Mrs Skelton and Miss Kerrigan visit to South Africa

12th February 2017



Thursday 16th February  -  15 Dibokwana 2017

Today we had another early morning up at half past 5 to be ready for school to start at half past seven. The reason why their school day is so early is to avoid the heat in the early afternoon.  When we arrived this morning, we noticed that the younger children were having their assembly on the playground.  It was interesting to see that the children line up vertically which is different to our assesmbly time at Bruche.

At 8 o'clock Mrs Skelton and I took gifts that we had brought over from Bruche to the reception classes. We took role play costumes, finger puppets, teddies and books for the children to read.  We read the story of The Three Little Pigs to the children and showed the children how the role play costumes and toys could be used.  The children were really happy and thank everyone at Bruche for their gifts.

This afternoon we attended a special conference run by the British Council, which is the organisation funding our visit.  We made a thirty minute presentation describing our partnership with Tlamatlama and the project on Quality Education, which we will be working on when we get back.

Tonight we have to pack because we are flying back tomorrow after we finish school.  We fly at half past 8 tomorrow evening and should arrive in Manchester at around midday on Saturday.

Insect bites: Miss Kerrigan 7, Mrs Skelton 3!




Wednesday 15th February   -   15 Dibokwana 2017

Today we observed and taught in Grade 6, which is Year 5 in England. The children were having an English lesson and talking about pets and how to look after them. During group discussions I realised that one group had no pets beween them so I showed them a photo of my biggest cat Boris and they talked and wrote about him! Later the children had a PE lesson. It was interesting to watch especially as part of the lesson involved singing and dancing. The teacher graded the children's performances.  While I was filming the dancing, a team of horses appeared outside the school gate and casually walked along the street - very strange!

The film crew were in and out all day today. At one point Miss Kerrigan and I had to do a bit of acting and pretend to be having a chat whilst walking past the classrooms. We were then asked to point in various directions. Needless to say, we ended up getting a fit of the giggles at the end!  

This afternoon we were taken to the Union buildings in Pretoria to see the Parliament building and a fabulous statue of Nelson Mandela. It was extremely hot and Miss Kerrigan and the other teachers got a bit sun burnt. Sadly, I am still as white as a sheet. Tomorrow we are in school in the morning and then in the afternoon we are attending a conference in Pretoria which is being organised by the British Council. Miss Kerrigan and I have to give a presentation and the film crew will be there again. Wish us luck!



Tuesday 14th February   -   14 Dibokwana 2017

Today was our second day at our partner school and it was fantastic.  We were able to watch an Language lesson in Year 3 which is called Grade 2 here.  They were very well behaved and worked hard on their activities.  Children in class sit on desks that are in rows.  The teacher in this year group use chalk boards when learning and they all use an Abacus in Maths to help them to work out their calculations.  

This afternoon we went into Grade 3, which is Year 4 in England.  They were reading a comprehension about the Tortoise and the Hare in their home langauge.   Mrs Skelton helped to mark the children's work in Sepedi!   In their Maths lesson Miss Kerrigan showed the children how to count in fives all the way to one hundred just like the Year Twos at Bruche!  The children absolutely loved it!

Grade 3 children also now know Tongo and Knackaknacka- perheps they could join us in a Sing along next week. 

Miss Kerrigan

Insect Bites Miss Kerrigan 7 Mrs Skelton 2



Monday 13th February  -  13 Dibokwana 2017

Today we visited our partner school Tlamatlama Primary School and we were greeted by the older children who have their assembly on a Monday.  At the school there are just under 1500 children so they are unable to have their assemblies altogether. The younger and older children have assemblies outside on different days as there is not enough space for all the children indoors.  When we arrived the children sang their national anthem to us and their school song.  We were welcomed into their school and we told them how excited we were about the week ahead!


After meeting the teachers, we were taken on a tour around the school.  We saw over thirty classes and in each class there were 50 children. The children were really happy to see us! We went into Grade 1 in the morning and watched an English and maths lesson.  Children in Grade 1 are 6 years old and they were learning how to write their letters.  The lesson we saw today was taught in Sepedi which is the children's native language.  Lessons are taught in this language in Grade 1 and 2 however from Grade 3 upwards children are taught in English.

 Miss Kerrigan

 P.S Miss Kerrigan has 7 insect bites so far to my 1 (Mrs Skelton)



Sunday 12th February  -  12 Dibokwana 2017 

Today we went through the Lion park. We saw, and fed, a giraffe with a very smiley face! Year 5, the lions are white lions like the a Butterfly lion in Michael Morpurgo's book. Miss Kerrigan and I were able to stroke some of their cubs.

We have met three of the teachers from Tlamatlama Primary and are looking forward to our first day there tomorrow. We will be being filmed by the British Council who are making a short documentary about our visit so we are feeling just a little nervous at the moment. We will send pictures of the children and school tomorrow. Hope everyone is enjoying the cold weather - Miss Kerrigan has sun burnt shoulders today!  Work hard.