Nursery Schools Circle of Friends
Edirisa’s Circle of Friends is an initiative created to enhance nursery children’s knowledge of different cultures and create friendships with children from different parts of the world.
On Saturday 13th July in Kabale, Uganda, we held our first workshop day with the Ugandan members of our Circle of Friends. Two or three representatives from each nursery school attended, travelling from as far away as Mbale and Ntungamo, as much as 12 hours away by bus. Our Operations Manager, Alma Burciaga, led the workshop, ably supported by our Nursery Co-Ordinator, Ashaba Phionah. Mugayehwenki Richard,the local Education Officer, was very impressed with our work with the nurseries on child-centred teaching methods.
The day started with each member introducing themselves and participating in an “ice breaker” – this involved blindfolds, tasting and trying to describe different “Muzungu” (western) sweets. Liquorice wasn’t very popular and strawberry “starburst” proved the winner!
The morning continued with the following sessions: What is the Circle of Friends?; Child-centred teaching methods; Circle of Friends as a learning tool; Scrapbooks and how to use them in the classroom.
After a hearty Ugandan lunch we covered the topics: How to share with your partner school; nursery projects; members opinions on the Circle of Friends; the way forward.
The day was a huge success with everyone getting to know each other, learning new things and enjoying themselves. Teachers learned how to use different teaching aids and media to stimulate children’s imagination and creativity.
In the Edirisa-run nursery schools we are implementing the Learning Framework for Early Education issued by the Ugandan Government. This document provides basic guidance on how to work with children in 5 major areas, these being: maths; knowing my environment; language and creativity; taking care of myself; and relationship with others. Several of the nursery schools in the Circle had not heard of this framework and were able to obtain copies from Richard.
Next term we hope to host some of our members at our nursery schools in Bukinda for some classroom training.