Lesotho visitors share culture with St James' School, Caerphilly

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Pupils and teachers of St James primary school welcome special visitors from Lesotho

Pupils and teachers of St James primary school recently hosted a visiting teacher that has taught the school all about life in Lesotho.

Since January this year, St James has been linked with a school in the heart of Lesotho thanks to the work of Dolen Cymru, a charity who has just celebrated their 30th birthday.

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Goodbye Lesotho

On Wednesday the 29th of June it was time to say our goodbyes. We each took part in a leaving ceremony consisting of songs, dancing and speeches from staff and pupils. I was touched to receive some very special gifts which included; a blue seshoeshoe dress, a traditional Basotho hat and a Basotho blanket.
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Villa Maria

Faced with the growing realisation that our departure date is looming ever closer, there is an increased impetus to maximise the remaining time. This can be difficult as maintaining consistency is not easy in a Lesotho classroom. As the singing competition approaches all afternoon lessons have been cancelled for the next two weeks. At Villa Maria singingis as important as breathing and very little impedes the possibility of winning yet another trophy. 

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Sprint Success for St James.

At the District Athletics meeting St James registered a number of successes in the sprint races. Those placed in the first three will go forward to the Maseru City meeting.  If the outcomes are repeated we should see a number progressing to the National Finals held at the National Sports ground in Maseru.

 

The District meeting was held LCS Lesotho Correctional Service)  sports ground. The ground has a good covering of grass unlike the ground on which the children of St James train

 

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Yet on the day of competition and during training there was not a Nike, Puma, or Adidas running or sports shoe in sight, every one

of the competitors running in bare feet

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Experience so far

Second time in Quthing, Lesotho, and I still am amazed by the beauty of this country. Everyday, I look forward to being greeted by the Basotho people, most of who I have never met before but are always more that happy to say 'Lumela M'e, O phela Joang?', they are the friendliest nation  I have had the pleasure of meeting.

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Visit to Qacha's Nek United Primary School

This week I was delighted when Sharon and Kath invited me to join them on a road trip culminating in a visit to Qacha's Nek. I had been hoping to visit this area before my return as the primary school in this district is linked to Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, the high school I work at back in Wales. It was wonderful to finally meet the pupils and colleagues I had heard so much about and great to see another example of positive impact Dolen has on classrooms across Lesotho and the lasting relationships it builds between teachers. 

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Monitoring and Evaluation Visit 2015

The 2015 M&E visit began on Wednesday 8th April at St. James Primary School in Maseru. Gareth and I went to visit Rob and saw part of a phonic lesson in Grade 2A where the children were beginning to blend words beginning with ‘b’. We then saw a creative number lesson that used inventive imagery for mathematical symbols. Rob has also developed a library and has created a stimulating environment for the children to use.

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Alice in Lesotho

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!

 

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School Assembly at St James Primary.

With St David’s Day falling over a weekend and being down in Quthing with the other LTPP teachers to help out with their events I was therefore not able to celebrate the day in my school. However an opportunity arose when the teachers asked me to conduct the morning school parade.

Using St David as the theme. I spoke of the message he gave to his follows shortly before his death. His wish was that they should continue to follow in his ways by doing the simple little things.   For the children I gave some examples, a smile, a helping hand, saying please and thank you, sharing, paying attention to teacher, for true greatness comes from doing the little things.

A Simple Prayer

Give us O God

Thoughts which turn into prayers.

Prayers which turn into Love.

Love which turn into Deeds.

Amen. 

Here are some  pictures.    

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Jolly Phonics Flashcard Production Line at St James Primary Maseru

Grade 1 to 4 teachers hard at work preparing letter sound flash cards in one of a series of workshops. It is quite a labour intensive business providing flashcards for 13 classes, but the teachers in grades 1-4 got on with the task with enthusiasm. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, there was a lot of laughter. I only wish I could understand more Sesotho. I always seemed to miss the punch line!! 

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