Day 8 Monday 30th
Here we are, a week in Siyabuswa; it hardly seems possible!
The teachers and DIY SOS team were up at the school early to set tables and chairs back after our weekend decorating, and to record the children’s reactions to their refreshed classrooms. They were delighted, which delighted us!
Carrie, Frances and Rose then spent the day teaching lessons they had planned, which was far more enjoyable and rewarding than last week’s experience. Jocey was a great help supporting children in maths, and the teachers enjoyed going into each others’ lessons during the day. We plan to work in the same way tomorrow for maximum benefit to the children requiring support, and to model effective partner work. Some of the Grace teachers stayed in our lessons to observe – so far there has been limited feedback, but we hope for more in the coming days.
It seems the day set aside for training the Grace teachers in effective preparation and use of resources, differentiation and open questioning will be Wednesday. Please pray for wisdom for Carrie, Rose and Frances in planning and teaching the day’s sessions in such a way that the African teachers will be inspired to develop their practice.
Tim taught another of his series of maths lessons to Grade 11 - he feels this went well but highlighted issues with the children’s understanding of algebra.
Rod and Tony met with the music teacher to review resources; Tony will be meeting him again tomorrow morning supply a guitar lesson! The resources included about 20 Yamaha keyboards in what looks like good condition – alas, without power supplies. Another problem which will doubtless be resolved!
Meanwhile Tim met with Muriel (the principal) to organise arrangements for the boy boarders to help decorate more classrooms. Rob, Tony, Rod and Tim explored the computer rooms to assess the state of the equipment; they will return tomorrow to make a more thorough assessment and begin repairing broken computers. Amongst some boxes of assorted ‘junk’ they discovered half a dozen power supplies! One of the keyboards is being tested as I blog, much to the annoyance of the A team, who are trying to conduct a serious debriefing! In Rod’s words, “One down, 19 to go!”
Rod also met with Pastor PK, owner of a flower growing business, and helped him develop a business plan which is essential to win a government grant. The grant will enable PK to employ and train local workers and to expand into cut flowers, particularly roses.
At the end of the school day, the DIY team made a trip to Siyabuswa with the teachers for electrical supplies and food shopping.
Rob drove the A team into Siyabuswa for supplies in the morning. They were intrigued to see some luxurious housing near the town centre, so close to lower income ‘government’ housing, which is very basic. Then it was down to the Infant School again to play with the children during their long break. The team have thoroughly enjoyed these times with the younger children.
The after school club went really well as usual, with the team carrying out Alistair’s plans. Thanks to the dedication of the A team, the Grace school children are enjoying regular fun, games, drama and Bible stories presented in a lively, loving way.
The craft team spent the morning washing and cutting fabric ready for the patchwork class that afternoon, as well as getting their card-making materials ready. There were seven women at the class including Dorcas, Deputy Head of Grace school, who really enjoyed learning the skills taught by Suzy and Helen. They learned how to sew English patchwork, and started to work on the banner which will be left at the college.
Time to go and plan tomorrow’s lessons! Night night xx
PS Apologies for the delay in posting - the internet connection was lost last night (someone in the office unplugged the router!) On the plus side the electricity hasn't been interrupted - only a few times at the College when the trip switch has plunged us into darkness for a few minutes at a time!
PPS It gets dark here abut 6pm