Monday, March 16, 2009

Africa comes to Eaglescliffe

For the last fortnight the children and staff of Durham Lane Primary School have been studying Africa. The whole school has been enjoying stories, art, music, dance, drama, reading, writing, maths, gardening and a host of other activities. This afternoon the school doors opened to let governors and parents see some of the results. Yet again the school exceeded my expectations. The standard of artwork is amazing. I know that my last art report from school (quite a lot of years ago) said "Tries hard but gets nowhere", so I'm probably not the world's most erudite art critic but I know what speaks to me. Some of the art on display today was certainly worth a thousand words.
There were pieces of written work which brought tears to my eyes as well as pieces that made me smile.
Each classroom had a model African hut in it, and in the reception class the baby doll was sleeping peacefully inside! At the other end of the classroom two boys had created their version of an African landscape in the sandpit, complete with zebras drinking from the waterhole.
Outside there were garden bags, proudly shown off by the young children who'd made them and sown seeds in them. They told me that they're going to sell the vegetables to raise money to send a cow to a village in Africa. I've promised to buy some if that idea comes to fruition.
I was delighted to see a stall selling Fairtrade goods, organised by a Teaching Assistant, with tea and chocolate coming from different African countries.
The children had also run a tombola stall to raise funds to sponsor a child in Africa.
The whole thing was a wonderful example of how with hard work, good will and imagination the whole primary curriculum could be brought to life. I know how much research and planning goes into a project like this and the staff can be justly proud of their achievements. I'm sure those children will remember much more of what they've learned about a diverse and fascinating continent than I do having spent a term studying a text book and an atlas years ago.

No comments: