There are so many similiarites between Nayamba and Exminster Primary School.
The children really believe in all the same Rainbow Values as us. The children of Nayamba show a high level of engagement in their learning. They did not want to go out to play at their break time. Precious said to me "No Madam, we want to stay and learn in here." At playtime, Webster, a 17 year old grade 7 boy, asked if he could read the book I was holding 'The Lion Hunt'. At every opportunity, the children wanted to practise their reading.
One of the aspects we focused on when we were teaching to was be active in their learning. The children were not used to being so involved. They were up out of their seats, learning stories, having actions to go with them, learning songs, poems and chants to help their understanding of the stories. At the beginnig of the week, we performed stories for them to listen to. At the end of the week, there was a community event where many parents came to watch the children perform the stories they had learnt.
Community. This was the ‘goosebump’ moment I had as we drove into Nayamba school in the back of a truck for the first time. Driving into the school felt like arriving at a very familiar place, seeing the building with the Nayamba butterfly representing new beginnings, hearing the children singing then turning to see this new construction of 6 classrooms nearly complete. The ‘goosebump’ moment was the realisation of what one community has done for another. One community has provided and is sustaining an improving school for 290 children, providing a free education, providing a daily food programme and funding the enthusiastic and engaging teachers. This was an overwhelming feeling of where compassion and kindness takes over all the chaos that is currently happening in the world and we see the generosity of humanity, a basic need and the provision of this. The similarities between Exminster Community Primary School and Nayamba school are huge – children are children and learning is learning wherever we are in the world. The motivation and engagement of children in both settings is clear, the ambitions and potential and the inclusion of all the children is evident. It is the community that speaks loud and clear – the community within the schools and what one community has provided for another. It’s huge and it is overwhelming. I was expecting this to be an amazing experience. It was, but it was more than that, it’s not something that you walk away from, it’s something that gets under your skin.
Fund raising 'Heroes' Project - raising money towards the £90,000 build to improve Nayamba school. Below is a list of the children who took part and what they did to raise their money:
Thank you to Florence for cutting off your pigtails to raise money for Nayamba.
Thank you to Sophie for giving up screen time for 9 days.
Thank you to Mia for giving up screen time for 5 days.
Thank you to Tom for doing a sponsored swim and getting money for Nayamba school instead of Easter eggs.
Thank you to Kitty for doing a cake sale.
Thank you to Ailie and Kirsty for doing a sponsored tidy up, a garden party and a gift sale.
Thank you to Alfie for your cake and plant sale.
Thank you to Evan, Joni and Rowan for washing cars and doing diablo tricks.
Thank you to Oli and Georgia for your cake sale.
Thank you to Olivia for giving up screen time for 8 days.
Thank you to Hattie for doing a sponsored walk.
Thank you to Molly for your cake sale.
Thank you to Jasmin and Amber for your ebay toy sale.
Thank you to Olly for your sponsored walk.
Thank you to to Alex for giving up screen time for 1 week.
Thank you to to Sophie for doing your sponsored walk.
Thank you to Eva and Pierse for running 100 laps of your garden and doing a showcase.
Thank you to Nicola for cleaning out the tree house.
Thank you to Erin for doing all your household choares.
Thank you to Emily for your cake and book sale.
Thank you to Dylan for giving up screen time for 1 week.
Thank you to George for giving up screen time for 2 weeks.
Thank you to Dan for tryingnew foods.
Thank you to Susie for doing the chores and car washing.
Thank you to Bonnie for collecting small change.
Thank you to Max for doing your beach clean.
Thank you to Luke for giving up sugar for 2 weeks.
Thank you to Evie for doing your 50 mile bike ride.
You have all made a difference to the lives of children at Nayamba school. 100% of your money has gone to help build the new classrooms that I photographed and taught in during my week at Nayamba school. The children will soon be able to attend school all day rather than for half a day. You have all helped to achieve that. THANK YOU!
Breakfast Club worked hard to make 190 loom band bracelets to take to Nayamba school. As you can see, the children loved them! They were also given extra packs of loom bands and came in the following day decorated in loom bands from head to toe having worked out how to do them. Thank you to the Miss Langdons, Miss Madge and all the children who helped to produce these. They are being treasured.
Our first drive into Nayamba school, in the back of a caged truck, felt like arriving somewhere very familiar. We could hear the children singing on our approach to the school. The new building, the classroom block, is almost complete. There are 5 new classrooms which more then doubles the total size of the school. After a quick introduction to the teachers, the children came out to welcome us. They sang and read about how happy they were at Nayamba school and what a blessing it was.
After this, we told stories to the children, acting them out. At the end of week, the aim was for the children to tell us stories.
We then started our introductions to the classes we would be working with. Our first day was the very first day of preschool which Michaela was setting up. She was expecting 16 children but ended up with 60 so had to quickly adapt her plans! Michaela set up her preschool within 30 minutes with all the different areas of learning.
In total we had 400kg of luggage, all resources for the school. It was a slight challenge manoeuvring this amount of luggage around the airports but came with plenty of laughs!
We were welcomed by the teachers with a feast for lunch which was chicken, no African Celebration takes place without chicken, Sheema, cabbage and fish. We tucked eating with our hands taking the lead from the teachers and learning their technique for rolling the sheema in your hand and dipping it into the sauce.
At lunchtime the older children go home every day and the younger children come to school. We met our new classes and started working with them. Our first mission was to introduce the story they were going to learn.
At the end of the school day, we helped to sort out and unpack all the resources from our suitcases and then walked through the farm back to where we were staying.
Some children walk for as long as 2 hours to come to school everyday.
The first day was exhausting but felt so incredibly welcoming from both the teachers and the children.