In October, Ms Lamond and I travelled with four members of Murrayfield Church to visit our partner village of Kwamebikrom in Ghana. We were welcomed warmly and were delighted to see the efforts the pupils of Edinburgh Unity Presbytery Primary School had gone to, to greet us. Stones had been laid and painted with the message ‘Welcome Home Roseburn Primary’ and the Scottish flag was flying proudly alongside the flag of Ghana.
During our week in the village we visited five primary schools. The staff and pupils were thrilled to have visitors and were happy to share their learning and teaching with us. After observing many classes at work, we delivered lessons in classes, focusing on developing literacy and numeracy skills. We shared ‘postcards’ from all of our pupils at Roseburn and played short video clips on an iPad which showed our pupils singing, playing in the playground and garden, eating lunch outside and talking about themselves – all experiences which the Kwamebikrom pupils were able to identify with.
We also delivered teacher training to a group of 30, including teachers, Head Teachers and members of the Education Department. During this we introduced many of the active learning activities we use within Numeracy at Roseburn, including physical games, working with concrete materials, using numberlines and 100 squares. These were well received by the staff who were very competitive and worked hard to achieve points and prizes! We also highlighted the different ways in which pupils learn, exploring visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning.
In addition to developing literacy and numeracy skills we explored some issues relating to Health and Wellbeing, stressing the importance of regular breaks, active learning, water for rehydration and the necessity for ALL pupils to have a lunch during their six hour day at school.
During our last day, we had a whistle stop tour of all five primary schools. We decided that the stationery and sports equipment kindly donated by our pupils, Murrayfield parishioners, Sainsburys and Decathlon should be shared equally between the schools so that ALL of the pupils in the village would benefit. Thank you for your support in this – the resources were gratefully received by both teachers and pupils!