January 15, 2022
Happy New Year! Not only is it the start of a new calendar year, but in Zambia it is also the beginning of the new academic year. This means that Nayamba School’s Grade 7 and Grade 9 pupils are on tenterhooks as they await the results of their end of year exams (taken in December). In the past, pupils had to travel miles to sit their exams at other schools. This added another layer of stress to the exam process. Fortunately, Nayamba School has now achieved registered exam centre status and so the pupils were able to complete their national tests within their familiar school environment. A great result!
In the run up to Christmas, the Nayamba School Trade Centre displayed some of its goods at local Christmas markets in Zambia and there was great interest in the blankets and cushions especially. This is going to be a good way of raising extra money for the school, and, in the long run, it will take some of the burden off the running costs from the UK. Thank you also to everyone who managed to donate to the Big Give in December. We managed to raise over £8000 for a new preschool building which has really helped us move closer to our target.
The new science equipment that was recently purchased for Nayamba School has been transformative. The staff had a training day in which they learnt how to incorporate practical experiments into their teaching, and thereby enrich the children’s learning opportunities. So often in Zambian schools, practical learning is taught in an abstract way, and this places barriers on learning. I remember Exminster resident, Vanessa Pestridge, once telling me about a swimming lesson that she had seen a few years ago at Nayamba: the children sat at their desks and copied the arm movements of the teacher at the front of the class. Since then, the enthusiastic teachers have had the chance to develop their teaching approaches and share good practice. It’s wonderful that the new science resources will further enrich children’s learning by providing hands-on opportunities to explore science in action.