I thought I'd describe a typical day at Kapumpe Christian Primary School to give you an idea of how the school day unfolds here...
The children arrive before the teachers and make lots of noise playing outside the school buildings. Breakfast is maize porridge mixed with ground nuts for extra protein, and is served at 7:30am.
We sound the tambourine at 8:00am or thereabouts (after all, we're in Africa so we're not such sticklers for time here as in the UK!) when the children line up to go into their classrooms. In Grade 2 we take the register before singing a song and getting one of the children to pray for the day ahead. What a great way to start the day!
Phonics is taught first and the children in both classes are divided into three different groups depending on their ability. Twenty minutes later they head back to their classes for Bemba, the local language taught by my teaching assistant Fatima, or a foundation subject linked to our current topic such as geography or art.
This is followed by maths. A few bright sparks in Grade 2 are now pretty confident calculating with numbers up to 30, whilst some of the young ones in Grade 1 are still working on recognising numbers from 1 to 10.
Break time means half an hour for playing outside and the children enjoy a banana as a snack. It often also involves holding the teachers' hands, climbing on them or attempting to style their hair!
After break it's time for English. I think many of you would be impressed by some of the children's reading and writing skills, considering it's their second language and many of them have only been learning English for a year or two.
‘Plan, Do, Review’ is a session we run for both grades. A variety of activities are set up for the week inside and outside both classrooms. The children have to choose and plan two activities that they would like to do. They have to say, “First I’m going to… Next I’m going to…” and describe the activities. One of the most popular things that they like to do is riding bikes. Afterwards, the children review what they did by telling us, “I enjoyed… because…”.
Every school day we hold either an assembly or a session within classes called 'Time with God'. We read a Bible story or talk about something relevant to the children and then pray together. The children are always particularly keen to pray for anyone who is off school because they are ill.
All in all, a busy day at Kapumpe!