I arrived in Dabolim School to be greeted with cards from all the children to say thank you for the help that APS has given. The teachers have also made some cards which are beautiful. I shall have to display them in school for every one to see. I think my luggage is going to be as heavy as it was coming out! Dabolim are moving to extend to Standard 4 next year and have plans to move to Standard 5 the following year.
We have agreed on the purchases for the Nursery classes in both schools now and so tomorrow I shall be setting up an Amazon account with Father Jose.
Mrs. Horner has been a super star and sorted out difficulties in transferring the money we all raised to Goa following new rules placed by the FCRA. The emails between Goa and school today have been many! We are all systems go now.
Monday 4 April
It takes about 45 minutes to Dabolim School from where I stay when in Goa. It is close to the airport and railway track. Somehow, between the noise of the jet naval fighters, the rumbling of the train that runs literally at the back of the school and the burning of rubbish, the children manage to focus on their lessons!
The day was spent teaching English, spelling, dictation, applying (and teaching) phonics and reading, with a maths lesson thrown in for good measure. As my Konkani is non existent except "Yes", "No" and "Thank you", I did manage to teach the ‘hold it in your head strategy and count on’ when adding! My actions and mime need a bit of refinement I think - we got there though! However, my blackboard skills leave much to be desired. Actually, I had forgotten actually how nice it is to write on a good old-fashioned blackboard but how easily chalk crumbles and gets everywhere!
Sunday 3 April
Today I received a letter from Marceline, the Nursery Teacher at Oxdel, whcih I wish to share with you
Dear Teacher Jan
These are few lines to say Thank you.
Teacher Jan, Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us with teaching phonics and reading with lots of interest, and it is because of your enthusiasm and your concern that school got lots of benefits.
I would like to thank all your school teachers and students who participated in collecting so much funds for our school.
May God Bless you and all the teachers and each of the students from your school. My God protect you all and keep every one in good health and may God give you all lots of wealth.
Love Teacher Marceline Cabra, Don Bosco Oxdel.
Friday 1 April
This was a busy school day working with the children and teachers at Oxdel. When I arrived, I was bombarded by each class! They have made lovely "Thank you" cards to you all for your wonderful help in raising all this super money for the Jolly Phonics Resources. The cards are child made with the precious resource of paper and lovingly crafted. It was sad to say goodbye to the Standard 4 children who I have known for quite some time as they leave Oxdel to go to other schools as Oxdel has not yet got their licence for Standard 5. They will in time but just need to start building the next level above the existing class rooms.
In the meantime, we have planned to move the Nursery Class onto the main school corridor so they do not have to negotiate the stairs up to the bathroom. It would also offer an airier space for these little ones.
Saturday was what can only be described as a ‘mega’ workshop. My workshop began with our APS video explaining what we were going to do for World Book Day and then showing some of our scrapbook pictures of the day. The teachers thought our boys looked very smart and could not believe that they managed to stay silent for their given times. When I showed the total which we had raised, one of Oxdel teachers shouted out,‘ But, that’s 8 ½ lakhs’! There was an audible intake of breath. When I said that this amount had been doubled, there was a stunned silence and then everyone started talking at once! It took a long time to sink in!
I was able to show pictures of all the resources they would be getting and how it would be divided between the different year groups and then of course, the actual workshop began.
It was great fun but exhausting in the heat despite the air con and fans! My co-opted presenters were a super addition. I have some lovely video clips of Sneha teaching the Jolly Jingles, the teachers learning how to do reading with a ‘perfect partner’ and taking it in turns to model dictation and blend sounds.
We had teachers from the Don Bosco Tuem school who I met for first time in April. They were really interested in what the Teachers in Dabolim and Oxdel had been doing and in awe of their knowledge and understanding of phonics and early reading. The Don Bosco Tuem School is funded in a different way and is fee paying. It is set in the hills in north Goa close to amazing prawn farms. A lovely spot! It is good to spread the word. I think Father Edwin, who is Headmaster of Tuem will be deluged with requests to start purchasing materials too.
The Nursery teachers marvelled at some of the reading and resource books I had managed to find locally. ///we also had fun looking at what was available on Amazon.India.
The teachers all had opportunities to work together in their year groups from the various schools. This led to some really interesting debates and exchanges which will help them implement the Jolly Phonics scheme at the start of the academic year. The Dabolim and Oxdel Teachers are VERY excited.
As a result of all their hard work, we now have the bones to an implementation plan which I will work on during the week and then discussing this with my two lead teachers from each school, Sonia and Sneha on Thursday.
I returned to the International Centre Goa elated and promptly had a very welcome swim!