Children love Learning!
2017 has been about settling in some new teachers and taking stock of what is needed to move the school forward. We have made some exciting decisions:
- the school will now divide into a nursery (4-6) and a main school (7-16) and we will be building a new nursery, playground and toilets on a nearby site to open in May at the start of the school year.
- The current 14 year olds will be able to stay on for two further years, using the classrooms in the main building that the little children will vacate.
- The library will be moved from the computer room to a split classroom and the computer room will see a fleet of 20 computers, networked with educational software, donated by Aptitude Software. The 9 older computers will be moved out with the library and used for homework and games after school. The teachers will all undergo some continuing professional development to enable and encourage them to use computers in all lesson subjects.
- We have agreed to build a ‘practical science room’ – this idea had no traction as long as we called it a science lab. Whilst in Kathmandu, we visited a school that had a ‘practical science room’ and photographed it as a model. We will find a teacher probably from outside of Nepal who has experience in teaching practical sciences….and not just from a book.
As ever, the children entertained us brilliantly on our annual visit. They happily played the recorders we took with us (maybe the other classes were less happy as they practised!), they researched dinosaurs in the fabulous pop-up books we had been given, they painted pictures, stuck stickers into a story, created 3D jigsaws of Paris and Lego models of racing cars. We also made good use of volunteers to test 175 children’s eyesight and 10 teachers’ – finding 13 children who were taken off to an optician for glasses. A first for the village!
Two of our visitors were boys aged 8 and 10 from San Francisco. They had a wonderful time at our school: joining in sports day and ordinary lessons, and vowing they wanted to return every year. They loved staying on a farm with baby goats but were beyond amazed that the children had never before played with Lego: ‘but Lego is the best!’ The younger boy managed to fall and ‘break his arm a little bit’ as the diagnosis went (after a 90 minute hair-raising journey to Taplejung on the back of a motor-bike). He then had the journey back to Kathmandu before getting it set in plaster.
In summary, the Q. Learning school is doing very well with some fabulous teachers, some improved facilities on the way and some new equipment nearly there for both IT and sciences. The ethos of the school continues to be inclusive, embedded in what the community wants, best possible learning in English with a dollop of fun and competition and, where possible, access to wider learning opportunities such as art, music and chess.