of the hardest and most emotional parts of the week; it was time to say goodbye!
The afternoon started with chanting and performing group songs, where there was a tie as the judges (Dan and Stevie) couldn’t decide on a winner, it was a tough competition! We then went outside and played a dart game to help with banking scores to see who would be the overall winner. Drum roll please…. In fourth place was Team Incredible (Barbara, Sarah C, Kaya and Emma H), in third place was Team Superman (Tracy, Catherine, Sarah T, Lucy and Emma B), in second place was Team MaLaLa (Rhona, Daisy, Lowri, Aislynn and Genie). In first place it was Team Mo Farah (Sionedd, Susie, Natalie, Sophie and Lauren) which ended up with the team shouting and chanting because I don’t think any of them thought we would win!
There were then speeches off Theoneste, Helen and Genie to sum up how amazing and inspirational our week had been. The children then started to sing and dance to a simple drum beat where even the smallest children were ‘boogying’- putting us all to shame!
As a final treat to the children we gifted them with African donuts and bottles of pop. It made us think of what we have at home and how selfless they were by offering us tastes and pieces of the treats.
It was then time to say goodbye to our new friends which proved to be difficult and emotional for the CRED team and the children alike. There was hardly a dry eye in the school or on the bus, especially when we pulled away and they were all running after the bus.
This evening we went for a meal with the teachers, translators and even the bus driver. We presented Alex (one of the translators) with a Cap, Gown and Diploma as he missed his graduation in the UK yesterday. He was overwhelmed and kept on thanking the team for recognising his achievement.
Overall it has been an emotional and life changing experience to teach the children and to be part of their lives this week. We will never forget them and believe that all of us are leaving a piece of our hearts in the Catch Up School.
Emma B and Natalie
(Sionedd helped by typing)