Wed 2nd July

8 08 2008

Bread for breakfast – they call it a scone but it was like a double size roll.  I just ate it dry and it was fine, although it was fresh today. Some days they were a bit more dry.

The staff and pupils were noticeably later today although not as drastically as at other schools I do not think.  It did keep being a problem though.  Throughout my stay the staff were generally there and lessons started by 7.45am, until the last couple of days but there were many pupils who were not there until a lot later.

Standard 3

Standard 3

We had a staff meeting today at 10am.  I was still feeling a bit dazed and settling in at this point and had not really realised this would then mean lessons were over for the day or I would never have agreed to it and I certainly did not let another meeting happen during the school day at my school.  It was really productive though as we discussed the school improvement plan and other things they wanted me to help them with.

After the meeting we had sports and I played netball – so I was allowed to wear trousers for this!  It was very funny as I really had no clue who was on my team.   Many kids watched and there were loud cheers whenever I got the ball and passed it.

playing netball

playing netball

In the afternoon today I got bubbles out for a couple of the young kids and they loved it.  I was also shown how to make nsima which I was not much good at as you had to hold the pot and I found that impossible as it was so hot.

bubbles were always popular

bubbles were always popular

Roger (one of the returning GT’s there to support us) and Grace (works for LINK) came out to do my pastoral visit in the afternoon.  I was doing fine and was quite happy but I did use the opportunity to get Grace to explain that I would like to eat with the family and that I did not need to eat very much!  What did I get as soon as they left – FOOD! They never thought I ate enough!

I ran in the village for the first time today- great fun with loads of kids following me and joining in.  More info on my running blog.  Lots of visitors again today as well with girls from the school coming in to show me traditional dancing.

not the loneliness of the long-distance runner!

not the loneliness of the long-distance runner!

On Thursday I spent time with the timetables etc and observed some lessons again.  I was basically deciding what I would be able to take forward and organsing my own timetable for the next two weeks to be in classes with the teachers as much as possible to help out and team teach.  I had found already that one problem is having the time to talk to the head teacher since he is supposed to be teaching.

I went up to his house after school today, it was probably a 40 min walk away (uphill) but seemed to take a lot longer as I was introduced to so many people along the way.  Of course I was given food while there and I had also taken some tablet with me which they loved.  My jaw was actually sore at the end of the day with smiling so much!

I had a rude awakening on Friday morning as the radio came on at 4.15am very loudly.  It was potatoes for breakfast which was a bit strange first thing in the morning (especially when I don’t even usually eat breakfast at home).

I went with the headteacher up to Fumba Primary this morning, which is the other school the PEA asked me to work with.  It took 45 mins, mainly steep uphill on the way there.  We were there early but assembly did not even start at 8.30am and even then only 3 teachers were there.  It was a bit of a waste of time really as the head was not there and I was told they were not doing proper lessons as they were preparing for tests.  I sat in while St 2 did an english test which seemed very hard.  When I saw the results the next week they were very mixed – one child got 2/40 and one got full marks but the rest were very spaced out with many getting poor results.  I examined their improvement plan, some of which was quite similar to my school and said I would go back again to help them with some things on it.

One good thing about it though was that I got the chance to have a long discussion with my headteacher about Gwengwe (although his class were left without a teacher!).   I was able to bring up things like punctuality and classes stopping early for sports and he does realise the impact this has and was going to try to stop it.  It was now that I was also able to say about the possibility of a composite class which thought was a great idea as it would also give st 2 a classroom.

Bubbles, dominoes, exploring the village and running in the afternoon.   My worry about not having enough to do when school finished definately did not happen, if anything I did not have enough time to then do my diary and school work.

Dinner was rice and sugar so I just told myself it was rice pudding, was starting to worry about my teeth though!

I thought the boy on the right was so cute!

I thought the boy on the right was so cute!



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