Mrs O’Brien and Mrs Doliveux had a very successful morning training the teachers at Ngwino Nawe.
Using a story they showed how movement, questioning and props can be integrated into the story to develop learning.
They also introduced how a story could be used to develop a cross curricular curriculum introducing maths, geography language and fine motor skills. Finally, the children joined in with a retell of the story using finger puppets and a craft activity making little Handa’s
On Tuesday we headed to Munyove school where the inspiring head teacher and her team of staff had set out an amazing agenda for the day.
First on the itinerary was lesson observations. The school includes primary and secondary up to sixteen so it was really interesting to see a range of ages and subjects being taught. Miss Leah was entertaining with her wonderful drama, as always, Mr Hughes was putting his computer expertise to use in an ICT lesson and Mrs O’Brien and Mrs Doliveux did some lovely art work with the younger children which they used to decorate their classroom.
Following this, we split up the older girls and boys and male and female teachers in order to discuss gender issues that they face. Both discussions were very impactful and covered university, future plans, motherhood and family expectations.
With the girls we focused a lot on how they cope with women’s issues and what could be done to make it easier for them. They were initially quite shy to talk about this but by the end they were asking lots of questions and having discussions with their peers. The boys wanted to know more about education and the differences between Rwanda and the UK, and advice on how to prepare for job interviews.
It was next time for drama and dance performances by the pupils, from Nursery up to Secondary. We saw everything from singing to acrobatics!
The performances ended with the Devonshire House group performing a rendition of Pompeii by Bastille followed by presentations of resources to the school and very generous gifts from the school to representatives of Devonshire House, LEH and King’s House School.
After lunch the girls were challenged to a relay game which was a lot of fun, though the local girls were a lot faster!
Then we spectated a very heated handball match with some of the older boys at the school, we were quite glad to just be on the sidelines for this one!
During the afternoon we visited Ngwino Nawe and provided some teacher training. The teachers had asked for some ideas for promoting writing skills.
Using a wide variety of resources we explained the development of handwriting skills included gross and fine motor skills.
We shared ideas such as tug of war with Lycra fabric to pegging and painting patterns on the blackboard with water .
We then introduced some outdoor learning using the freshly painted learning walls. We used the parachute to identify colours and then found matching coloured objects on the walls. We created shapes next to the shape wall, using lolly sticks and played lots of number games .
We finished by demonstrating the measuring wall and every member of staff was very keen to have their height checked !
We spent a day visiting the various enterprises that have been set up with support from Rwanda Aid.
We actually went shoe shopping and bought some stunning flip flops ! All the shoes have soles made from recycled tyres.
We then dropped in at Keza restaurant where Rwanda Aid have bought them the equipment to enable them to serve a buffet style lunch.
Our next visits were to a welder to see their windows being fitted and a team of carpenters who take 3 days to make bespoke beds.
A real treat was seeing the cards we sell at the Christmas Fair being made.
Jane has often received a goat or a cow for her birthday. These are purchased on the Rwanda Aid website and given to a family. They are taught how to care for them and it often enables them to pay for their children’s school fees .
Rwandan farmers are full of vibrant colour and glamour !
Our final visit was to the fruit man, who with the right equipment is able to produce some delicious juices, including pineapple , passion fruit and hibiscus.
A huge thank you to Jonas the Enterprise Manager and Jerome the Farm Manager for showing us these fabulous projects.
We spent most of the first week at Ngwino Nawe, the disabled children’s village.
It was lovely to see so many of the children we know so well, as well as the wonderful teachers.
The outside area the children use to play in was looking rather tired and the paint was peeling off. After a chat with staff we came up with a plan. We would not only repaint but make it a ‘teaching wall’.
We spent two days chipping off old paint and covering the walls with a base coat, whilst planning images that children could relate to and the teachers could use as a learning resource.
We divided the walls into sections; shape, a height chart, family, food, classroom and Rwandan animals the children had seen and could count.
This would provide endless learning opportunities for naming objects and colours, as well as creating stories .
We were so grateful as well for the help from the children , which really gave them ownership of the spectacular end result.
One of the teachers, Alphonsine put it straight to use, signing the shapes and getting the children to find them in the picture of the house. A few days hard work was so worth while!
After a scenic boat ride we arrived on the island of Nkombo, where a short, steep walk brought us to the school where we received a very enthusiastic welcome from the pupils.
First we were treated to a fantastic singing assembly, before we split into groups for the day – Miss Leah and Mrs Doliveux on drama, and Mr Hughes assisting Devonshire House teachers with dancing. The whole school rotated in classes so every child got to do each activity.
Armed with some fantastic props we decided to tell the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf to the children through a puppet show. We made sure it was very interactive and got the kids up so they could do actions from important moments in the story and repeat some of the key phrases.
A highlight was definitely getting them all to “huff, and puff and blow the house down” altogether. It was wonderful to see how each group reacted to the show and despite the language barrier they were able to understand the story thanks to the visuals and the movement.
With a little dance at the end it was certainly a very energetic and entertaining lesson, especially when there were about 60-80 children in the room compared to our usual 16-18.
Unfortunately we were having so much fun we forgot to take any photos!
With head dance teacher Lou at the helm, we devised a routine which we adapted according to each age group, and finished with a free flow dance circle backdropped by stunning Lake Kivu!
On Saturday we met up with the team from Devonshire House at Gatwick airport to board our first direct flight to Kigali with Rwanda Air. On the flight we watched Wild to prepare us for our trek through the rainforest.
When we arrived at Kigali we all boarded a mini van and drove to Kemembe. Our luggage full of resources took over half of the van and weighed us down but we made it through the seven hour drive and arrived safely at Motel Gloria ready for 2 packed weeks of work.