Thursday, 10 February 2011

Thursday 10th Feb

Today has been extremely tiring but very memorable! I had the opportunity to deliver a workshop at a literacy festival in Sierra Leone. To start the conference, guest speaker Tony Buzan talked about his concept of mind mapping.

Our group of 12 ran 7 workshops at the conference. The conference was attended by 400 teachers from the local area of Waterloo. My workshop was based on the story Owl Babies. I delivered my workshop with Mr Price, the head teacher from St John’s. We ran the workshop twice, to 40 and then 50 teachers from the local area. The teaching style in Sierra Leone is very different to the UK. The teacher will talk to the children and then the children will copy work from the board. In our workshop we talked about thinking partners, how to sequence pictures, how to hot seat and freeze frame role play. Members of the audience participated fully, getting up to act out the story using puppets and masks. This was a really enjoyable day and I’d like to think that I have at least influenced one teacher today, to try the methods.

There was a closing ceremony, in which we were invited to sit on the stage. A local entertainment group performed a fantastic song for us. This was followed by drama and dancing.

 On the drive home our car nearly became stuck on a very steep hill, which is full of pot holes. The tyres began to spin and I thought we were going to have to get out and push. Luckily we have an excellent driver.  I love the drive from Waterloo to Freetown, you see some fantastic sights. Tonight I saw 2 boys herding cattle.  We drove past the Vice president and his entourage of 7 cars.  I also saw a little boy playing with his own shadow  on the side of his house.


  1. Hi Clare,
    The photos are fab. We couldn't see them in school. It looks amazing. I know Ian Price. He's a friend of a friend. Tell him you know Judith who is a friend of the Kinnairds. You'll have to an assembly to share your experiences. I read your blog to my class today and they were amazed at what you'd been doing.
    Enjoy your last few days there. Take care and have a safe journey home. Have a good half term.
    Love Judith Hayes xxxx

  2. Looks like another fantastic inspirational day for all. Enjoy. x all the clan

  3. Hi Clare sounds as though you are having a enjoyable time. This is year 1/2L on Mrs Ginn's log in as we were having trouble.Have a good half term. Love Cathy, Ruth and children

  4. How much fun can one have with one's own shadow? I imagine they're a lot more inventive than I could ever be.

  5. Hi Claire,

    i am delighted to reading about your experiences in my beloved country. when i saw those pictures of yours, it was really heart touching for me. I am happy to ready about your brief and detailed descriptions about village schools in Sierra Leone. I thank you from the bottom of my hear for your visit to Sierra Leone. you would be surprise to learn that i haven't been there for almost two decades now for reasons which are beyond my control. God willing I will visit shortly. Thank you once again.

  6. Hello,

    Thank you for your message. Where are you living now? From looking at my pictures, do you think much has changed since you were there?