Dear all at Southwater Junior Academy,
Today I have been to the village where one of our link schools is. The journey there
was a little different to my normal journey to school. In England, the road is smooth. Even if there are a few bumps, they are small. The roads on the way to the village had deep holes with lots of ups and downs. Our driver did very well to navigate his way around them. Our maximum speed was 40km per hour once we were off the city roads and most of the time we were doing between 10 and 20!
When we arrived at the school, we was welcomed by Laari (the assistant head) and a kindergarten teacher called Esther. Esther took me around the school and showed me the classes. Kindergarten (or KG1 and KG2 for short) is where the children start.
Most children start school at the age of 4, but even those that start later will start in KG as it is the foundation for all learning. There were 26 children in KG1 and 14 in KG2, but they shared a classroom. They then have seven other classes that teach
children all the way up to 16 years old.
As the children go through the years, the proportion of lessons taught in English increases. To begin with, KG1 have 10% of their lessons in English and 90% in the local language. By the time they leave, this statistic is reversed and 90% of lessons are taught in English. The children enjoy doing maths, science, creative arts and English amongst other things. They have PE sessions and they also have an ICT suite that they are now using. The ICT teacher was teaching some of the older children typing skills – they were copying up a story they had done in one of their other lessons.
Elsewhere, children were mixing water with the dirt outside to create clay. They used the clay to make spoons, plates and mugs and let them dry in the sun. This was linked to the science work that they had been doing on food.
Whilst I was at the school, I brought out a puppet called Matthew. At first the children were shy of him, but by the end of the day they all wanted to shake his hands. Matthew will be returning to Southwater with me.
The day ended at different times for different children. The KG children finished at 1:45pm, the children in classes 1 to 5 finished at 2pm and the rest of the children finished at 2:30pm. The children walked home at the end of the day.
After school, we went for a walk around the village and found a cacao tree. Laari and Esther picked us some cacao pods and cracked one open so that we could see inside. She explained that when ripe, you can suck on the white pulp. We tried some – it was sweet and delicious. She continued that the beans are dried and then sent to be processed, mostly they are processed into chocolate. Laari and Esther also showed us the plantain trees and orange trees. Esther picked me a leaf from the orange tree and even that smelt of citrus.
Tomorrow I am returning to the same school and I am going to be asking them some of your questions. I am also hoping to get some photos and letters to bring back to you. I will also try to get a video or two.
Hope you have a wonderful day and learn lots.
From Miss Lush x