Account of Activity
- From our research (see ‘Resource List’) we learnt that we were not allowed to have much physical contact with the children, and that they needed to have a qualified teacher present with them at all times. We make sure we followed these laws when we were volunteering at Turnfurlong School.
- Once we got to the school, we were shown into the classroom that we would be working in, and we set up all our equipment, ready for the children to come in.
- Once the children came in, we started by making them sit down, and asking them to write their names on the name cards that we had made for them. From our research (see ‘Resource List’) we were told that we should be very gentle with children that we were meeting for the first time, and not ask them too many questions, and so we only asked each child their name and asked them to write it down on the name cards.
- We used colourful card to make the name cards, and we stuck a picture of an animal on the name card because our research (see Reference List) into child behaviour in year 1 showed us that children would respond more to colourful cards and charts, and ones that were more ‘fun’.
- We then taught the children how to say the words and phrases in Swahili. Our research (see Reference List) showed us that we needed to be patient with the children and we should help them learn by using ‘fun’ visuals. So we made posters with the words that we were going to teach the children, and we also made sure that we repeated each phrase a couple of times, until the children had learnt them. Then we played a guessing game where the children would guess the Swahili names of some English words, as this would make the activity more interesting and exciting.
- We spent the majority of our time with each group teaching them how to make animal masks. We had decided previously that we would teach them how to make the masks out of paper plates, as this would eliminate the task of them having to use scissors, as our research told us that these would be dangerous for them to use (see Reference List).
- Our research also told us that we needed to give our full attention to each child, and that we should make sure we let every child know that they are being listened to (see Reference List), and so we divided up the classroom into different groups, and each one of us would be in charge of one group, which would mean that we would be able to give individual attention to each child. We made sure that we did not touch the pupils, or get too close to them and make them feel intimidated, as our research into child rights (see Reference List) told use that we should be careful about touching the children.
- During the course of the day, we made sure that we were never alone with the children at any time, as our research on children’s rights (see Reference List) told us that the children have a right to being in the presence of a responsible adult at all times.
- My role, as well as the role of others in the group was mainly to introduce the children to what we were going to do during the session, and make them feel more comfortable with working with us and with the activities that they were going to do. Chandni, Sarah and I taught the children the Swahili phrases. I also helped with getting everything ready before each activity, and moving around my group of children and assisting them with making the masks.
- Taking into account the children’s rights (see Reference List), we made sure there was always an adult with the children, and we also made sure that we did not physically touch the kids in a manner that may seem aggressive
- One thing we realised during the day, is that due to the World Cup running around the time that we were working with the children, many of them could not stop thinking about the World Cup. A common question we were asked was whether Kenya did not play in the World Cup because its people were too busy looking after animals. We used this opportunity to teach the children about the way of life in Kenya, and that it was not only a country where people looked after animals, but it too had a football team, and many things that the children thought were only found in the UK, and that the reason Kenya did not play in the World Cup was because it was not good enough to qualify for it.
Evaluation of Planning
I think our planning for the activity was very organised as we managed to work as a team and come up with the activities that we could do on the day. In order to be considerate of the view’s of others in the group, and in order to be fair to everyone, we used a democratic vote to determine what activities we would be carrying out with the children.
We also managed to set deadlines and success criteria for all our planning stages, and more importantly, we managed to complete all the planning by the deadlines and meet the success criteria.
We made sure we took into account the rights of the children as well as our rights when planning for the activities, and we made sure we used our research on child behaviour to plan out the kind of activities that we would do with the children.
Next time, during our planning, perhaps we could test out the activities that we are going to do with the children on our fellow classmates, just to see how the activities would flow, and also to give us a feel of how we would carry out the activities precisely.
Evaluation of Activity
By the end of the day, although our group was tired of having carried out the same activities again and again, to 7 different groups of children, we were very pleased satisfied with what we had done, as the smile on each child’s face as the walked out of the classroom clutching his/her animal mask, was a very hear-fulfilling gesture.
I think we made a good impact on the children’s minds about the lives that people in other parts of the world lead. And we made the children better Global as well as local citizens by bringing awareness of the situation of other parts of the world.
I think we improved as Citizens as well, through learning to work in a group and as part of a team. We also learnt how to work with different people (children), and we also learnt about the lives that young children live, and the situations that they face. Through this, we learnt how to be considerate of them, especially in terms of bullying and peer pressure.
Another time, I would try and perhaps do something with the children that involved singing or dancing, as we learnt that they get quite bored with just sitting and doing a particular activity for more than 15 minutes. And they need sessions in between the activities where they can refresh their minds, and stretch their muscles.
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