Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Great Exhibition and a wonderful Christmas present



The exhibition opening band

We managed to have the best Christmas ever, with the amazing success of our Big Give challenge ! Although inflation is amazing high, with land properties rising dramatically, we are hoping that we are now lucky enough to find some land that we can afford! This would be amazing, since it would give the school an added sense of stability.
It was all rush this week with the sudden announcement of a school exhibition. In May time we had working hard for a month to produce all the necessary items for an exhibition – posters, banners and explanations of our different school materials.
Our stall
However, this time, the authorities phoned two days before the event to inform us ! This resulted in an enormous panic as we searched for all the things and made new items. The exhibition lasted for three days in the end (including a weekend) and was an enormous success - so we will now make sure that we keep all banners and posters together in case of another emergency exhibition!



Fascinated !

Pupils explaining to visitors

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Double your donation with The Big Give

Laurens from Voluntary Worldwide visiting the school

Don't forget you can double your  donations by donating at :
10 am GMT on the morning of the 4th, 5th and 6th December at:

This week saw a visit from Laurens from the Dutch organization “Voluntary Worldwide.“ We have been in communication with this organization for a while, with the idea being to work with them in receiving volunteers.  In this way, we would hopefully have a steady stream of volunteers thereby enabling the children and teachers to have even more exposure to different techniques and English speakers.
All has gone very well – so we are hoping to formalize it all in the very near future and start receiving volunteers mid March.
In addition, this week saw the proper start of the nursery Oormifa class – previously, due to a lack of a separate teacher, the Amharic and Oromifa class have simply learnt in the same classroom , with those who want to learn in Ooromifa being taught in that language. 

However, it has appeared that this is unsatisfactory for the regulations and as a result, we have been forced to separate the classes, with the assistant teacher going across to teach Ooromifa leaving the teacher alone in the class of 25 which is a little too much for one as the pupils are only young.
We are on the lookout for a new assistant teacher, but it is difficult at this time of year to find someone – so fingers crossed!
The very start of the new nursery Oromifa classroom
On December 4th – 6th, we are trying to raise donations for our planned school building. We are lucky enough to have been chosen for one of the projects for the Big Give Christmas Challenge where there will be matched funding- effectively doubling donations!
Every little bit helps – lots of £ 2 or £ 5 can really make a difference!  - so please try to make your donations at:
10 am GMT on the morning of the 4th, 5th and 6th December at:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Exams and the PTA



This week has been all go yet again with exam week. To get the exams typed was a nightmare – there were just too many and next time we will take some of them to the local typing place, since it was an overload of work for the school secretary and me !
However, the end result was very pleasing, with the children all enjoying the exams ( and the days holiday on Friday ! ) and on the whole doing very well. The quality of the exams has risen every year and every year we are amazed at the increasing academic level – which gives everyone – teachers, pupils and parents – a real boost !
An apprehensive pair before the race
This week also saw our first whole school meeting of the year at the far school, with the voting for the PTA  ( parent teacher association ) . Amazingly, many parents were very keen on joining and thus we now have a PTA , with chairperson, vice chairperson  and secretary ! We hope that the PTA will enable us to improve even further and come up with new and exciting suggestions !
My children manage to finish the Great Ethiopian Run ! – It was a little disorganised, with there being much confusion as to which race was running at which time ( it was supposed to be divided into boys / girls as well as according to age ). As a result, all children over the age of 5 ended up running as one giant pack and then found to their great disappointment that at the end the race was void !
This meant the poor children had to run it all again ! – this time , according to their age and gender  - which was a bit difficult – but they were duly rewarded with a medal, bottle of water and a banana at the end  !


An exhausted but jubilant Iyosious

Just finished !

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Our new PTA

Apprehensive before the race
 This week has been all go yet again with exam week. To get the exams typed was a nightmare – there were just too many and next time we will take some of them to the local typing place, since it was an overload of work for the school secretary and me !
With their medals
However, the end result was very pleasing, with the children all enjoying the exams ( and the days holiday on Friday ! ) and on the whole doing very well. The quality of the exams has risen every year and every year we are amazed at the increasing academic level – which gives everyone – teachers, pupils and parents – a real boost !
This week also saw our first whole school meeting of the year at the far school, with the voting for the PTA  ( parent teacher association ) . Amazingly, many parents were very keen on joining and thus we now have a PTA , with chairperson, vice chairperson  and secretary ! We hope that the PTA will enable us to improve even further and come up with new and exciting suggestions !
My children manage to finish the Great Ethiopian Run ! – It was a little disorganized, with there being much confusion as to which race was running at which time ( it was supposed to be divided into boys / girls as well as according to age ). As a result, all children over the age of 5 ended up running as one giant pack and then found to their great disappointment that at the end the race was void !
This meant the poor children had to run it all again ! – this time , according to their age and gender  - which was a bit difficult – but they were duly rewarded with a medal, bottle of water and a banana at the end  !

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Exams and the Great Ethiopian Run

Our busy KG 1 classroom
At work in KG 1


This week we are getting ready for exams – and now with the new classes there will be a total of 57 different exams to check, type and photocopy ! Exams feature heavily in the Ethiopian educational system, with even the nursery pupils ( three year olds ) having exams in English, maths, science, Amharic – and for some Oromifa !
Typically, exams are multiple choice , but since we want them to be as meaningful as possible, then we have actual questions involving drawing and colouring and finding the odd one out etc. This has proved difficult for our new teachers – of which year there is a lot – the new Oromofia teacher for nursery ,  KG 1 ( as Weinshet – the previous teacher left to have a baby and although prior to leaving planned to return, when it actually came to it, she decided to stay with her new born ) new Oromifa grade 1 teacher and grade 3 ( as previously there were only a few students for grade 3 and 4 so they were combined ) – but eventually, with the guidance of the old teachers, meaningful exams have been compiled.
The Great Ethiopian Run is on the 23rd November – with the 2 kilometre race the day before. This year, our two children have decided to enter with the aim of raising funds for the school. Having studied at the school three years, they know only too well how some of the pupils struggle for food on a daily basis  and how simple things like shoes and clothes should not be taken for granted.
If you wish to sponsor them in the race, please visit :
Every little bit helps !

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Injections for all !



This week has been a busy one as at long last we have managed to sort out all the things that were moved out from the central grade school which closed down in the summer. Moving is always problematic as there are a million and one little bits and pieces that have been accumulated – so with a school, the problem is dramatically increased! – it is amazing the number of little bits of paper that we have and the number of bits of toys and puzzles that have made their way into the wrong boxes !

As a result, we didn’t have time to sort all the little bits out so instead simply packed things in boxes to be moved to the new far school. This week, we had a good go and all the staff members worked together to get it all sorted out!

 At the moment there is an outbreak of meningitis in Ethiopia and as a result, the health workers were coming round to all schools to give free injections – which is truly marvellous! They set up camp in the playground yesterday and pupils patiently waited in line for their turn! Amazingly, only two pupils cried! – the teachers made more of a fuss!  The injections were available for everyone aged 1 – 29 so was very flattered when the teachers all told me to go and wait in line for mine!! (being a tad over 29!)