Home > Bufuka Nursery, Circle of Friends, Education, Fundraising, Kyabahinga Nursery, Special Needs Education, Volunteers > Edirisa Nursery Teachers Learn New Methods of Teaching

Edirisa Nursery Teachers Learn New Methods of Teaching

The provision of nursery education is increasing rapidly in Uganda and for Edirisa UK this is where it all began. One of the first projects that we invested in was the construction of a nursery school adjacent to the Bufuka Primary School at Lake Bunyonyi in 2006.  The standard method of teaching in Uganda is the “chalk and talk” method, with students learning by rote or copying from a blackboard. We have been introducing our teachers to alternative methods of teaching and trying to promote a more interactive environment in our nurseries.

Sand play

Sand play

Our biggest breakthrough happened a few weeks ago when our Head of Nurseries, Ashaba Phionah, travelled up to Kampala for a work experience placement at the Acorn School, an international nursery and pre-primary school – http://www.acornsschool.com/.

We often say that the best way to learn is by “doing”, not simply listening. The same is obviously true for teachers. We have long spoken about child-centred learning and this trip enabled Phionah to put the dialogue into the context of a classroom environment. Many teachers have not grown up using puzzles, reading storybooks or playing in sandpits; the concepts are foreign to them and so first they must also learn how to play. Using her new knowledge Phionah is leading our nurseries towards more playful, interactive, child-centred learning. Outside “Circle Time” is also attracting the attention of the primary school children.

Phionah taking Circle Time

Phionah taking Circle Time

Some of the things that Phionah learnt were important teaching tools; such as why it’s important to teach children letters using phonics rather than simple recitation of the alphabet. Other things were more subtle; “I realised that in our classrooms we only have posters made by teachers. It’s important for us to also use the work of the children as it motivates them as learners and gives them pride” explains Phionah.

Other teachers are also happy to be benefiting from the new ideas. Teacher Jackeline at Bufuka Nursery commented on how much easier it is to interact with children during “ carpet time”: “When you get down to the childrens’ level there is less shouting, children are interested in the stories”.

Circle time

Circle time

With Operations Manager, Lewis Dixon, Phionah held a PTA meeting to communicate their plans for the schools. Parents were all enthusiastic about the changes and many were asking about how their other children at primary level could also benefit. A huge THANK YOU to our friends at Acorn School for hosting Phionah and helping us to make this leap forward into more child-centred learning. We are looking forward to hosting their teachers in Kabale next year and continuing our schools’ friendship.

Happy Children

Happy Children

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