The past fortnight has given us the opportunity to join in with sports afternoon; every Thursday the children can play different sports (depending on which equipment/teachers can be found that day…) We organised duck, duck, goose, a football match and other games, all of which were hugely popular! Wednesday afternoons are for clubs (e.g. art, choir, debate, culture, red-cross etc.) so Saffron and I ran a reading group where the children read one page each before passing the book round a circle, and I took them outside individually to have some one-on-one reading time. They’re just lacking in practice – many originate from backgrounds where their parents can’t read or afford to buy books; this combined with a lack of attention available at schools (teaching assistants are not exactly the norm, as we’ve learnt the hard way!) means they learn to read very late, if at all, and do not usually have sufficient practice to consolidate or improve their skills. So hopefully, this is just what they need!
The children are not the only ones learning new skills at the moment; Saffron picked the lock to our front door with hairpins and a piece of wire (after someone locked us out) and I caught a rat with our washing basket. Impressive, hey? Neither the lock or the washing basket will ever be the same again though (the door doesn’t lock from the outside anymore…), but as we still don’t have a working washing machine we consider ourselves triumphant. We have also been invited to attend Church with the other teachers this Sunday, which should be an experience in itself if we can go!
To celebrate being halfway through our time at the school, we went to an amazing dinner party at our friends’ house on Friday evening – easily the best meal I’ve had since we arrived! On Saturday we visited the monthly Dutch Reform Market; it isn’t that different to most I’ve visited, but it has a really wide variety of goods and my favourite purchase was a lovely hand painted wall hanging. Saffron managed to swing a very good price on a hand carved bowl as we traded a hairband and pen with the seller for his younger sister to take to school… I also gave him a pencil that was lurking in my bag as we know what it’s like to not have resources for school – an act that made no difference to us whatsoever may have a big impact on his sister’s experience at school.