The last two months have flown by. Once you are familiar with your host school and the ability of your learners you become completely immersed in projects. You are continually spotting opportunities to make resources or incorporate new methodology, which keeps you very busy!
Before the Easter break I focused on developing the way poetry is delivered in Grades 6 and 7. I tried to bring the poems to life by collecting objects associated with the poems and asking learners to imagine who they belonged to and what their lives might be like.I also encouraged learners to create storyboards using the metaphors and similes in the poems. They thoroughly enjoyed these tasks, which resulted in some very artistic and creative work.
Building on from this, I have shown them how to use a point, evidence, explain table to develop their responses to poetry questions. They are now beginning to explore the poems greater depth which is wonderful to see. In Grade 3 we have been studying adjectives using 'The Gruffalo' as a stimulus text. The learners loved this story and as a result fully engaged with the language, broadening their vocabulary and producing some excellent work for display. The pupils in this class also completed a project on 'My School Day';using the Sue Palmer recount Skelton to plan their sentences, this proved useful tool and could definitely be used in Lesotho to help children move on from word building to constructing longer pieces of writing.
Grade 2 have enjoyed learning about Wales and they made some wonderful daffodil flags for St David's day, afterwards they learned all about clothes and designed and labelled an outfit for a teddy bear. In Grade 1 we have learned about the time with the help of the song 'Hickory Dickory Dock' which was an instant hit among pupils and teachers. This class have also been developing their numeracy skills by sorting sweets into groups, counting them, and estimating the amount in a jar. Little touches like this are really appreciated by the students, making things colourful, tactile and familiar instantly captures their attention and supports their learning of English.
The biggest success this term has been the completion of the school library, which became fully functioning on the 25th of February. Seeing grade one choose their first books and the excitement on their faces has been one of the best moments of this project. To ensure the running of the library is sustainable I appointed two Grade 7 prefects, Josephina and palesa, who volunteered to take responsibility for organising the books and ensuring they are returned. So far they have done an exceptional job, it is amazing to see how much pride they take in their roles and how quickly they have become able to implement the system independently. They are two truly motivated and hardworking pupils, who I am sure will maintain these high standards once I leave and ensure their knowledge is passed on to appropriate successors.
The spring term drew to a close with the all the schools in the district coming together for a zonal athletics competition. It was lovely to socialise with teachers from other schools and inspiring to see the drive and self discipline of the pupils participating in the events, all of whom perform amazingly well without any equipment, kit or trainers. Moyeni achieved many victories during this event and will go on to compete in the regional championship in Maseru later this month. The day was a fitting end to such a positive and productive school term.
During the Easter break we were fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Cape Town for a holiday. Here we visited Table Mountain, Robben Island, swam with great white sharks and visited cultural markets. We enjoyed some wonderful food and experienced the night life on long street and the V and A waterfront.There was even a chance to unwind with a trip to an African day spa. It was a really memorable week and just one of many trips within South Africa we have enjoyed during our LTTP placement, we have also had brilliant weekends away in places like Maseru and Semonkong and Malealea which have been very lively and fun . This just goes to show that the experiences you gain from the Dolen placement are not limited to the classroom and local community, there are so many chances to socialise and travel during the project. If you are considering applying for the placement you should know that it will far succeed your expectations and you will do things you never imagined. It is so much more than just a teaching post.