In November and December 2012 Andrew Mugabi came to England for his first trip outside Uganda. He is Director of Studies and Head of English at St. Michaels and very much the right hand man to the Head Teacher. His trip was organised primarily to give him an insight into our education system with the aim of expanding his own knowledge to take back to the school and use it not only with the pupils but also the other staff members too.
Apart from the weather his trip was a great success. Coming from the tropics he brought no warm clothes or wet weather clothes with him. However these were supplied and by the end he was getting used to the wet and cold though not appreciating it!
He spent most of his time in Bath and Marlborough staying with various trustees. He was a guest at Marlborough College, had a 1 on 1 with the Head of Professional Development, some computer training and shadowed a teacher – all highly relevant. With them he went to Swindon Academy where he was most impressed by the IT facilities and the skills of the pupils there. He enjoyed 2 days at Horris Hill in Berkshire participating in all activities, drumming and sports and took lessons as well. From there he went to St. Francis School at Pewsey which is the British Council link school with St. Michael’s. He had a full weeks programme organised by the Headmaster starting with the first lesson of the day and ending at the close of the day.
A trip was organised for him to see the sea, which he had never experienced before – the Bristol Channel in December! We took him 10 pin bowling, to a Bath rugby match, and to @Bristol which was a highlight for him seeing working technology old and modern and being able to participate and use it. There were many local excursions as well, and an invaluable dyslexia workshop with a specialist teacher to enable Andrew to have some knowledge of what it is and how it affects learning.
All in all a very inspiring time for him and for us as we saw things through his eyes and experience. Our hope is that what he learned will be a motivation to him and a really positive force within the school.
St. Michael’s continued with its excellent examination record when the results came out in January. P7 (class Primary 7) achieved 24 Grade 1 results and 14 Grade 2 results. With these top grades any pupil will be able to go to a Secondary School of her choice – but only if her parents can/are willing to pay fees unless the pupil has secured a place in a rare state funded secondary school. As always it seems that the school excels in these examinations which are nation wide.
The whole experience was amazing.
Duration of stay: 16 Days
When: July 2012
Occupation in the UK: Teacher
The whole experience was amazing. At first it took me a while to adapt to the differences of live in a developing country, but the love and hospitality of the staff made this transition bearable and a fantastic experience. All of the teachers were lovely and conversed with us regularly, which was lovely. It was nice to discuss the differences between England and Uganda.
The pupils were lovely although some minor problems with discipline in relation to the children turning up/doing the work required when in the classes. As a majority it was lovely to teach them and have fun with them outside of the classroom when they were not studying. I enjoyed sewing with them and doing arts/crafts and sports.
It was lovely to be invited to experience their daily living also, for example helping with supper and going to the gardens. The children were very protective of us and would carry our things at any opportunity if we would have allowed it!
When we were in the gardens they were reluctant to allow us to help in case we hurt ourselves – it was nice to be so looked after and respected in this way. All of the staff and children were friendly and looked after us well which led to it being a very positive experience.
The suggestions we made and resources we took out were gratefully received and incorporated where it was possible. This made me feel very valued. It was lovely to spend time with all members of the school and be included with daily running’s of the school.
I am already planning another visit in 2014 with friends!